Impact Arizona


Monday, November 14, 2016


4:00pm to 6:00pm



Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main Street  |  Mesa, AZ 85201




town hall

Throughout American history, the power of sports has offered an opportunity for people to confront ideas and situations from which they would otherwise segregate themselves. “Sports is the closest thing the United States has to a national language” and in sports, there is a space that creates a common basis for people from all walks of life to have discussions about national issues. Every individual has a stake in understanding racism and how it operates in our society.¹ It is vital for us to engage in a bold and sustainable dialogue about race, justice and democracy that produces changes in our thoughts, behaviors, laws and policies.

Join us for this important Town Hall that will bring together students at all levels, prominent sports figures, academic experts, community leaders, and interested citizens for a dynamic and productive discussion about race and racism through the lens of sports, that will encourage critical thinking and positive change.


Facilitated conversation, panel discussion and audience Q&A  |  Reception immediately follows
More details to come



special guest, CSRD's 2016 Architect of Change honoree

Stephen M. Ross

Chairman, The Related Companies
Principal Owner, Miami Dolphins
Founder, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)


Conversation and Panel Discussion facilitated by

Ray Anderson

Vice President for University Athletics
Athletic Director
Arizona State University




Ann Meyers Drysdale

Vice President
Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury


Kenneth Shropshire

Director, Wharton Sports Business Initiative
Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics
University of Pennsylvania

michael young

Michael Young

Captain and Public Information Officer
Glendale Fire Department
Varsity Football Coach, Millennium High School

More panelists to come!



About Ross & RISE


Stephen M. Ross

Founder, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)

Stephen M. Ross is chairman and founder of Related Companies. Formed in 1972, Related includes more than 3,000 professionals. Related has developed more than $22 billion in real estate and owns real estate assets valued at over $20 billion. Mr. Ross also is owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. He serves on the Executive Committee and is a trustee of Lincoln Center, and is a trustee of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a director on the board of The Shed and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

In 2015, Mr. Ross established the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). Growing up in Detroit, he witnessed firsthand the negative impacts of racism within the community. As society continues to address and navigate the very complicated issues of racism, he seeks to bring the sports community together to advance equality, respect and understanding. Mr. Ross, his RISE team and their partners hope to spark enduring change by inspiring dialogue and providing tools for progress.

"I saw a unique opportunity to harness the unifying power of sports, produce real change and create a new paradigm. Sport brings together athletes, coaches and fans of all races, uniting us with shared experiences and common goals that allow us to transcend our differences...The sports community is uniquely positioned and empowered to break down barriers, and provides us with a vast platform in which to begin open conversations, impact youth and be an effective catalyst for social progress.”  - Stephen M. Ross


About the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)

Founded in 2015, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

Led by an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals, RISE uses sports to promote understanding, respect and equality.

Since its inception, RISE has launched initiatives across the country to educate, empower and support athletes, coaches and administrators at every level to be leaders in improving racial equality, while encouraging fans to join with professional athletes and community leaders in taking a pledge to stand against racism.

To learn more about RISE and their outstanding work, visit their website at 




Virgina G. Piper Reparatory Theater
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main Street  |  Mesa, AZ 85201



The Mesa Arts Center is located in the heart of Mesa, AZ on E. Main Street.  For driving directions, click on the map button below and then select "Directions," or contact our office.


The Mesa Arts Center is easily accessible by public transportation and is on the Phoenix Metro Light Rail line. There is a light rail station located at the corner of N. Center and E. Main Street. For more information about public transit options, visit the Valley Metro:


There are multiple parkting areas around the Mesa Arts Center.*

Parking Map

 * Please note:  A $5 parking fee may be assessed by the Downtown Mesa Association for the Mesa Arts Center parking lots. This decesion will be made by November 1, 2016.  More information to come. 


"Race and Sports: A Town Hall" would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.  We are extremely grateful for their help in making this event possible!  Please join us in thanking the following organizations: 

(Click on the organization names to learn more.)



 ASU Gammage

ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts