RISE, the national nonprofit coalition of major U.S. sports leagues and media networks that uses sports to eliminate racism and champion social justice and the National Society of Black Sports Professionals (BSP), a leading sports business DEI resource, formally announced a partnership to leverage the power of sports to promote civic engagement by increasing the reach and impact of RISE to Vote (RTV) across the country through the 2024 elections.
The announcement was made today during RISE to the Goal, a critical conversation about sports’ ability to make an impact around social justice. RTV is a nonpartisan initiative that aims to educate and equip professional and collegiate leagues, teams, athletes, coaches and staff with the tools and knowledge to get involved, make a difference and inspire others. BSP will assist with implementing RTV’s voter engagement strategies and tactics within its more than 20 chapters, and the communities they serve, across the country through 2023 and 2024.
BSP has been a career accelerant for sports business professionals for more than 15 years through local and national programming and events, industry networking opportunities and DEI support organizations. The national footprint of chapters includes: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami/South Florida, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/Twin Cities, New Orleans, North Texas, Orlando/Central Florida, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles/SoCal, Seattle and Washington D.C./DMV to date.
“Our partnership with BSP supports the continued expansion of our RISE to Vote initiative, which has gained incredible support and momentum in the world of sports,”said RISE Chief Executive Officer Diahann Billings Burford. “Together with the BSP community, we’ll continue to make strides in our mission to promote voter engagement and education for athletes and sports professionals.”
“We are proud that the relationship between BSP and RISE has impacted DEI representation within the sports industry and now extends to an even more important part of our society in voter advocacy,” said BSP Co-Founder and National President Bruce Wimbish. “Sports has an incredible ability to reach people and we look forward to harnessing that power to increase voter education and turnout.”
RISE’s RTV programming can include in-person or virtual sessions to provide voter education via special guest speakers and content experts, interactive workshops and town halls for athletes, coaches and staff and stand-alone voter education events, rallies and booths at major sporting events or campus activations.
RISE will train and educate members of BSP on the RTV tools, modules and easy-to-navigate online resources to help provide direct access to state-specific voting information that also gives historical context to underscore the history and impact of voting in marginalized communities. BSP chapters will amplify that training and education through their own civic engagement strategy around major sporting and non-sporting events, while looking to partner with other local voter advocacy groups.
RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, RISE inspires leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality. RISE’s vision is to create a nation unified through sports committed to racial equity and social justice. Follow RISE on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @RISEtoWIN or learn more at risetowin.org.
Originating as a grassroots organization for more than 15 years, the National Society of Black Sports Professionals, Inc. (BSP) is a national nonprofit connecting, empowering and advancing Black professionals within the business operations of sports and adjacent industries. BSP is a career accelerant for its members and supports industry organizations to enhance their DEI efforts towards recruitment, retention, development and advancement. Follow BSP on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, or learn more at blacksportsprofessionals.com.