RALIANCE Celebrates Unsung Heroes With The NFL

RALIANCE staff and three additional advocates posing in front of the event's backdrop.

When powerful individuals and companies use their platforms to amplify conversations about sexual violence and the advocates who support survivors, we see progress along the journey to changes cultures to prevent violence and create equitable, respectful, and safe environments. RALIANCE witnessed this happen as we attended the NFL’s annual “Unsung Heroes” celebration.

This event, preceding every Super Bowl for the past few years, is hosted in the region the Super Bowl takes place and honors local and national partners who work to combat and educate about domestic and sexual violence.

Over the years, RALIANCE has had multiple opportunities to attend this event. In that time, we have seen how it has evolved into a space that more thoroughly and openly discusses sexual violence and the people on the frontlines of this field. For us, it is both heartwarming and gratifying to see the hard work of everyday people in our field being honored in such a way. It is not often that they are so openly celebrated for the challenging and important work they do day in and day out. We were further proud that we had a hand in helping the NFL select these invitees who were recognized.

As we sat through the event, we got to witness prominent allies like Roger Goodell, Gayle King, Aly Raisman, Tommi Vincent, and Steve Smith lend their time to celebrate this important cause. Seeing all of these individuals, at an event co-hosted by the NFL and CBS Sports/Paramount, displays to us that the efforts of advocates and allies across the nation and around the world have reached new and important levels of visibility.

In addition to reuniting with some of our friends in the sexual violence advocacy an education field, we also saw someone from the Nevada community be publicly honored and awarded Super Bowl tickets for their work. This year’s awardee was Rita Imus, Sexual Assault Support Services Coordinator from Crisis Support Services of Nevada and Representative for the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. A member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Imus is passionate in working with Native American families, and worked for the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada’s Family Violence Prevention Program as an advocate providing emergency services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout Nevada. Even with all these roles, she finds time to present on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and continues to be a mentor to young ladies who are involved in wellness programs. She works closely with some of Nevada’s Tribes bringing sexual assault awareness to the communities. Additionally, she assisted and provided advocacy in many sexual assault forensic exams with survivors and is passionate about helping them find their voice and light in their darkest moments. Her tenacity and passion are reflected throughout all her roles and actions, and her recognition at this year’s “Unsung Hero” was well-deserved.    

Two of our RALIANCE staff got to attend this event for the first time and reflected on it fondly.

“It was incredible to see advocates receive their flowers and be celebrated for their extraordinary, everyday acts of service. Having the opportunity to attend the Unsung Hero event further illustrated the need for an array of allies in the fight against sexual violence and the importance of centering the voice of survivors, who come from all walks of life.”

-Julia Mallory, Project Coordinator

“I was so impressed by the out showing of support for advocates in the field of domestic and sexual violence. Advocates do some of the most difficult jobs day in and day out and they’re rarely recognized, especially not on such a large platform. I am so appreciative of the NFL and CBS for their work in uplifting advocates and shining a light on this movement.”

-Megan Owens, Corporate Research Associate

Thank you to the NFL and CBS Sports/Paramount for co-hosting this event. We look forward to reuniting with you next year for another inspiring and uplifting “Unsung Hero” event.

RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.


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