Open Nav


May 11, 2021

Three-part series will empower coaches to address injustice and racism

The Chicago Bears announced today that they are partnering with RISE, which is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations, on a three-part virtual series for Illinois high school football coaches. The leadership series features RISE's curriculum and equips coaches with the skills and knowledge to effectively discuss and address matters of racism and injustice with their teams, school and communities.

"As coaches, it is our responsibility to be leaders not only on the field, but off of it as well," said Bears head coach Matt Nagy. "Providing training and resources for high school coaches to learn how to address racism and injustice is a critical component to cultivating a strong and welcoming team culture."

Forty coaches are scheduled to participate in the series.

"The Bears are living up to the historical role that sport has played in making our nation better," said RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford. "They understand that coaches are key role models to our nation's future leaders, and they are providing resources to address the need to support coaches in developing these leaders. RISE is excited to partner with the Bears to provide these skills and workshops to further empower Illinois coaches to bring their diverse teams and communities together."

Workshop One (May 12)

Program Introduction & Understanding Our Identities: The series begins with an activity on identity that helps coaches reflect on the labels they use to define themselves, why they do so and which labels hold more importance. Coaches will then discuss key terms including race, racism and anti-racism.

Workshop Two (May 19)

Equality vs. Equity: Coaches learn the key differences between these often-confused terms, and the roles equality and equity can play to better serve society.

Bias: Coaches are challenged to acknowledge assumptions, values and predetermined opinions they may hold and learn to recognize their own biases, where they may come from and why they are important.

Workshop Three (May 26)

Privilege: Coaches are challenged to define privilege, discuss ways in which privilege gives them power, recognize their own privilege and identify tangible ways to positively utilize it.

Sports as a Vehicle for Change: Coaches identify ways to use their platforms to drive change. They learn about current and historic moments where sports and social justice intersect and the various forms of contemporary athlete activism. The final workshop concludes with a discussion of ways to continue this work into the sports season.

RISE News & Stories



Sign up to get the latest news and information from RISE.