To celebrate Black History Month, the LA Kings have planned several initiatives with the goal to raise awareness and funds for our partners, to create opportunity within the sport of hockey, and to enhance our community locally.
Throughout the year, the LA Kings are proud to support initiatives and organizations that work to grow the game in communities of color. The ALLIANCE, a comprehensive five-year commitment to drive investment and impact for social justice through sport, Power Project and YMCA are among some of key recipients of the team's charitable giving in this area.
During Black History Month, Kings Care Foundation will work to raise funds to support Black Girl Hockey Club and The ALLIANCE Los Angeles. Starting on February 9, when the LA Kings play the San Jose Sharks, LA Kings players will wear specially designed warm-up jerseys celebrating Black History Month. The jerseys, as well as memorabilia featuring up-and-coming players Quinton Byfield, Akil Thomas and Boko Imama will be auctioned throughout the month on the LA Kings mobile auction platform, viewable at LAKings.com/Auctions.
Schools across the US will also have the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month with help from Willie O'Ree, the first Black NHL player. On February 1, the NHL will launch WILLIE Lessons in Social Justice and Racism, a digital experience to facilitate discussion and learning around social justice and race through the lens of Willie O'Ree's experiences as shown in the Willie documentary.
There are nine themes covered through video clips, lesson plans and guided discussions: Equality vs. Equity (Fairness), Progress, Coping & Resiliency, Racial Socialization, History, Representation, Barriers, Language (power of words), and Allies. Locally, the LA Kings will promote the website - lessonsfromwillie.com - to teachers, school administrators and parents that are interested in viewing inspirational videos from players, completing lessons, and watching Willie O'Ree's documentary with their kids.
Blake Bolden, LA Kings Scout and Inclusion Specialist, will continue to be a figure in the community promoting hockey and advising on opportunities to make the sport more inclusive. On February 24 at 3:30 p.m., Blake will participate in a special Black Heritage Month Virtual Career Exploration Session for high school juniors and seniors and first year college students that participate in a variety of personal and professional development programs administered by the nonprofit organization Brotherhood Crusade.
The 90-minute online virtual conference, which takes place as part of AEG's Black Heritage Month programming "More Than the Past: We're Building Towards the Future", will feature Blake Bolden as well as other AEG employees sharing their background, education, career paths, and anecdotes for personal development and professional success with the attendees. Blake will also be featured on NBC Sports contributing to a conversation around "Hockey Culture" with Anson Carter and Kathryn Tappen, and on Sportsnet Hockey Night in Canada.
Later this month, the LA Kings will host two virtual events with the goal of creating more opportunity within the sport of hockey and to enhance our community locally. The LA Kings will host a STEM career panel for a local school, during which students will hear from LA Kings employees about their careers in relation to science, technology, engineering and math concepts. Additionally, AEG's Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will lead listening sessions focused on bringing attention to and finding solutions to achieve greater equity in the sport of hockey.
The Kings return to STAPLES Center tomorrow, Tuesday, to host the Anaheim Ducks. Game time is 7 p.m. and the Kings will wear their adidas Reverse Retro jerseys for the first time. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports West (LA Kings Live pre-game starts at 6:30 p.m.) and the LA Kings Audio Network.