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Player-run charities often get lost in the noise of team based philanthropy efforts. Here is a list of several hockey player-run nonprofits that are making positive changes within hockey culture and help to grow and diversify the game.
Founded in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, the Hockey Diversity Alliance was started by current and former hockey players: Akim Aliu (Chair of the Hockey Diversity Alliance Advisory Board), Evander Kane, Trevor Daley, Anthony Duclair, Matt Dumba, Nazem Kadri, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward. The mission of the Hockey Diversity Alliance is to “eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey” and the organization is “committed to inspire a new and diverse generation of hockey players and fans.” Hockey Diversity Alliance supports grassroots hockey development and equipment programs, anti-racism and unconscious bias education programs, social justice initiatives in support of black, indigenous and racialized communities, administration/fundraising, scholarships for qualified youth players, and executive training and coaching programs.
Former hockey player and Hockey Diversity Alliance member, Akim Aliu, established the Time to Dream Foundation. The organization “aims to make youth sports, including the game of hockey, more diverse, inclusive, affordable, and accessible to all, regardless of race, gender, and socioeconomic background.” There is a focus on “promoting equality and tolerance in both sports and within society, while advocating for civil rights and fairness.”
In partnership with Arizona Coyotes forward Boko Imama, Anthony Duclair, a forward for the Florida Panthers, created the Duclair Foundation to “ensure that Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) children are granted safe and equal access to playing hockey in North America.” The foundation is “committed to inspiring a new and diverse generation of hockey players and hockey fans by building the game’s reputation and making it more inclusive from both a cost and culture perspective at the grassroots level.” Some of the upcoming programming the foundation will provide are ball hockey clinics in South Florida and summer hockey camps in Montreal.
Founded by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, The Marner Assist Foundation was created to help “generate sustainable change for children and youth by providing resources that will make a significant impact on their lives. Its focus will provide assistance in children’s social care, health, education, and through supporting environmental causes to ensure children have a sustainable future.” The foundation provides support through fundraisers, such as the Marner All Star Invitational game and Sink the Stigma mini golf event, and donations made to other charities (e.g. $20,000 to Pathways to Education to help increase graduation rate in low income communities). The Marner Assist Foundation primarily helps youth in Canada but also helps youth in other countries.
Continuing the mission of the previous Vincent Lecavalier Foundation in Quebec, the Pierre-Luc Dubois Foundation helps children succeed in hockey by using three main goals: contribute to “the community, promote a healthy lifestyle, and support the development of young athletes.” The foundation donates equipment to youth in the regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine.