Dan Lin has found the leaders for his BIPOC-focused content accelerator.
Rideback Rise has hired film producer Tracey Bing as the nonprofit’s head of content and former charity:water executive Sabrina Pourmand as founding executive director.
“Tracey’s experience as a producer and executive and her eye for creative excellence make her the ideal leader to build the collaborative environment that will support our Rise filmmakers and creators and ensure the viability and saleability of their projects,” Lin said in a statement. “Sabrina’s vast experience and relationships across the social impact world, coupled with her operational expertise, will ensure that Rise is on the path to becoming an enduring and meaningful system of change.”
Bing’s responsibilities at Rise, whose mission is to develop film, TV, digital and audio entertainment for the mainstream market with an eye toward advancing racial equity, will include overseeing the centerpiece Rise Fellowship for BIPOC-identifying creators — selecting the participants (five in the first cohort) and shepherding the development of their projects to market — as well as managing programming and networking events for the larger Rise Circle community. Applications for the first cohort will formally open on March 15, and the Fellows are now expected to be announced this summer.
“The chance to work with some of the industry’s most talented BIPOC writers and directors for the purpose of driving narrative change was one that I could not pass up,” Bing (Nappily Ever After, Southside With You) said in a statement. “I’m excited to join Rise and establish the Fellowship as a pre-eminent opportunity for storytellers to do their best work and make a difference. I’m grateful to Dan and the Rise board for entrusting me with this important role.”
Meanwhile, Pourmand — a veteran philanthropic advisor and humanitarian crisis responder whose work has included managing a $250 million portfolio for Haiti earthquake relief and advising clients such as the American Journalism Project, African Leadership Group and New Story — will focus on the long-term goal of leading Rise to become a self-sustaining nonprofit whose in which its passive participant profits from Fellows’ projects will be directed to supporting future cohorts.
“If there’s one thing that I’ve quickly learned, it’s that Dan Lin likes to dream big, and what he has already set in motion for Rise is remarkable and inspiring,” she said in a statement. “I’m excited to build on the incredible momentum of Rise and show our future partners, collaborators and supporters how they can take part in this important initiative to help achieve more racial equity.”
In addition, Panda Express chief brand officer Andrea Cherng has joined the board of directors, while Rise has received donations from Snap co-founder Bobby Murphy and wife Kelsey Murphy’s Murphy Family Fund ($2 million) as well as Comcast NBCUniversal.
“I’m honored to join the board of directors of Rideback Rise and to help guide their important mission to drive narrative change through compelling and popular storytelling,” said Cherng, who in 2021 established the five-year, $10 million Panda CommUnity Fund to support national and local initiatives that benefit marginalized communities, in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with Dan and my fellow board members in helping to build this unique, future-facing institution.”
Added Lin, “We are delighted to welcome Andrea Cherng, a respected business leader whose executive and social impact experience will be an undeniable asset to our growing Rise board. We are also immensely grateful to Kelsey and Bobby Murphy, whose transformative donation dramatically enhances our growth plans, and we want to acknowledge our new partners at Comcast NBCUniversal and their Global Talent Development & Inclusion team for their support and participation. We hope their involvement opens the door for others across the business world to financially support our Rise mission to drive social change.”
Lin launched Rise last July with an interim leadership composed of executives from his production company, Rideback, and more than $1 million in commitments from the Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Zelnick Belzberg Charitable Trust, Doris Duke Foundation and the UTA Foundation. The Murphy Family Fund’s $2 million donation — Rise’s largest single gift to date — and the new donation from Comcast NBCU bring the nonprofit’s total raise to more than $3 million, surpassing its first-year fundraising goal of $2 million only seven months in.