R. Renee Hess
A Southern California native, R. Renee Hess works in community engagement for La Sierra University, is an adjunct professor of sports journalism with University of Memphis, and, in 2019, launched the Black Girl Hockey Club, a nonprofit organization that focuses on equity and inclusion for Black women in ice hockey. In October 2020, Renee’s work was profiled in the New York Times and in June, 2021, she was named one of three finalists for the NHL's Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award, for individuals who have positively impacted the community, culture or society through the sport of hockey.
Renee received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in writing and literature at La Sierra University and has published nonfiction works and poetry in various outlets over the years. A combined passion for reading, writing, research and hockey has led Renee to archive stories from Black folks about race, community and sports that examine multiple aspects of hockey culture through the lenses of intersectional feminism and social justice.
Renee is a fan of being a fan and loves traveling to hockey games, listening to music that makes her cry, and hanging out in the sunshine with her dogs. Her most memorable moment as a writer includes interviewing Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura, “Star Trek: The Original Series”) at WonderCon and then telling her mother about it.