Growing up in Detroit, Stephen M. Ross witnessed firsthand the negative impacts of racism within the community. As our society continues to address and navigate the very complicated issues of racism, he established the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to bring the sports community together to advance equality, respect and understanding. Ross, his RISE team and their partners hope to spark enduring change by inspiring dialogue and providing tools for progress.
I saw a unique opportunity to harness the unifying power of sports, produce real change and create a new paradigm. Sports brings together athletes, coaches and fans of all races, uniting us with shared experiences and common goals that allow us to transcend our differences. If there is any place where there is real equality, it's sports. The sports community is uniquely positioned and empowered to break down barriers, and provides us with a vast platform in which to begin open conversations, impact youth and be an effective catalyst for social progress.