January 6, 2017
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The St. Louis Blues promote inclusivity with first LGBT Pride Night

Get inspired by these three stories on innovation and ingenuity in America

St. Louis's NHL team will host its first LGBT Pride Night Jan. 19. Photo by Flickr user John Hilliard

Pride on ice: For diehard and casual sports fans alike, local teams can be a community anchor—they offer a sense of pride in their hometowns and even hope for their supporters. The St. Louis Blues hockey team wants to make sure all its fans feel that pride. The team is hosting its first LGBT Pride Night on Jan. 19. The event will help support You Can Play, an organization promoting inclusion in sports. The local Gateway Men’s Chorus, a nonprofit supporting gay culture, will perform the national anthem, according to the Riverfront Times. The NHL is the only major professional sports league in the U.S. without an openly gay player, past or present, but it has been active in supporting the LGBT community and its athletes. It was the first league to have all its teams film a public service announcement supporting LGBT athletes, and it has had a longstanding partnership with You Can Play, which was co-founded by Patrick Burke, a former scout for the Philadelphia Flyers who currently is the director of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

The future of cities: America’s largest cities have seen some of their strongest growth in the last few years, while their connecting suburbs have lagged behind. As populations shift, so too must policies and resources for serving those people. In an op-ed for Next City titled “7 Ways Cities Can become More Equitable, Vibrant and Affordable,” Matt Hoffman of the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners lists innovative strategies that city leaders can implement to make their cities and its residents thrive. Hoffman addresses topics such as public transportation, education, and housing. Some of his recommendations include: making public transit free, putting the “best” schools in the “worst” neighborhoods, and using municipal property for housing. See the full list here.

Chess mates: Five years ago, Athens, Georgia, poet and social worker Lemuel Laroche started mentoring youth by teaching them the game of chess. This weekend, his nonprofit Chess and Community, will welcome more than 500 attendees to the 5th annual Chess and Community Conference at the Tate Student Center on the campus of the University of Georgia, according to The Red & Black. Laroche uses the game to help kids get through challenging times, he told the student newspaper. “Whenever they were frustrated, they would call me and say, ‘Let’s play chess,’ and I would just play chess with them and help them through whatever issues they were struggling with,” he said. The organization also hosts other activities like kayaking and debate.

Margaret Myers

Margaret Myers is the editor of the Renewal Project.