Exclusive: Renowned Music Executive Ric Ross Is Running 100 Miles To Support Youth Education And Career Development

Renowned music executive Ric Ross has left an indelible mark on the R&B and hip-hop industry, with a career spanning over 37 years. From his work with legendary artists like Anita Baker, The Isley Brothers, Mary J. Blige, T.I. and Migos just to name a few, to his dedication to philanthropy, Ross has consistently strived to push the culture forward, and himself. In his latest adventure, Ross will execute a combo of running, walking and jogging a total of 100 miles to support youth education and career development. 

The event is scheduled for May 25 at Silver Comet Trail.

As the Founder and CEO of the Music Education Group (MEG), a non-profit organization, Ric Ross has been instrumental in providing life skills and career development opportunities to at-risk youth through music, film, and digital media. 

In an exclusive interview with ADW, Ross shared insights into his journey as a music executive and his passion for running that has led to his latest endeavor. 

“Music was always in the house growing up. My father really exposed me to music at an early age. From elementary school, middle to high school it was just something that I’ve always been passionate about. It was something that I wanted to do as a profession,” Ross said. “Back then, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the music industry, but I definitely wanted to be a part of it,” Ross said.

Beyond his achievements in the music industry, Ross has also embraced running as a lifelong passion. “I’ve been running my entire life,” he revealed. From his early days in cross-country running to his current pursuit of ultra-marathons, Ross has found solace and joy in the sport. “Running and music were like twins,” Ross said, emphasizing the intrinsic connection between his two passions. 

Ross’ commitment to fostering youth is evident through his organization, MEG. By providing access to resources like technology centers, MEG empowers young people to explore career opportunities in the entertainment industry outside of being an artist. They place the emphasis on the business side of things. “We focus on teaching the ABCs of the industry while also giving them some other tools that they could use to further their careers in the entertainment industry.” 

MEG equips students with valuable skills in audio technology and production, allowing them to cultivate their talents. 

“When Covid hit, when we couldn’t really be with our young people, we started an engineering program where we put recording studios in our young people’s homes,” Ross said. “We started teaching them how to use the hardware and software. Right now we are Avid learning partners. We are certifying our young people on how to use Pro Tools, which is industry standard software for any person that wants to do anything with audio in the music business or even film or TV.” 

In a bold move to support MEG’s initiatives, Ross announced his participation in the Underground Circus 100-miler. On May 25th, Ross will embark on an extensive journey, running 100 miles to raise funds for MEG programs, particularly the construction of a mobile music bus. “I’m not asking anyone to run 100 miles with me,” Ross said. “But I invite people to join me, walk a mile, or simply show their support.” 

This isn’t the music exec’s first time participating in an extreme running event to raise money for a good cause. He says, “I’m always looking for a challenge and I’m always coming up with these crazy things to do. They just happen to be centered around running. Several years back, we did a fundraiser where I was on the treadmill for 12 hours. We raised close to about $15,000 for that initiative.”  

He added: “That was the kickoff for the mobile studio unit. This is a part of that, it’s a fundraiser where we are asking people to donate for every mile that I run. All funds will be going towards the mobile studio unit, which we are continuing to raise money for to build,” Ross said. “This really came about because we were being asked to do a lot of programs outside of Atlanta. It’s hard to be everywhere. So we thought, what if we build a mobile studio unit where we can take it out to different schools and just give these kids a snapshot of what this is. Let them come in and record, do podcasts, and just make it fun for them.”

Individuals can support the cause by donating at the MEG website here, or purchasing merchandise from Ross’ apparel company, Bold Running Club. 

“We have sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, caps, and we’re getting ready to upload a whole new line of  t-shirts, for spring and summer,” Ross said about the company he launched in February. 

With every purchase, a portion of proceeds goes towards supporting MEG’s mission. Supporters can also contribute to their cash app at $MusicEdGroup. 

You can sign up and find out more information about the Underground Circus 100-miler here. 

As Ric Ross prepares for his monumental challenge, he remains steadfast in his commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young people. Through his passion for music, running, and philanthropy, Ross is inspiring others to pursue their own passions and strive for greatness. 

“We have a lot of exciting initiatives in the works,” Ross exclaimed, hinting at future projects aimed at promoting youth education and wellness. 

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