For the fourth consecutive season, the Rams have teamed up with RISE for a season-long leadership and community-building program called RISE with the Rams. This year's program features five local high school football teams who will collaborate to harness the unifying power of sports to build relationships between Los Angeles area high school student-athletes with a cross-section of races and socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal of the program is to develop leadership, understanding, acceptance and cultural competency for student-athletes, coaches and LAPD officers.
"It's always been about using leadership to help athletes make a difference in the community. With RISE, we can do so with a focus on social justice and race," said RISE Senior Director of Curriculum, Collin Williams Jr., Ph.D. "The program demonstrates the roles we can all play. The communication, how we trust, and how we listen are all important as we seek to achieve community goals."
The season-long program involves a monthly touchpoint for varsity football teams from Baldwin Park High School, Glendale High School, MACES, Rollings Prep High School and Western High School. This year's RISE with the Rams initiative kicked off with a two-day event at Rams Training Camp at UC Irvine.
The first day featured a 90-minute discussion about understanding identity, perspective-taking, the importance of diversity and how to combat racism. The following day at camp, the student-athletes engaged in a discussion about trust, teamwork, and community building. A trophy-building exercise and a trust walk where students from different schools paired up and guided one another through an obstacle course enhanced the discussions, encouraging the students to not only listen but implement their learnings.
"I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of change. Being in this program should forge a pathway to leading better futures," said a student-athlete from the Baldwin Park High School. "There's a lot of information I can take to my football team. The diversity concepts, understanding race, and all the information we gathered can transfer to my football team and open up their eyes to understand racism, anti-racism, along with how they can help which are all simple things everyone can do."
Since 2018, the Rams have engaged 17 high school football teams throughout the greater LA region with the RISE with the Rams program.
To learn more about the Rams community programs, please visit www.therams.com/community.
The Los Angeles Rams and RISE welcomed Baldwin Park High School, Glendale High School, Mendez High School, MACES, Rollings Prep High School and Western High School to Rams Training Camp at UC Irvine to hold relationship building exercises between the LA area schools.