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Five Initiatives Working To Boost Black Voices In Hockey

From around the hockey world, different groups, teams and other members have been working towards building the game more inclusive. Here's a look at five initiates working to strengthen Black representation in hockey.

To quote Madison Bowey in his Players Tribune piece, "hockey has always been Black".

Full stop. 

The contributions of Black people on and off of the ice have always been vital towards pushing the game forward. 

February may be coming to an end, but it doesn't mean that we have to stop talking about very important pieces of content that are working to make the game more inclusive: 

Three Course Conversation

Mark Fraser's first contributions to the Toronto Maple Leafs came on the blueline. But in his post-career ventures, he continues to make an impact. 

Fraser currently works for MLSE in a player development, equity, diversity, and inclusion role and now hosts a web series called Three Course Conversation. 

In the series, Fraser sits down with current members of the team over a meal to celebrate each other's diversity and share stories. 

The debut episode had Fraser, Wayne Simmonds, Jack Campbell, Jason Spezza enjoying a Jamaican dinner and learning about West Indian food, starting an important conversation when it comes to Black culture. 

The Color of Hockey 

When it comes to tracking and telling the stories of Black members in the game of hockey, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better source. 

The work of William "Bill" Douglas on his website has told the stories of thousands of people of color from all levels and regions of the hockey world, past and present, since 2012. 

The work has also resulted in NHL.com launching a platform where Douglas writes about current players, alumni, prospects and more.

NHL Bound 

NHL Bound is a four-part series following Duante' Abercrombie and Nathaniel Brooks, two coaches who took part in the Arizona Coyotes coaching internship program this past September. 

The series takes a deep look at the program that is designed to create a deeper and more diverse coaching pool for those who have aspirations of one day being behind an NHL bench. 

The series is also directed by Soul On Ice creator Kwame Damon Mason who, over the past few years, has become one of the leaders in the game in documenting original content when it comes to Black people in the sport on film. 

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Black Girl Hockey Club

The work that Renee Hess has done to give Black women a space to enjoy hockey has been able to give fans from all corners of the sport to feel safe. 

The group has also been able to organize events and discussions with some of the most powerful Black voices in the game including the likes of the NHL executive Kim Davis, Saroya Tinker of the PHF's Toronto Six and hockey broadcaster Erica Ayala. 

The Black Girl Hockey Club has provided scholarship programs to subsidize the cost of playing hockey. But they're perhaps most well-known for the Get Uncomfortable campaign which has pushed to make hockey more welcoming to all. Over 6,000 people have signed the pledge, including multiple professional hockey teams and media personalities. 

Metro Riveters

The Metropolitan Riveters Black Rosie Jersey

The PHF's Metropolitan Riveters unveiled its Black Rosie jersey, worn in their game against the Toronto Six on February 26th, and received praise from all over the sports world.

Ian Kennedy broke down the importance of the jersey and how it came to be. You can read the breakdown here.

The Black Rosie jersey has been one of the strongest examples of working to take the next step in promoting and supporting Black women in the sport.

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