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National Hockey League partners with Center for Criminal Justice Research




HOUSTON (September 14, 2020) – The Center for Justice Research (CJR) at Texas Southern University (TSU) has received a pledge of funding from the National Hockey League (NHL) to work towards creating “a procedurally fair criminal justice system. The center focuses on research into racial inequalities within the US criminal justice system.

“We are delighted that an influential sports league like the NHL recognizes and appreciates the work of our dedicated researchers,” said Dr. Howard Henderson, founder and director of CJR. “Our work is dedicated to producing data-driven solutions to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair for all, especially those from vulnerable communities.”

Dr. Henderson said other critical components of CJR’s work are training TSU students in criminal investigation and increasing the number of African-American criminologists.

“We applaud NHL players for recognizing the importance of this moment and for coming together as part of a real movement for change,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We look forward to working with all voices of change to fight for equality and broaden access to the game we all love.”

The National Hockey League is a long-term partner with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund which provides funding to CJR. The League’s efforts, in partnership with the NHL Players’ Association, are part of the sweeping anti-racism initiative that will require all players to receive mandatory inclusion and diversity training at training camp. The NHL also plans to establish inclusion committees to encourage diversity among executives, professional and youth players, and fans.

“Everyone should be able to live and work in an environment that is inclusive, and one that is free from racism and discrimination in any form,” said Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association.

Established in January 2018, the center is located on the Texas Southern campus in Houston’s historic Third Ward, the city’s oldest African-American community. Houston has the third largest criminal justice system in America and provides a pipeline for CJR investigators to investigate and find solutions in a complex criminal justice system.



The Center for Justice Research is committed to creating reform-oriented justice solutions to reduce mass incarceration by connecting academic thinking and applying it to practical challenges. As a university-level research center, the Center for Justice Research offers a culturally responsive approach to mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. Our focused research fosters data-driven solutions by supporting innovation, gathering committed reformers, finding compelling policy arguments and building broad consensus among community stakeholders.


Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special institution for urban programming and research. TSU is a comprehensive university providing access to higher education to the disadvantaged communities of the country. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues and prepare the diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degrees – hosted in 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus in the heart of Houston’s historic third ward. The university’s enrollment has a population of over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a premier educational pioneer since 1927, and the university has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating disadvantaged students and many to be the first in their families to attend college.

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