FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 8, 2021
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today that during the month of February, the club will celebrate Black History Month through several internal and external initiatives that will raise awareness, promote diversity, drive positive social change, and foster more inclusive communities.
"Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values of our organization," said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez. "This is an important month for us to celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to this country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice."
As part of Black History Month, the Coyotes have set up an internal speaker series for team members through the club's Diversity & Inclusion Committee that will feature panelists Kaliya Johnson, a former defenseman for the Connecticut Whale (NWHL) and one of only two African Americans represented in the NWHL during her playing time; Damon Kwame Mason, an award-winning filmmaker (Soul on Ice, Past, Present & Future); and Brian Blake, Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the NHL.
In addition, on February 19, the Coyotes will hold a virtual fireside chat with NBC Sports hockey analyst Anson Carter. The chat will be hosted by Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez, who is also a member of the NHL's Executive Inclusion Council, and will be open to Coyotes Season Ticket Members, corporate partners, non-profit partners, and media.
Throughout Black History Month, the Coyotes will be supporting a local black owned restaurant during every home game in the month of February. The team will highlight each restaurant on social media and will also cater the team's staff pregame meal from that restaurant.
The Coyotes will also make the documentary "Willie" available to all fans interested in learning more about Willie O'Ree, the NHL's first black player and current Director of Youth Development for the League and ambassador for NHL Diversity. Fans can visit www.lessonsfromwillie.com to find inspirational videos from players, free downloadable lessons, and links to watch the documentary for free on Peacock TV.
The Coyotes will celebrate Black History Month on February 25th when the team hosts the Colorado Avalanche. Game time is 7 p.m. at Gila River Arena.
In addition to the Black History Month efforts, and in support of the NHL's Hockey Is For Everyone initiative, the Coyotes and AZ Ice rinks will be holding three Try Hockey Free clinics in the Valley. The clinics will take place on February 20 at AZ Ice Arcadia, AZ Ice Peoria and AZ Ice Gilbert. Parents interested in signing their kids up for the free clinics can register at: https://www.tryhockeyforfree.com/#rinks