Pittsburgh I.C.E. (Inclusion Creates Equality) celebrates its 20th anniversary this season, highlighting the organization’s 20-year commitment to equality within our community. A joint effort between the Penguins Alumni and the NHL in 2000, the ICE program was created under the umbrella of the NHL’s Diversity Task Force. With strong support from the Penguins Foundation, Pittsburgh I.C.E. continues to thrive in service to local youth.
Since its inception, Pittsburgh I.C.E. programs have provided ice hockey Learn To Play programs, skills development and competitive opportunities to over 1,200 youth throughout Pittsburgh and western PA.
“It’s been exciting to watch the growth of the program and the positive impact it has had on the youth and communities we serve. We’re looking forward to the next 20 years and the lifetime success we hope this program helps our athletes achieve,” stated Pittsburgh I.C.E. Executive Director Michele Humphries.
The Pittsburgh I.C.E. program is multi-functional, using the sport as a platform to encourage positive youth development, promote academics, and foster life skills to engage their athletes to achieve success both on and off the ice.
In addition to learning the sport of hockey, Pittsburgh I.C.E. participants are taught to use a variety of skills to improve their lives, physically and mentally, and to recognize situations both in and out of sports requiring those skills.
In 2021, Pittsburgh I.C.E. will be launching a Diversity, Inclusion & Equity off-ice program. Youth athletes, coaches, and volunteers will engage in an 8-week course that supports eliminating racial discrimination, champions social justice and improves race relations. Pittsburgh I.C.E. has partnered with RISE, a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community in eliminating discrimination.
Pittsburgh I.C.E. launched its street hockey program in 2019 to bring the sport into more communities. In partnership with the Penguins Foundation, Pittsburgh I.C.E.’s street hockey program is on track to expand with the goal of eventually developing league play at dek rinks across the city.
To learn more, visit: pittsburghice.org