The Hockey Diversity and Inclusion Summit will be held in conjunction with the retirement of Willie O’Ree. The event is an opportunity for hockey fans to enjoy a day of diversity, inclusion, cultural exchange, entertainment and networking.
The “willie o’ree jersey retirement” is a summit that will be held in conjunction with the Hockey diversity and inclusion summit. The event is being held to celebrate the life of Willie O’Ree, who was the first black player in NHL history.
The Boston Bruins’ retirement of Willie O’Ree’s No. 22 will be a watershed occasion, coming 64 years after he became the first Black player in the NHL. A conference planned around the occasion aims to acknowledge the moment’s significance while also attempting to make hockey’s future diverse and inclusive.
The Carnegie Initiative Inaugural Summit will take place on January 17-18 at The Hub on Causeway in Boston, near North Station and the TD Garden. Before the Bruins meet the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 18, the two-day seminar on advancing change and awareness in hockey will climax with O’Ree’s number retirement ceremony.
Education, media, Indigenous peoples, para-hockey, the LGBTQ+ community, and the sport’s future will all be discussed during the conference. The summit’s full details are scheduled to be released next week.
“The game is becoming more diverse. Our objective for this inaugural conference will be to focus on action as well as words “Bryant McBride, the first Black executive in the NHL, said Carnegie Initiative co-founder Bryant McBride. “We’re talking about ‘Big I’ inclusion, whether it’s Indigenous inclusion or disability inclusion. Over the next ten years, we’ll discuss how to increase acceptance and belonging in the game.”
O’Ree, 86, will give a speech and be honored with a lifetime achievement award during the forum. Ibram X. Kendi, an author and academic, will be the keynote speaker at the summit.
Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke, Hockey Hall of Fame players Angela Ruggiero and Grant Fuhr, former NHL coach Ted Nolan, Mikki Allen, a driving force behind Tennessee State University’s creation of men’s and women’s hockey programs, making it the first historically Black institution to do so; 17-year-old Indigenous twins Jordyn and Kyn Bear, who play hockey at Rochester Institute of Technology; and Premier H.
The conference takes place at a time when the NHL is focusing on diversity and inclusion, as well as measures to make newcomers feel more welcome. The revelation of an inquiry into the Chicago Blackhawks’ handling of a former player’s complaint that he was sexually abused by a video coach in 2010 pushed it to the forefront.
The NHL launched its “Respect Hockey” effort during its December Board of Governors meeting in Florida, which includes an obligatory 90-minute digital-training class for all executives, employees, and players in the league. Respect Group collaborated in the program’s development.
“We’ll talk about issues and opportunities that exist in both hockey and society,” McBride said, “but what we really want to accomplish is to task everyone in attendance and watching via livestream around the world to do something, no matter how small, to help us invoke change and growth in a sport we love so much.”
The Carnegie Initiative is a non-profit organization that was created earlier this year to encourage hockey’s development and offer equal access to the sport. It was named after Herb Carnegie, a semi-professional hockey player in Canada who subsequently founded the first recognized hockey school in the country in 1955. Bernice Carnegie, his daughter, is a co-founder of the Initiative.
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