Real Salt Lake’s academy players have continued their work within the RISE program which aims to foster conversations among players and staff about diversity, inclusion and acceptance.
The Real Salt Lake Academy players were separated into two different groups. The first group was RSL Academy players born in 2006 and half the players born in 2007 while the second group was the second half of the players born in 2007 and then players born in 2008.
The program works by presenting players with a concept as a group, and then separating them into smaller groups to have an internal discussion on the topic. They then rejoin the larger group to have a wider discussion about their findings.
Both groups began in late January and have now finished six sessions each. The first group has completed the following sessions: Identity Wheel, Bias, Race/Racism/Anti-Racism, Microaggressions, Actor/Ally/Accomplice and Civic Engagement.
The second group has completed these sessions: Understanding Our Identities, Diversity Concepts, Equality vs Equity, Privilege, Native American Legacy in Sport and Sport as a Vehicle for Change.
“Getting this opportunity to better understand their place in this world in relation to others and how to really engage and challenge themselves with whatever our preconceived notions that they may have is just going to help our Academy players be even better people,” said Zeyaad Moussa, Real Salt Lake’s Safe Sport Administrator.
Both RSL Academy groups will continue in RISE throughout the rest of Black History Month and finish the program in early March.
“I think we’re realizing that we're more alike than different,” said RSL Academy player, Luca Moisa.
“We get to see different perspectives from our own as we go through the program. We're learning what it kind of means to be in someone else’s shoes and just getting a better understanding of one another.”
The remaining sessions the players will complete include Being a Champion of Change and Community Building/Goal Setting.
“There's still a lot of things to learn,” said RSL Academy Player, Axel Uriostegui. “I think it would be great for all of us to have an impact on making this whole place even better.”
RSL fans who may be interested in RISE can learn more about it, here.