6 For 6: Social Justice Warriors in Sport Edition

by NWHL Media

Each month, the Toronto Six social media channels highlight 6 inspirational women in sport and business as part of our 6 for 6 feature. In September we showcased 6 NHL pioneers. For October’s feature, we will be highlighting 6 inspirational women advocating for social change in sport. 

Jashvina Shah - A reporter for College Hockey News covering college hockey and social issues in sports. 

Jashvina Shah is a multimedia hockey reporter who covers social issues in sports and college hockey. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, PEN Transmissions, espnW, and more. In 2018, she wrote an essay called “Hockey is For Everyone” and it was listed as notable in the 2018 Best American Sportswriting anthology. Jashvina takes to her personal Twitter to educate others on racism and xenophobia. 

Renee Hess (Founder of the Black Girl Hockey Club)

Renee Hess is the founder of the Black Girl Hockey Club with the vision to unite Black women in the hockey community. Renee is the Associate Director of Service Learning at La Sierra University, where she earned a Master’s in Literature. She resides on the executive, programming, and finance committees of the BGHC, hosting events and networking with various hockey entities. Renee proudly advocates for Black women in hockey through education, representation, and community building.

Shireen Ahmed (Writer, Public Speaker, Host of the Burn It All Down Podcast)

Shireen Ahmed is a writer, public speaker, and an award-winning Sports Activist. She is also an athlete, advocate, community organizer, and works with Youth of Colour on empowerment projects and is an avid sports coach and mentor. Shireen attended the University of Toronto. She is part of a team of five women who created the weekly Burn It All Down podcast, which is the first feminist sports podcast that analyzes sports culture from an intersectional feminist lens.

Dr. Courtney Szto (Assistant Professor at Queen's University, Creator of Offside Plays and Social Activist in hockey) 

Dr. Courtney Szto is an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University. Her doctoral research was focused on South Asian experiences in hockey as it relates to cultural citizenship and post-9/11 racial discrimination in Canada. Courtney created the social media movement Offside Plays which provides a safe place to tell stories about racism, homophobia, and any other form of discrimination that occurs in the realms of physical culture. 

Nneka Ogwumike (Power forward for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA & the President of the WNBPA)

Nneka Ogwumike is a power forward for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. She was drafted first overall in the 2012 WNBA draft to the Spark. In October of 2016 Nneka was named the President of the National Women’s Basketball Players Association (“WNBPA”). The WNBPA and WNBA lead the charge this past summer for all things sports social justice movements. The  2020 season that recently concluded was dedicated to social justice and honouring the Black Lives Matter Movement and the #SAYHERNAME campaign. 

Tziarra King (Forward for the Utah Royals FC of the NWSL)

Tziarra King is a rookie forward for the Utah Royals of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). She was selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2020 NWSL Draft. Prepping for her first pro-season, Tziarra spent most of her time on Twitter and social media having conversations that were much bigger than soccer. Vocalizing her fear as a black woman and the pain she feels for the black community. In September Tziarra collaborated with the NWHL to design t-shirts that we’re more inclusive.