Hawks to Partner with RISE to Vote

RISE voter-registration campaign to revisit Atlanta Hawks
John Collins
Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA -– Leading up to National Voter Registration Day, the Atlanta Hawks will partner with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to register players to vote and encourage them to spread the important message of voting to their fans.

The voter-registration drive Monday, Sept. 24, at Hawks Media Day will be part of the RISE to Vote campaign, a nonpartisan initiative launched by RISE to register professional and college athletes to vote and encourage them to lead their fans in becoming informed and engaged citizens. National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, Sept. 25. The RISE to Vote campaign also visited the Hawks to register players on last year’s roster before the start of last season and returned shortly thereafter for a RISE to Vote session with Hawks executives, staff and coaches.

“Voting is one of the most concrete actions you can take to promote social change,” said Jocelyn Benson, RISE CEO. “The work that’s required to unite people and advance equality and progress in our country has a greater impact when athletes are leading the charge. We’re empowering athletes to become informed and engaged citizens and hope they can inspire their fans to do the same.”

The RISE to Vote campaign began with teams from numerous professional leagues and has expanded to college campuses and fan-focused events throughout the country thanks to a grant from Democracy Fund Voice.

RISE has completed voter registration events with teams including MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates; the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs; and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, as well as at Super Bowl LII. RISE also registered players to vote at the NBA Rookie Transition Program earlier this summer.

At the collegiate level, RISE has completed voter-registration events with athletic departments at Florida International University, Florida State University, Miami Dade College, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, and University of Texas at Austin, as well as at the Big Ten Conference 2018 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

“I can think of nothing more fundamental and important to sustaining our democracy than citizens exercising their right to vote,” said David Lee, Hawks’ Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. “We’re delighted to once again join forces with RISE to Vote and ensure players, coaches and staff are registered and ready to cast their ballots in November.” 

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, RISE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. Through educational programming and public awareness campaigns, RISE aims to bring people together to promote understanding, respect and equality.

For more information about RISE to Vote, visit www.RISEtoWIN.org/vote. Follow the campaign on social media using #RISEtoVote.


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