As part of the Rams' celebration of Black History Month this month, the organization wants to inspire Angelenos through stories of its staff and their amazing accomplishments.
Up next is Football Operations fellow and liaison Alex Hill.
Relationships have served a critical role at every stage of Alex Hill's life, but especially during her upbringing as a child.
"Growing up Black in the South could scare you for life," Hill said. "In large, throughout my childhood, I was wrapped protectively by my family who looked out for me and put me through the path they thought best for a Black girl to make it in South Carolina. Being the token Black girl of my community was something I battled through, but it prepared me for life. The stares, the justice system, the questioning of your Blackness really gets to you as a child, and you form a resentment of not being able to 'fit in'. Being raised in the South and moving to different communities like Los Angeles has taught me to love my Blackness and appreciate and celebrate other communities that uplift their different cultures. If you know me, you know I love the southeast with everything in me, but my time there drove my passion to make people who don't look like me understand that Black people are still not looked at as equal or given the same pillars of American democracy – opportunity, freedom, and prosperity – that has been largely reserved for the white community."
That background is what drives Hill both personally and professionally in her role working in the Rams' Football Operations department.
Hill works behind the scenes with the team, assisting players as much as she does coaches and the entirety of the Rams' football community to help ensure a smooth operation. She helps in all aspects of travel, including being one of two to advance each away game, build game stadium guides, hotel set up and more. She is also SoFi Stadium game day liaison in coordination with Stadium Operations for the Football Office Staff and the organization's executive families for every home game.
"The best thing about working in sports is building relationships to do your job and allow athletes to be the best versions of themselves and achieve their greatest level of success," Hill said. "It may not always be a Lombardi trophy but seeing a player you work alongside with from Training Camp accomplish a team or personal goal feels better than any ring."
That relationship building also applies to the way she uses her platform to help other Black women in the industry.
Hill said that while women are shining on and off the field now more than ever, there is still work to be done. She does her part by taking time each week to talk to someone trying to break into the industry and listen to the same dreams she had.
For Hill, "it gives me the motivation to create new dreams to conquer." She's doing it not only for herself, but for others to have someone, since she did not when she first started out in the industry.
"My mentors and people who look like me (have helped me the most in my career)," Hill said. "Black women in this industry are highly overlooked and bear an unrelented weight. Throughout my years in the sports industry, there's been a Black woman or an ally mentor that had my back and endorsed me because they understood and went through a similar struggle of 'making it' in sports. Black women have been there for me at the start, when people closest to me didn't believe in my dream, and they're still in my life and my biggest supports now."
Hill, who is in her first season with the Rams, worked at the NFL at the time it launched its Inspire Change social justice initiative. She said it was a "long-awaited moment" for both the league's Black employees and the Black men who play the game – a crucial shift from no conversation whatsoever to finally speaking on the problems endured by the Black community over many generations.
Inspiring change, according to Hill, "should be beyond listening and learning."
"This is the time for us to collaborate and bring about change through action, to understand the barriers and inequity built in our community and do what we can to provide access and opportunities for success barred by systemic racism," Hill said.
Celebrating Black History Month can be done in many different ways. Hill does so by educating herself on modern-day and past legends of the culture, and encourages others to do the same.
"Black History Month serves as a reminder that our history is American History, and I was not taught that enough in our country's school system," Hill said. "Even beyond February, I read about the Black American leaders and heroes who have impacted not just our country, but the world, through their vision. This Black History Month, I challenge you to look at the Black creators, Black activists, Black owners and entrepreneurs, and Black community builders in the Los Angeles area because Black History is being made every day."