Willie O’Ree – Lessons in Social Justice and Racism

Willie O’Ree became the first black player to skate in a National Hockey League game. He played 45 games in the NHL and then 22 years of minor league hockey. Now, 63 years after Willie broke the NHL’s color barrier, a grassroots movement led to Willie being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In this time of social justice reform, Willie’s O’Ree’s message is more important than ever – his work is not done. The NHL, Classroom Champions, and the inspirational people behind the WILLIE documentary have resources to continue this important conversation around social justice and racism. You can be a part of the conversation too and learn from Willie’s legacy.

Join the movement 

A digital learning experience and the WILLIE documentary is available to everyone across North America! By visiting, you will be able to:

  • Watch Mindful Minute videos: Minute-long videos about topics surrounding social justice and race told through various ambassadors and their personal experiences. These are meant to inspire, teach, create discussion, or clarify the themes set forth by the lesson plans.
  • Download the educator guides: Age-specific guides around the themes in the Willie documentary. They are free for anyone by entering an email address and some further information. Whether you’re in a club, at home or in the classroom — there’s age-appropriate lessons that can help you create a meaningful discussion!
  • Sign up for a Live Chat: Teachers, schools, community groups and clubs can sign up for a Live Chat with a former or current player or some characters from the documentary.
  • Watch the documentary! Available for free for anyone in the U.S. or Canada.

For more information and access to the Willie educational programming and Live Chat panel sign up, please go to

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