Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast

Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast

With new episodes every other Tuesday, Champions of Change: The RISE Podcast gives athletes and leaders in sports a platform to tell their stories and share their perspectives on issues of race, social justice and diversity, equity & inclusion in sports. Hosted by Ian Cutler, our podcast features interviews on how athletes are making a difference in their communities, and the power of sports to bring people together, improve race relations and advance racial equity and social justice.

Episodes

April 20, 2021 57 min
Ryan S. Clark, National NHL and Seattle Kraken reporter for The Athletic joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to share insight and reporting on the NHL’s approach to addressing social justice and making the game of hockey more inclusive. Plus, we talk about diversity and inclusion and the importance of representation in sports media, and the responsibility journalists have in asking athletes questions around social justice...
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UCLA Women's Basketball players Michaela Onyenwere, Lauryn Miller, Camryn Brown and Charisma Osborne discuss More than a D.R.E.A.M., the social justice initiative they created this season in response to the events of 2020. As we celebrate National Student-Athlete Day, RISE's Ian Cutler and RISE Group 1001 Fellow Michelle Picard speak with these four young leaders about the inequities they face as young Black women and stude...
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RISE's Ian Cutler moderates a conversation on Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Toronto Sports and Business Association’s 10th Annual Sports Industry Conference with Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs for the NHL; Jason Sinnarajah, Senior Vice President of Business Administration for the Buffalo Bills; and Sam Toles, a media & technolo...
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Fresh off their historic "bubble" season in Lake Placid, New York, NWHL stars Tera Hofmann, Rebecca Morse, and Saroya Tinker of the Metropolitan Riveters and Briana Mastel of the Boston Pride, discuss gender equity in sports and their efforts to raise awareness around racial injustice. Joining RISE’s Peyton Finley and Michelle Picard, a RISE Group1001 Fellow and the NWHL Deputy Commissioner, the players share why they used ...
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Trevor Baptiste is a professional lacrosse player for the Premier Lacrosse League’s Atlas LC, National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings and a U.S. men's national team gold medalist. Trevor joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to talk about the newly formed Black Lacrosse Alliance, an organization of players who are determined to make the game more inclusive at the professional, collegiate, high school and youth lev...
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Part II of the Sixth Annual RISE Super Bowl Critical Conversation features a conversation with three Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees in Trey Flowers (Detroit Lions), Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos) and Andrew Whitworth (Los Angeles Rams). Tracy Wolfson (CBS Sports) moderates and is also joined by RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford.
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Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Cheifs join Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports and Diahann Billings-Burford, RISE CEO, for Part I of RISE's Sixth Annual Super Bowl Critical Conversation.
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February 4, 2021 26 min
At the start of the NFL season in September, Miami Dolphins players shared a powerful video in which they called for the league and team owners to go beyond the optics and statements of support for social justice, and follow the players lead in committing more resources to create real tangible change in our country. Dolphins running back Patrick Laird was one player featured in that video and played a key role in the Dolphins Socia...
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When Jennifer King was named an assistant running backs coach for the Washington Football Team last month she became the first full-time Black female position coach in NFL history. Sam Rapoport, NFL Senior Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has spearheaded a number of historic initiatives to create more opportunities for women in football, including one a few years back where King first met Ron Rivera, Head Coach of the ...
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Paul Tagliabue talks about his tenure as NFL Commissioner and his role as co-chair of RISE. He shares his perspective on issues of race and diversity, and how sports are used to drive social change. Plus, how the NFL can build on the Rooney Rule, what it takes to be an inclusive leader and reflecting on his Super Bowl experiences.
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Kirk Walker is an Assistant Softball Coach at UCLA and co-founder of the Sports Equality Foundation, a newly launched TikTok initiative that provides a space for LGBTQ student-athletes and coaches to be their authentic selves and advance inclusion and acceptance within the larger sports community. Kirk was considered the first openly gay NCAA Division I male coach when he came out publicly in 2007 while head coach of Oregon State’s...
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Torrey Smith and Joanne Pasternack discuss their involvement with a new initaitve, Atheltes' Voices, a program dedicated to providing tools, guidance, and mentorship for athletes to grow their social impact. Smith and Pasternack also share what it was like inside the San Francsico 49ers organization in 2016 when Collin Kaepernick first took a knee to protest racial injustice and discuss the growing influence athletes have to ef...
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Reagan Coleman left her high school cheerleading team in Daphne, Alabama, after several of her teammates posted a photo to social media while holding a shirt that read, “I love Redneck boys” and had an image of the Confederate Flag. Reagan and retired Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, the US Navy’s 26th Chief Chaplain, join RISE's Dr. Andrew Mac Intosh to discuss the aftermath after participating in a RISE critical conversation to ...
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Phaidra Knight is one of only two American women inducted in the World Rugby Hall of Fame and was USA Rugby's Player of the Decade, but now in her post-playing career, she will begin her term as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation in January 2021. She discusses her athletic career as a multi-sport star, upcoming role at the WSF and how our country can better support women athletes, experiences with an intersectional iden...
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Kalley Armstrong, a former captain for Harvard's women's hockey team, shares how her grandfather, Hockey Hall of Famer George Armstrong, who led the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups and was one of the first Indigenous players to play in the NHL, inspired her to reconnect with her roots and launch a hockey development and mentorship program for First Nations youth in Ontario, Canada. Co-hosting this episode with Ian ...
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Scott Pioli discusses the state of diversity and inclusion in the NFL, why he's personally given back to HBCU’s, the impact athletes and sports had leading up to the 2020 U.S. Election, and how athletes can continue growing their influence on issues beyond their sport.
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Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison collaborated for a new book titled “Above the Rim” that looks at the life and career of Elgin Baylor, an NBA Hall of Famer as a player and former NBA Executive of the Year. The book focuses on a relatively lesser-known moment of athlete activism in the late 1950s. Baylor, then a player on the Minneapolis Lakers, took a stand by taking a seat and refusing to play after he was denied a room at a West Vi...
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RISE recently led sessions with both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Michigan State football team as part of its nonpartisan voter education and registration initiative, RISE to Vote. In the first of two interviews in this episode, Jaguars WR Chris Conley sheds light on his family's connection to the civil rights movement and how discussions about voting is changing in NFL locker rooms. Then, the Spartans' head coach Mel Tucke...
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Alonzo Carter is an assistant football coach at San Jose State University and one of the most influential voices in college sports today. RISE’s Jared Shanker speaks with Carter about two initiatives that are helping re-examine and redefine the sports and coaching landscape – first, the West Coast Zoom Clinic, where Carter has hosted in excess of 7,000 coaches, many of color, to talk about several topics affecting them, including i...
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August 4, 2020 43 min
BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman joins RISE's Ian Cutler and Jared Shanker to discuss the conference's new partnership with RISE and empowering student-athletes to be social justice advocates. Plus, we talk about the state of college sports amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and her tenure as the first WNBA President and how the league and its players have become leading voices for social change.
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