With Your Help, BGHC Heads to the Black History Month Celebration at the DC Canadian Embassy

A year ago, when I decided to get a group of Black girl hockey fans together and call it the Black Girl Hockey Club, I had no idea the response I would receive. Diversity in hockey is so important and my goal is to increase the representation of Black women and fans of color within a sport that we all love.

Yesterday, I received an invitation to the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC on February 27th to celebrate Black History Month and Willie O’Ree, the first Black person to play professional hockey.

In the month of February alone, I’ve organized 3 meetups with 2 different hockey clubs in New York and 1 in Nashville. The only event I could afford to go to was the NWHL All Star game and Predators game in Nashville. I handed off the New York events to my capable friend who lives on the east coast and watched from California as BGHC grew before my eyes.

I have a full time job and a family, but this movement is important to me and I want to do whatever I can to bring inclusion to hockey. This invitation means so much to me, and I can only imagine the influence and good that will come out of this special event, being held across the country in only 11 days.
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So far, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the hockey community. In less than 24 hours, I am so close to making my goal!

I need roundtrip airfare, accommodations for a single night in DC and transportation costs.

Airfare: $1500
Hotel: $300
Transportation/Other: $200

Anything you can do would help. Even a tweet or Facebook post might help me achieve this goal.

To those of you who have donated already, thank you! Five, ten, fifty, I’m glad for anything you can do to help me attend this historic and special event. I appreciate your support and promise to do my best for diversity in hockey!

GoFundMe Page

Renee Hess
Founder, Black Girl Hockey Club

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Why We Need the Black Girl Hockey Club

**originally posted on PuckerUp Sports** 

February 1, 2019

When I think of what the Black Girl Hockey Club has morphed into in the last year, I’m pleasantly surprise by a couple of things. First of all, the reception by the National Hockey League. Last September, when I sat down in a Starbucks off a Los Angeles highway with Jessica Berman, VP of Community Development, Culture & Growth and creator of the Hockey Is For Everyone program at the NHL, I never thought our conversation about women, race and hockey would lead to a full-fledged support system within the NHL. With the help of Jessica Berman, Kim Davis and the Hockey Is For Everyone team, BGHC has been able to work closely with various clubs across the country to bring hockey to the Black community. At our inaugural meetup in December of 2018, the Black Girl Hockey Club got together to see a Washington Capitals game in DC, current Stanley Cup champions and the only professional hockey team with two Black players and two Black minority owners. We accepted an invitation to participate in various activities organized by the NHL and Capitals organization, starting with a VIP tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and ending with a private reception hosted by Earl Stafford and a chance to meet Capitals players Devante Smith-Pelly, Madison Bowey, Brooks Orpik, Nick Dowd and Braden Holtby. We even had Kelsey Koelzer, professional hockey player for the Metro Riveters and one of three Black women playing in the NWHL, come hang out.

With the exposure the BGHC received in DC, a number of clubs have reached out to invite us to visit their arenas and spread the good word of hockey throughout their local communities. Currently, the BGHC has three meetups planned for the month of February. We will be represented at the New York Rangers game on February 2 and help kick off Black History month with the NHL and the Legacy Tour; a mobile museum highlighting Black folks’ accomplishments in hockey.

The Black Girl Hockey Club has also been invited by the New York Islanders to participate in their Hockey Is For Everyone game on February 16th. The Islanders will include, not only the BGHC, but organizations like the Islanders Girls League, the Long Island Blues and the Long Island Roughriders, all hockey programs for marginalized communities in the local area. It’s an honor to be included in these events and such an invitation encourages me as we move toward our big event of Black History Month, a trip to Nashville on February 9-10th.

In only a few days, 27 Black women and their families will attend a double header; a Nashville Predators versus St. Louis Blues game and the 2019 NWHL All Star Game. When I heard of the opportunity to get involved, I jumped at the chance to expand the purview of the BGHC to include women’s hockey. The NWHL’s three Black players–Blake Bolden, Kelsey Koelzer and Kaliya Johnson–are all friends of the Black Girl Hockey Club and have been involved in the project since day one. With their encouraging words and support, the BGHC has been able to thrive and I wanted to make sure we show their organization the same love that they have showed us, because that is what a community is all about.

Honestly, when I started the Black Girl Hockey Club, it was because I wanted to cultivate a community for myself and other Black girl hockey fans. I didn’t expect so many people to find the BGHC and not only show their support, but a need for such a space. Founding the Black Girl Hockey Club has made me realize that in order to move forward, hockey must hear and listen to the voices of Black women. We are the pillars of our community and have the ability and desire to grow the game, if the NHL and its fans give us a chance. My vision for the Black Girl Hockey Club is to help make this happen in our local communities by continuing our work with the National Hockey League, specifically with the Hockey Is For Everyone Program. I want to help get Black kids interested in hockey so that they can gain the valuable lessons learned from a sport that encourages perseverance, resilience and collaboration. I want Black hockey moms to have access to a network of women they can turn to in times of need. I want our allies to stand by us and for us when racism, homophobia and misogyny rear their ugly heads. I want to feel comfortable and safe enjoying a sport that I love.

Since the inception of the Black Girl Hockey Club, I have heard from so many Black women expressing joy at having found a safe space online to talk about hockey and a hope that they will soon be able to get together at a live game for an experience that some have never had before. For a Black woman to enter into any predominantly white space, is to immediately feel isolation and “Otherness”. It can even feel scary. Try something next time you’re at a live game–it’s something most POC hockey fans have done at one time or another. Look around you and count the faces of Black women. Not women who work at the arena, but fans. The last hockey game I was at, I saw three Black women besides myself. Three. For people of color, the outsider status that comes with becoming involved with a predominantly white institution can be intimidating and overwhelming. The mission of the Black Girl Hockey Club is to develop and sustain passion for the game of hockey within the Black community, specifically with our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. The goal is to create a positive atmosphere for Black girl hockey fans, whether it be online, on the ice or in the stands. Representation matters. It is important to see a face like Kelsey Koelzer or PK Subban on the ice or a group like the Black Girl Hockey Club in the stands. That inclusivity allows me and others who look like me to feel seen, heard and accepted in the world of hockey. The Black Girl Hockey Club is meant to illicit hope for the future of hockey within the Black community. Black folks can do whatever we put our minds to. Why not hockey?

BGHC Celebrates Black History Month in New York and Nashville

Black Hockey History in Harlem

February is Black History month, and this year, the NHL is celebrating the achievements of Black hockey players with the American Legacy Black Hockey History Tour Bus, as well as highlighting Black hockey on their website. The National Hockey League invited Black Girl Hockey Club to the unveiling of this mobile museum in Harlem on February 1st, to tour the NHL offices and then to attend a New York Rangers game the next day. Although I couldn’t make it to NY, BGHC attendees, along with Corrine and Bill Douglas from Color of Hockey Blog, had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to share Black Hockey achievements with the kids from Ice Hockey in Harlem and tour the Legacy Bus with Anson Carter, Kwame Mason and others.

Not only did BGHC get experience the first ever hockey exhibit highlighting the accomplishments of Black players in the game, but members received a special tour of the NHL offices in New York City from Gary Bettman–the Commish–himself! Bettman spoke with BGHC at length about various topics such as Women’s Hockey, inclusivity in hockey and, of course, the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals.

The next day, BGHC got to tour Madison Square Garden, check out the ice and watch warmups from a prime position on the glass. Members also attended a meet-and-greet with right wing  Pavel Buchnevich and center Vladislav Namestnikov post-game.

Down Home Hockey

Only a few days after the NYC trip, Black Girl Hockey Club traveled down South for a double header of men’s and women’s hockey at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. I’ve always wanted to see an NWHL game, but living in California doesn’t afford me many opportunities to do so. When I heard that the National Women’s Hockey League had decided to hold their annual All Star Game and Skills Competition in Nashville, Tennessee the same weekend as a Nashville Predators/St. Louis Blues game, I knew BGHC had to be there. I knew I had to be there.

With the help of the UH-MAY-ZING Danny Butler, from Ford Ice Center (who initially contacted me months ago about attending a Preds game), the Predators PR staff and the NWHL, Black Girl Hockey Club had a hockey holiday full of fun, food and friends. On Saturday, February 9th, members and friends of the Club took to the Bridgestone Arena ice for an hour of skating before a special screening of Soul on Ice on the jumbotron. After the film, Erica Ayala, women’s hockey journalist, moderated a Q&A panel featuring Kwame Mason, Bill Douglas and myself.

After the screening, our group headed down the highway to Ford Ice Center, where we had VIP seating to watch the NWHL All Star Skills Competition, featuring friend of the Club, Blake Bolden, who took home accolades for hardest shot (82MPH) and stopped by our group to sign autographs and say hello.

The Legacy Bus also made it down to Nashville with BGHC, and so members again had the opportunity to enjoy this mobile museum, which is still making its way up and down the East Coast throughout the entire month of February.

On Sunday morning, the Preds played the St. Louis Blues in a matinee game that was quickly followed by a meet and greet with Preds players Filip Forseberg, Pekke Rinne, Roman Josi and PK Subban and then straight on to the NWHL All Star Game.

Among those in Nashville to representing the NWHL were ten players who medaled in the 2018 Winter Olympics: Shannon Szabados of silver medal-winning Canada, and from gold medal-winning Team USA: Lee Stecklein, Dani CameranesiiKendall Coyne SchofieldNicole Hensley, Amanda Kessel, Gigi MarvinAmanda PelkeyEmily Pfalzer and Haley Skarupa, as well as BGHC fan favorite, Blake Bolden.

After a whirlwind weekend, BGHC is not finished yet! We head back up to New York for an Islanders game at Barclay Center on February 16th. The New York Islanders will hold their Hockey Is For Everyone game and has invited, not only the BGHC, but organizations like the Islanders Girls League, the Long Island Blues and the Long Island Roughriders, all hockey programs for marginalized communities in the local area.

We round out Black History Month with a salute to the National Hockey League, who are working hard to be inclusive toward Black hockey players and fans. It’s a welcome shift for HIFE month, and the Black men and women I have encountered are so glad to finally be included in the narrative of hockey in North America.

 

 

Hockey Twitter Rallies Around 12yo Player, Kalei Forga, Raises Funds For International Tournament

A Little Help From Our Friends 

Just before Christmas, I recieved an email via this blog from Michelle Forga asking for help signal boosting her 12 year old daughter, Kalei’s, GoFundMe page. Kalei plays hockey in Minnesota and has a chance to play in an international tournament this year, as long as she can raise enough funds. Somehow, Michelle came across the BGHC blog and thought to share this story and ask for a little help.

I sat on the email until after New Year’s, but on January 3rd, I reached out to Michelle and asked her to share pictures of Kalei and to give me some more information on how folks might donate.

Armed with a couple of great images and a story to share, I posted the info on our Instagram and, on a whim, I reposted on Twitter. 

Then I went to bed.

The Big Show 

The next morning, I woke up, checked the BGHC twitter account and saw my post on Kalei had gotten a couple hundred retweets. I had also tagged friend of the blog and NHL writer Tom Gulitti, who retweeted the post, which led to ESPN’s Katie Nolan retweeting. Somehow, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild shared the post and donated as well!

Since the post went up, about 48 hours ago, Kalei Forga’s GoFundMe page has raised almost the full $7500 goal, her family has been interviewed on local television and TSN’s BarDown posted a piece about the whole thing.

I mean. Whut.

Going viral on hockey Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean thousands of retweets. What it means is that as soon as the hockey community discovered Kalei’s need, they rallied around her. Players like Matt Dumba, reporters like Tom and Katie, and hundreds of folks like you and me, donated what they could, retweeted the post and shared her story. 

If you’re interested in helping the Forga family get to Kalei’s tournament, the link to her GoFundMe page is below. If you’ve already donated, thanks for helping Kalei and all of the Black Girl Hockey Club feel like a part of the hockey community. 

CBS TV Coverage

Kalei Forga’s GoFundMe Page 

 

 

BGHC Does DC: The Inaugural Meetup

It’s taken 7 days to write this post, but the actuality of the situation hasn’t quite set in yet. A week ago, I was in Washington DC; getting picked up at sunrise by William Douglas of the Color of Hockey blog; grabbing brunch with Metro Riveters player, Kelsey Koelzer and her mom; exploring Black history with Kim Davis, NHL VP; shooting promos for the Washington Capitals with Kwame Mason, producer of the Soul on Ice documentary; a food reception hosted by Capitals part owner, Earl Stafford; hanging out with a few choice Capitals players post game. I mean, come on. Who could have seen that coming?

On December 15, 45 women, their friends and family joined Black Girl Hockey Club and Color of Hockey blog at our inaugural meetup in Washington DC. This event had been in the works for months. As I look back, I can almost see the snowball turn into an avalanche.

The Black Hockey Research Project

What I tentatively call the “Black Hockey Research Project” began because of my own feelings of isolation in hockey. As a writer and part time journalist, curiosity fueled my research. As an educator and community organizer, plans to start unifying folks began to form in the back of my mind. I wanted to know who else felt isolated in loving hockey because of gender or race and I wanted to do something about it. I began reaching out to minorities, especially women, and found out that so many loved hockey, but never felt quite comfortable or safe in arenas, on the ice, or even on social media. I sent out a call, meant to unite the marginalized hockey fan, in the form of a survey. It’s still active, if you’re interested.

The survey led folks to start asking me what I planned to do with the information. You know what? I had no idea. At the time, I ran my own pop culture blog and had for 5 years, but my work felt stagnant. I wanted to do something bigger and more personally satisfying, so I walked away from a sure thing to focus on my research. I decided that the BIGGER thing was going to be…a book. Why not? No one has written about Black women in hockey, and I had amassed so much information. Over the course of a few months, I spoke with fans, players, professors, filmmakers and other writers and discovered that there are Black folks who love hockey, more intensely and for much longer than I. Still, as I transcribed hours of interviews and connected with more and more folks of color, I started to realize we need our own space, a community for Black folks in hockey.

It Takes A Village

Now, if you’re a fan of hockey (and you probably are), you know that the sport is ALL about working together for a greater goal (aka the Stanley Cup). Hockey values the team more than the individual and so goes the mentality of the ownership, coaches and players as well as the fans. If you’re Black, you also know that Black women are the backbone of our community. The mothers and matriarchs support and build up our families, churches, organizations and schools. We are the village that raises a child. What better way to strengthen the love of hockey in the Black community than to create a safe space for Black women hockey fans? Show our sons, fathers and brothers that we are valued and watch the interest in hockey spark in our households. Thus, the Black Girl Hockey Club was born.

What started as a group chat on Twitter between 5 Black girl Penguins fans turned into a movement. When I reached out to Bill Douglas (Color of Hockey) and his wife, Corinne about planning a meetup for Black girl hockey fans in their hometown of Washington DC, they assured me we could gather a group of at least 20. We advertised on Twitter and Instagram, but also began a very targeted email campaign to friends and hockey fans all over the United States who we thought might be interested in participating. Somehow, our flyer ended up on the Facebook page of a hockey rink out in Rochester, NY. For me, the emails from hockey moms confirming their attendance at the game solidified the importance of a safe space for Black women in hockey. By the end of November, we had over 40 confirmed attendees planning on joining us at a Capitals game in DC. These women purchased game tickets, train tickets and plane tickets before we ever knew about any pregame reception or postgame picture session. All this group ever wanted was to go see a hockey game together.

The Itinerary

With the help of the Washington Capitals organization and the NHL, the weekend of December 14-15 turned into so much more than just a hockey game. I was encouraged to pitch the idea to the National Hockey League, so in the middle of a work week with my daughter in tow, I drove an hour in traffic to meet for coffee with a representative from the NHL. They loved the idea and wanted to help make the outting special for the women and kids who planned to join us. I was asked to give a wishlist of things to do and came up with a few cool things to do over the course of two days.

One of the main activities I wanted was to get our group into the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Not everyone who visits DC gets the chance to visit this historic museum. Tickets are free and go on market months in advance. By the time I even knew this trip was happening, tickets were already gone. Kim Davis, VP at the NHL and all around badass Black lady, made sure we got the chance. Her office arranged a tour led by sports curator, Damion Thomas. With a group of about a dozen or so, we made our way through the layers of history at the SMAAHC, ending at the cafe, where we all sat down to decompress and replenish together as we contemplated our ancestors.

On game day, rain poured from the sky as our group met downtown with Kelsey Koelzer and her mom for brunch. At Matchbox, my sister and I sat down with Corrine Douglas, her daughter Nora, Kelsey and Kristine Koelzer for an intimate meal. We talked hockey and parenting, school and Christmas. After, we headed out into the rain to the National Portrait Museum, where we got to fawn over the new Barack and Michelle Obama portraits and take some pics with our favorites.

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Brunch babes! #bghc #gameday

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At the museum, we ran into a few of the attendees who had the same idea–to get out of the rain by hanging at the Portrait gallery, which is right across the street from Capital One Arena. When we finally walked over to the designated meeting spot, we began to spot Black women in Capitals gear, kids hanging around their ankles, looking excited and out of place. As our group grew larger, it began to hit me. We had pulled it off. had pulled it off. Black women, their kids, sisters and friends began to gather, and the air filled with excited energy. We had been asked by the Washington Capitals to arrive 2 hours before puck drop for a food reception hosted by Capitals owner, Earl Stafford. When the majority of the group had arrived, we were escorted upstairs to a private conference room where we met Stafford, multiple NHL mascots, official NHL referees, including the ONLY Black ref in the league, Shandor Alphonso, as well as Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the SMAAHC. We had accomplished our goal of creating a community within hockey, and what a wonderful one it turned out to be!

Game Time

I couldn’t tell you much about that two hour pregame meet and greet, to be honest. My sister held my purse and made sure I had a sandwich for later, while I talked to reporters and PR people from various outlets and ran across the arena with Kwame Mason, Kim Davis and Kelsey Koelzer, to tape some video for the NHL. What I do remember is a room full of Black moms and kids, enjoying themselves and getting the VIP treatment from the League and the Capitals organization.

What I’ll never forget is the game. And what an AWESOME game the Caps and Sabres gave us–OT and a shootout with Ovechkin getting the GWG?! YES!!! Free hockey is always a blast, but it felt as it the Caps were giving the BGHC a show to remember, that night. I may have missed the last 5 minutes of the first period because I had to run down to ice level to give a LIVE INTERMISSION INTERVIEW but, other than that, I was glued to my seat. After, when we were all tired but wired, we were led down to an empty locker room, where we got to meet Brooks Orpik, Madison Bowey, Nick Dowd, Brayden Holtby and Devante Smith-Pelly. The fellas stuck around to sign jerseys, take pictures and give hugs to a room full of unlikely hockey fans. While we had them, I made sure to let Bowey and Smith-Pelly know there are so many Black hockey fans out there who root for them and wish them well. I also made sure to thank Holtby for his work with the LGBT community, and showed off my Rock the Rainbow tee I had purchased from one of his shirt campaigns a few years ago.

 As I look back on the trip, I realize that the Black Girl Hockey Club is filling a gap in the hockey world. The NHL, Color of Hockey and the Washington Capitals all saw it, even before I did. What a blessing to be able to bring Black women together and I cannot wait for our next meetup on February 10 in Nashville. I hope to see you there!

*all photos courtesy of: WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 15: The Black Girl Hockey Club meet members of the Washington Capitals after a game between the Buffalo Sabres and Capitals at Capital One Arena on December 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)*

Willie O’Ree Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

On Monday evening in Toronto, Willie O’Ree, the first Black professional hockey player in the NHL, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Surrounded by friends, family and fans, O’Ree accepted his induction with the style and grace he is known for.

Not only was O’Ree present, but many of the Black fans and players he inspired were also in attendance. Bill Douglas, from Color of Hockey Blog tweeted out images from the very special weekend; Anson Carter, former Canadian ice hockey player and current NBC hockey analyst interviewed O’Ree (along with Angela James and Grant Fuhr); women’s hockey expert Erica Ayala rubbed shoulders with Soul on Ice producer Kwame Mason, Bernice Carnegie (Daughter of Herb Carnegie) and NHL VP Kim Davis; Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ayo Adeniye even got the chance to walk the red carpet with his longtime idol. What I’m saying is, it was a night for Black excellence at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

As a Black girl hockey fan, I am so pleased to see Mr. O’Ree inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder of the Game. He is one of only three Black players currently hailed in those walls. Still, as O’Ree said in his acceptance speech, it is important to continue to grow the game within minority and marginalized communities. Hockey has so much to teach young folks–about teamwork, perseverance, and honor. With O’Ree’s contributions and continuous work to spread the good news about hockey to these communities, the game of hockey has seen growth, diversity and a shift toward actually becoming a game for everyone. Thank you, Mr. O’Ree, for all you’ve done for the sport.

 

 

3 Famous Black Hockey Fans We Love

Retta

It all started with a tweet.

Retta, best known for her role as “Donna” on the television show Parks and Recreation, has been a Kings hockey fan since 2013 and shows no signs of letting up. In 2016, Retta wrote a piece on LetterLenny.com, highlighting the development of her hockey obsession titled, “How I Became a Hockey Fan”, which was later featured on the Kings website.

 I love me some Kaaannnngggsss. I know that meeting a black woman with a love for hockey is a bit like stumbling upon a unicorn in the woods … or a unicorn anywhere. I’m sure it’d be just as surreal finding a unicorn in downtown Chicago. But here I am.

-Retta

Snoop Dogg

Uncle Snoop is a long time hockey fan, best believe.

During the 2018 playoffs, Snoop narrated a series of promotionals for the NHL, and performed at the 2017 January All Star Game in Los Angeles. Although Snoop is from Los Angeles, his favorite team hails from Pittsburgh and he’s got a history with Mario Lemieux and his “dawg”, Sid the Kid.

There’s 87 reasons why I’m in here!

-Snoop Dogg

Spike Lee

Although Spike Lee hails from Brooklyn, he’s been known from time to time to cross the bridge and attend a few New York Rangers games at Madison Square Garden.

Spike even brings his kids to games and participates in the age-old tradition of swinging a white towel to confuse the enemy during playoff season.

What’s not to love about the bright lights, exuberant crowds and this incredibly fast-paced game? Hockey is amazing.

If you have a favorite Black hockey fan, let us know in the comments below.

 

Want to be part of the BGHC research experience? Fill out a short survey here

Be sure to follow Black Girl Hockey on Twitter and on WordPress for updates. 

Let’s Have a BGHC Meetup In Your City

BGHC Rollin’ Deep

Would you like to help organize a BGHC meetup at a rink near you? Let me know when and where and we can get this party started. The goal is to have 4 game meetups across the US and Canada during the 2018-2019 season. We don’t all have to sit together at the game (although that would be amazing). Instead, we can meetup at the rink, take pictures, have dinner or sight see together as a group. Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out with some Black hockey fans and friends at an NHL or AHL game near you?

Where to?

So far, we’ve got the West Coast game in the works on January 19th in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’d like to do one even sooner than that…perhaps November or December in a different city and then another in March, maybe on the East Coast? If any of these appeal to your sense of organization and community, hit me up on the contact page or below to let me know when, where, who you are and how you’d like to help.

The All-Star Game

Lastly, can we look ahead at the 2019 All-Star Game as the penultimate BGHC meetup? Big things are in the works and I’d love to get a group together for that special weekend on January 26-27, 2019 in San Jose, California.


None of your private information will be shared with any third parties. All information will remain confidential. 

BGHC Meetup: Vegas Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins in January

Black Girl Hockey Club is planning a meet up in Las Vegas for the Knights v. Penguins game on January 19th, 2019. That’s right. Vegas, baby.

If you’re a person of color or a friend of the blog who just loves hockey, you should come too! We can hang out, take pictures, grab some dinner and enjoy the excitement of hockey in Vegas together. If you’re interested in joining the Club, follow BGHC on Twitter and be sure to subscribe for updates in your inbox.  Keep an eye out for more details as we get closer to the date. We’re going to roll deep to show the NHL and hockey fans all over North America that there are folks of color who support the game.

Let’s do this! 

 

Kaliya Johnson Joins the Boston Pride for the 2018-2019 Season

Kaliya Johnson has re-signed with the Pride with a 1-year contract for the NWHL’s 2018-2019 season. Kaliya played with the Connecticut Whale her rookie year, but played with the Pride last season and played hockey at Boston University while getting a degree in Sociology / Applied Psychology / Human Development. Kaliya was also part of the 2012 U.S. hockey team that won silver at the U-18 World Championships.

We’re rooting for you, Kaliya!