SUPER BOWL 56 RADIO ROW: Diahaan Billings-Burford

Join us on Radio Row as Sports Philanthropy Network’s Roy Kessel and Kayla Bradham sit down with Diahann Billings-Burford, CEO of RISE to talk about their RISE’s work in social justice and the event they are hosting this year at Super Bowl LVI.

Diahann shares details about the RISE event that was held at Radio Row called Representation Matters. The event was done in partnership with the Pro Sports Assembly and Black Sports Professionals. The Representation Matters event featured different panels of speakers who discussed the importance of showing diversity and inclusion in the sports world, how to deal with bias in the workplace, as well as discussing their professional experiencing in the sports industry. She talks about the work being done at RISE and gives a look into their mission to provide solutions to inclusion and diversity problems and use sports to address racism, champion social justice and unify the nation. She also breaks down about her vision for the future and the importance of allyship in the fight for equality.

Diahann Billings-Burford joins Roy Kessel and Kayla Bradham on Radio Row

RISE was founded in 2015 to harness the unifying power of sport to end racism and champion social justice.

With a coalition of major U.S. sports leagues and media outlets, athletes, educators and social justice experts, RISE engages the sports community to advance values of respect, understanding, tolerance and equality. RISE has since grown exponentially, with programming in more than 40 states, educating more than five million people and empowering nearly 500 partners across all sports. RISE’s vision is bold: To create a nation unified through sports committed to racial equity and social justice.

Diahann Billings-Burford is a nationally recognized change agent. As the CEO of RISE, the nation’s leading sports organization improving race relations and fighting for social justice, she consistently directs her efforts to engage the sports industry to affect change.

She has won numerous recent awards including:
• Crain’s Notable Women in Sports
• Forty Women over 40 to Watch – Forbes
• Council for Urban Professionals Catalyst Awards: Change Agent

Diahann began her career two decades ago as a corporate attorney at Simpson Thatcher and Bartlett, one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. She quickly realized her passion was working with the disenfranchised, and so she left the firm to more directly help others. She has worked in more direct engagement with the less fortunate at Time Warner, the City of New York, Achievement First and now at RISE.

Diahann has an impressive background which includes interning for the White House and winning the Nguza Saba Award for Political and Social Leadership at Yale University. She has BA and JD degrees from Yale University and Columbia University, respectively.


Abby Bonebrake

Abby Bonebrake

Sports Philanthropy Network

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