Wolves, Lynx partner with RISE to create programming in fight for racial equality, social justice

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx on Thursday announced they’re partnering with RISE to create programming to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.

The organizations said the partnership was formed after a June 4 community conversation, which included Timberwolves Associate Head Coach David Vanterpool and Lynx Assistant Coach Rebekkah Brunson joined Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx CEO Casson and Kim Miller, Vice President of Programs at RISE, surrounding the impact of George Floyd’s death.

The multi-year partnership will include:

  • Building Bridges Through Basketball Series: will use basketball to unite youth and law enforcement in the Twin Cities to discuss social injustice and police reform. The program is designed to break barriers, build trust and create pathways for positive communication.
  • Perceptions Survey: will gather perceptions of the impact of race and diversity in the workplace and utilize data to drive change in- and outside the workplace.
  • Internal Workshops: will help leaders build foundational structures like Employee Resource Groups, Diversity and Inclusion Groups and inclusive events.
  • RISE to Vote Event: will educate fans and participants on the history of voting and civic engagement through the lens of sports and will equip attendees with the knowledge and motivation to register and exercise their right to vote. The Timberwolves and Lynx will announce bigger plans to encourage voter turnout leading up to Election Day, the newest company holiday for the organization.
  • Community Town Hall: will include players, coaches, executives and city officials to discuss how to advocate for change and use their platforms for change.
  • Champions of Change Activation: will help educate the Timberwolves and Lynx community during Black History Month, featuring a multi-sensory display showcasing the intersection of sport and social injustice through an interactive experience.

Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx announce ‘Team Up for Change’ partnership

"This integrated partnership will provide us the opportunity to have a lasting impact in areas of racial equality and social justice," said Casson. "These timely programs will provide our staff, players and coaches with the necessary resources and education to be agents of change within our community."

More details on the programs will be announced at a later time.

Earlier this month, the organizations announced they’re joining ‘Team Up for Change’ to help effect change in areas of social injustice, racial inequality and systemic racism.