Today I had the exciting task of representing fans of color, specifically Black fans, as I presented my ideas on authentic engagement during BHM to all 32 NHL clubs in a private conference call. Over the last year, I have worked with the NHL in various capacities, and their HIFE department has truly done so much to encourage and uplift the work of BGHC. To receive the chance to bend the ear of every single club, to be able to give specific examples of things they have done right and things they have done horribly wrong…well, friends, what an opportunity!
I worked to put together a infographic for the group of community managers and youth hockey organizers of each NHL club that I am sharing below. In my bullet journal, there are pages upon pages of notes with specific ways that clubs have authentically engaged in cultural communities–examples that YOU shared with me on social media recently. The Vancouver Canucks Diwali Night in October 2019, the Pittsburgh Penguins upcoming Black Hockey History day in January 2020, the San Antonio Rampage’s 2019 Dia de los Muertos celebration are just some of the events that exhibit cultural sensitivity that I made sure to share with the group.
Trust me, though, I didn’t forget to mention the ways hockey has failed marginalized communities, either.
The purpose of this work is to help fans feel more seen by the National Hockey League and give the higher-ups tangible ways to engage authentically with communities of color. I truly believe that there is a desire within the NHL to do better, and small acts like this are just one way that we are moving in the right direction.
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