What is Check the Racism?
Check the Racism, a project (with funding from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation), is designed to increase awareness about BIPOC and newcomer players, the barriers that exist for many of them and how the hockey community can support them to foster safe and respectful spaces both on and off the ice. We will educate our audience on racism, and the different ways racism exists in society and in hockey and why racism should not be tolerated. We will discuss the changing cultural landscape of hockey in Canada and give our audience the tools they need to create anti-racism policies and programs in their own hockey spaces.
Check the Racism will consist of a two-part initiative that aims to educate and inform the hockey community on anti-racist awareness. By combining the work Hockey 4 Youth (H4Y) does and bolstering it with digital manuals and anti-racist seminars, we aim to increase knowledge and consciousness within the hockey community to address discrimination and racism.
The first component of our project will consist of anti-racist workshops delivered by H4Y program alumni. Upon graduation from H4Y, alumni who are interested in participating will complete a training program, made up of modules, a questionnaire and a reflective feedback section. They will also be able to build their storytelling skills by delivering workshops and sharing their story to minor hockey leagues across Canada. By giving them a voice, they will feel empowered to share what they have experienced, how they dealt with it and how they overcome these challenges. [NOTE: H4Y alumni that participate in these initiatives will be provided with an honorarium to compensate them for their time.]
The expected audience for Check the Racism’s seminars are H4Y students, coaches and volunteers, and members of the larger hockey community–minor hockey leagues (players, coaches and staff), hockey media and hockey parents.
The second part of this project will consist of the development of a digital manual which will contain modules that cover different topics under the theme of anti-racism. This manual will be provided as a guide and resource for thewider hockey community. Along with thematic modules, this manual will contain an index with hockey-related words in a multitude of languages, offering the reader awareness of Canada’s cultural diversity. Upon completion of the manual, we will provide a reflective questionnaire with questions such as:
- Do you have any friends that are from any of these communities
- Have you ever witnessed any form of discrimination in hockey or any other sport?
- How have you and/or others reacted in the past when there has been an incident?
Hockey is arguably the sport most identified as being Canadian. By using the experiences of our students and alumni and working with minor hockey associations, we can increase awareness for Canada’s cultural diversity, not just in our societies as a whole but also in hockey.
The desired outcome of this project is to increase knowledge and address issues surrounding racism and discrimination in the hockey world. We aim to provide our audience with new skills to identify racism, give them tools to handle discrimination in a safe and strategic fashion.
We will highlight behaviours and systems of racism in the sport, share the stories from our youth and BIPOC professional players like Willie O’Ree and Larry Kwong, as well as educate our audience on how to break down barriers that hinder the many newcomer youth from participating in hockey.
We also aim to increase general awareness of factors such as one’s ethnicity, religion or race that may be impeding full participation in the context of sport, and more specifically hockey and how we can help to eradicate these barriers.