Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) expands to Detroit First regional office to serve 12 Midwest states

January 10, 2017
DETROIT – The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), headquartered in New York, has opened its first regional office, a Detroit location serving the Midwest.RISE is an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals using sports to bring people together to promote understanding, respect and equality. Through panel discussions with professional athletes, law enforcement and elected officials; public awareness campaigns; and educational programming at the high school and university levels, RISE aims to improve race relations.

The new office is downtown in Suite 600 of the Chrysler House building, 719 Griswold St. Initially, five staff members will be based there. The Midwest office will serve the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“As a proud Detroit resident, I am thrilled to bring RISE to the city,” said Jocelyn Benson, CEO of RISE and the former dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. “We already have numerous partnerships in place with pro sports teams, universities, high schools and other organizations in Michigan. With the Pistons move to the city, Detroit is one of the only cities in the country with all four professional sports teams playing in the downtown, making it the ideal location for our Midwest office. We look forward to expanding in Michigan and throughout the Midwest with our Detroit office. This will be the first of several planned regional offices across the nation.”

RISE has sponsored programs with the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers. RISE also has partnerships with Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Through its leadership training program, RISE has worked with these Michigan high schools: Cass Technical High School, Cesar Chavez Academy High School and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, all in Detroit; Plymouth High School; Saline High School; Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology; and West Bloomfield High School. RISE also has worked with the Detroit Police Athletic League Team Up Program.

Additionally, RISE has been active in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

Real estate developer and philanthropist Stephen M. Ross, a Detroit native and owner of the Miami Dolphins, founded RISE in 2015. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

For more information about RISE, visit