University of Ottawa forward's plan lets young people share experiences
Yvan Mongo was appalled by the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose life ended with a knee on his neck while in custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25.
Mongo, a forward on the University of Ottawa men's hockey team, wanted to turn his emotions about Floyd's death into an action that address racism in society and in hockey. But what to do?
The answer came during a telephone conversation with University of Ottawa coach Patrick Grandmaitre.
"My coach, Pat, was calling me just to check up on me and see how I was dealing with everything going on," Mongo said. "The conversation went toward my involvement in our community. I always wanted to do something, but he kind of pushed the idea that he could help me do something. Right then and there, we started throwing out ideas of how I can get involved."
The result was Mongo's Brave Buddies, a program that lets young people of all backgrounds in the Ottawa area attend a team game or practice, spend time with Mongo on the ice and have a conversation with him about shared experiences.