The Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins Foundation will launch weekly programming both internally and within the community beginning Friday, February 5, in honor of Black History Month.
The Penguins organization has a commitment to support the Black community both on and off the ice. During the month of February, they will celebrate Black History Month through programming focused on the following theme as set by the NHL and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History: "Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity."
"The Penguins are committed to bringing equity and inclusion to not only our organization, but the entire sport of hockey, beginning with our own community," said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse. "It is something we are passionate about and a reason I wanted to be a part of the NHL's Executive Inclusion Council."
The month-long celebration will kick off on Friday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 p.m. with a virtual fireside chat with Penguins hockey operations advisor, Trevor Daley. Daley, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with Pittsburgh, retired from the NHL after 16 years and joined the Penguins' front office in October of 2020. The former defenseman has become an advocate for diversity within the sport of hockey. He also served as an inaugural member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, whose goal is to address intolerance and racism in hockey.
The programming continues the next week with focus shifting to Black youth breaking barriers to achieve goals on and off the ice. This virtual panel, presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, will include an appearance from current Penguins defenseman P.O Joseph on Feb. 10.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 will highlight Black women impacting the sport of hockey. The panel will include, Tracey McCants Lewis, Penguins' vice president of human resources and deputy general counsel, Kim Davis, executive vice president, social impact, growth initiatives & legislative affairs of the National Hockey League, and Dena LaMar, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Advance Auto Parts. Sabrina Saunders Mosby, president and CEO of presenting sponsor, vibrant PITTSBURGH will moderate the conversation.
The final Wednesday in February will feature a virtual celebration of the history of Pittsburgh's Black community at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. There will be an on-site artistic performance by Hill Dance Academy Theater (HDAT), a cooking demonstration and a conversation focusing on identity, presented by F.N.B. Corporation and sponsored by BPG.
Two in-person events at the end of February will celebrate Black History month within the city of Pittsburgh. The Penguins Foundation will partner with Pittsburgh Citiparks to host 100 residents from city neighborhoods at a skating event at Schenley Rink on Saturday February 27th.
The Penguins will conclude the celebration by hosting 200, socially-distanced and masked members of the community for an in-arena screening of the documentary WILLIE on Feb. 28 at PPG Paints Arena. Willie O'Ree was the first Black player in the NHL, and has paved the way for many, breaking barriers and changing the game of hockey. Guests for this screening have been preselected and registration is not available.
Continuing with the theme, the Penguins are planning internal programming for its employees with panel discussion focusing on Black entrepreneurs and community leaders. Volunteer opportunities will also be offered to all Penguins employees throughout the month.
Information for all public events and links to register can be found by visiting the Penguins website here. A list of public programming is below.
Feb. 5 - POWER OF PITTSBURGH: Black players who have made an impact in our city
Feb. 10 - KIDS BREAKING BARRIERS: Showcasing bravery on and off the ice
Feb. 17 - BLACK WOMEN: Making an impact on and off the ice
Feb. 24 - IDENTITY AND HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH'S BLACK COMMUNITY: The Hill District