RISE SUPER BOWL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM: EMPOWERING AND CONNECTING COMMUNITIES FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
February 18, 2022
RISE held our third annual Super Bowl Leadership Program leading up to Super Bowl LVI, empowering high school student leaders and youth coaches from across the Los Angeles area, as well as select college students from across the country, to identify and create solutions for reducing racial inequities and injustices in their communities.
The program centered around the theme of “Empowering and Connecting Communities for Racial Justice,” launching in December 2021 at SoFi Stadium, the home of Super Bowl LVI, and culminating days before the big game with a virtual celebration. Over two months, the program broke down barriers and built relationships among participants with a cross-section of races and socioeconomic backgrounds, and incorporated engagements with athletes, sports professionals and social justice leaders. Participants engaged in activities focused on topics and skills related to identity, perspective taking, power and privilege, civic engagement, and community building.
Participants were tasked with producing creative projects related to the program theme, and shared videos, visual art, poetry, essays, and more. See the incredible work of these young sports leaders and their coaches below!
Saint Augustine's University
My goal for 2022 is to get my HBCU community to begin to think about how they have the power to CHOOSE. The influence we have as student athletes at my institution can set the environment around us to be more inclusive and less hostile. My canvas will be a beacon of light every time athletes enter our facilities. I want my colleagues to see the phrase “I Choose” every-day to instill that attitude within themselves. I will encourage athletes, staff,and faculty to continue to add positive words to the canvas as the years advance. The word “Harmony” symbolizes cohesiveness through my community between all cultures and people and that is the ultimate goal.
Strike Out Racism
My name is Jesus Lemus and I am 13 years old. I am a middle school student and because of my blended family I want to stand up against racism. I am an accomplice in my baseball community by bringing awareness of anti-racism because we all deserve to be treated equally. This is how I am standing up against racism, I am fundraising for the BLM organization by selling “Strike Out Racism” pins and stickers I created.
What is Immigration?
My name is Anthony Almaguer, I am a 14 year old high school student. I want to bring awareness to the immigration community. This is a topic you hear in the news, social media or radio but not a lot of people understand what it means to be an immigrant or family of an immigrant. I want to teach my peers that they too can be allies and accomplices in the immigration community.
Connecting and raising awareness through footwear
University of Maryland
During my internship with RISE this past summer, I was able to create mockup cleats and shoes for our NFL partners to wear for the My Cause My Cleats Initiative. I was later connected to the company that printed the mockups and I began doing some concept designs for the team.While going through the leadership program and discussing potential project ideas, I thought it would be unique and powerful to continue and help athletes share their identity and empower their communities through custom cleats and shoes. For my project, I plan to empower and connect communities by working with college athletes or professionals to design custom cleats supporting a cause that they are affected by.
My name is Carlos Escobar, I am a middle school student that wants to speak up about Teamwork. As an Athlete I have had some good and bad experiences in team sports. I didn't return to the sport of basketball because it wasn't fair, fun or exciting for me anymore. The coaches would only give playtime to the"good" players and that was not fair. We all come to practices and always try our hardest. A coach is supposed to encourage and teach their players teamwork not make us feel bad because we are "not good enough " to win the game. My project is named "Teamwork" and the importance of equal play for all team members.
No Platform is Too Small
University of Michigan
As Co-President of the Michigan Sport Business Inclusion Community, I feel that I have a unique opportunity to mobilize my members to engage in meaningful social justice work. With this project, members will have the opportunity to reflect on their currentsocial platform and determine how to best use it to make change.
Trust, Allyship, and The Power of Our Voice
This short personal essay focuses on the power of voting, what it means to be an ally, and the importance of trust in a community. The project provided an optimal opportunity for me to look back at how much I have learned about this space, and an opportunity to use my platform to inform as many people as possible about the power of their voice. RISE has taught me the power that difference in opinion can bring, and that engaging in conversations among those with alternative perspectives can be a very positive change agent.
My project is about peer pressure in my school community and what students can do to avoid conflict and overall address the problem. What I'm doing to make a difference is presenting my slideshow to classrooms and helping them understand the problem.