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  • Writer's pictureHPOC MOVEMENT

Center Ice Spotlight: Clarence Williams | Joliet, Illinois

Heather at Grotto Photo Company

My name is Clarence Noah Williams. My family and friends all call me Noah. I was born in the city of Joliet, IL. I have an older sister who started skating when she was 3. I was about 1 1/2 at that time. My mom put me on skates to see how I would do. I wasn't a fan of it. A couple months later, when I turned 2, I asked to get on the ice. My mom put me in rentals and we went out again. I ended up taking classes for skating and got the hang of it pretty quickly. Then one day after one if my sister's classes, my papa and I sat and watched a hockey game that the older kids were playing. I asked my papa what that was. He said, "That is a sport called hockey." "I want to play hockey, Papa," I responded. I was 2 when I began my hockey journey. My parents are Americans like me. They have a very diverse culture and heritage which I inherited. My papa's family is African-American and French Creole. He would be labeled as black. My mom's family is Mexican and Puerto Rican. She would be labeled as Latina or Hispanic. They have taught me and continue to teach me the realities of how people of color are viewed in the world. How people of color are not always welcomed in certain places. How getting into particular areas, sports, jobs can be purposely made difficult for people of color. I want to show everyone, that the color of our skin is not bad. That anyone can be and do what every they want. I want to stop seeing labels and start seeing real people. Being an Ambassador for HPOC let's me show the world we can all play together! I look forward to meeting even more new people from around the world who love hockey like me. Maybe one day, when I get to be a teenager, I can help little boys like me too. I love hockey, but when I am not on the ice or training off ice, I really like to play like every little kid. I especially love building toys like Legos. But, I have a special fascination with Volkswagen Beetles. Ever since I watched the Transformers movie and Bumblebee took the shape of a Beetle, I just can't get enough of them. I cried when my mo