In the first round of the Pushing Against Racism Fund, A total of $12,000 was awarded to 16 projects across 13 countries, who provided access to skateboarding and educational/creative workshops for disenfranchised communities. We'd like to take the opportunity to showcase the beautifully diverse projects they ran and to celebrate their achievements in anti-racist leadership and inclusion within social skateboarding.
Associação Circuito Inclusão - Brazil
Associação Circuito Inclusão specializes in leisure and sports for people with disabilities. With a strong focus on inclusion, they believe that everyone should have access to fun and empowering activities. With the funding they received from the Pushing Against Racism Fund 2022, they financed their educators to develop a six-month skate program which reached 82 youth.
"Our student João (6 year old child with autism) had considerable improvements in socialization after starting the project with the use of skateboard, João does not know how to read, but he started to count the days to go to classes."
Drug Free Malaysia
Located in Klang Valley, Drug Free Malaysia engage youth through music and sports in order to promote positive and healthy life pathways. For their Pushing Against Racism project they conducted skate sessions for three months in suburban lower-income areas. They engaged 35 people in their program and stated that skateboarding together helped the young people to see past their differences and foster more togetherness and friendships.
Promoting skateboarding and skate culture in West Africa, Skate Liberia is working to break the stereotypes which work to exclude many black communities from skateboarding. They used their funding to conduct three skate clinics that included giveaways and demos, and to launch a fundraiser to help with shipping costs. The skate clinics allowed them to increase their recognition in the surrounding community.
"In 2020 we had only 1 regular female skater visiting us, now we have 3 regular female skaters. Now we have 10 skaters regularly meeting for skate sessions because we have more supplies now than we ever have had in the past."
The focus of Timor Skate is to share the positive benefits of skateboarding - such as connection, empowerment and growth - with the community in Dili, Timor-Leste. The grant from the Pushing Against Racism Fund supported their employment of a part-time skate program officer in Dili, fulfilling one of their long-term goals.
"Upon commencement in the role, the program officer, Jinho, immediately organised to patch the severely cracked concrete at the existing Dili skatepark, making it safer for use. He initiated free skateboarding lessons after school every weekday, and has advertised them through social media and brochures distributed at three local schools. 38 people regularly participate in the lessons, with around ten or more students at each session, and the sessions are tailored to the experience of those attending each time. Jinho also manages the fleet of shared skateboards stored at Ba Futuru, ensuring that the boards are maintained well, and loaning them out during lesson times."
We Skate QLD - Australia
We Skate QLD ran the ‘We All Skate QLD: Pushing Against Racism, Boosting Diversity and Pride’ Art and photography competition in their home state of Queensland, Australia. This was done in collaboration with Bloom Skateboarding (art advice) and Death to Discrimination (who offered input and prizes from their anti-discrimination merchandise). Fast Times skate shop also offered prizes in the form of gift vouchers. 17 young people from diverse backgrounds contributed to the art and photography and prizes were not only reserved for the top-placed entrants but also other prizes were given for 'pushing forward' and 'community spirit' awards.
The grant from the Pushing Against Racism Fund was spent on honorariums for two diversity experts/guest judges from the skate and art world: Indigenous artist/musician/skater Wellborn and South Asian Australian artist/skater Daniel Vincent, and for resources such as being able to develop the competition, publish winners works and create booklet of all the art works.
"We feel all the artworks and photos have been successful in reaching skaters who may not usually think about anti-racism, and some who experience it and may feel less isolated connecting through the @weskateqld social media (Over 3.5K followers) and at our annual We Skate QLD Spring Jam skate event (over 50 participants). Some of the artists have also gone on to sell their work as prints with more exposure and status from being award-winning pieces. The photos are also successful in showing diversity in skate scenes."
Dencity - Nigeria
Dencity is a women and queer-led skateboarding initiative based in Nigeria. They run weekly meet-ups in different states to create welcoming spaces and to introduce skateboarding to a wider community. The support from the Pushing Against Racism Fund enabled them to organise skate meet-ups in four different states, to connect and build relationships with the wider community across Nigeria. They provided skateboards, equipment and tuition for beginners and built a skate obstacle for the skateboarding community in Abuja. Throughout their program they reach 126 people!
"With the help of the grant we were able to execute our project and it has also inspired us to make our project an annual one. We built a skate obstacle for the skate community in Abuja which was ready needed, and got a massive turnout of people especially females and we’re glad to be a part of this!"
Mamelodi Skate Club - South Africa
Based in Mamelodi, South Africa, Mamelodi Skate Club focuses on creating a safe environment for youth to enjoy the benefits of skateboarding. The support from the Pushing Against Racism Fund helped Mamelodi Skate club to launch their Agricultural Program — an innovative program combining a community garden and a skate club.
“One of the main goals of this program is to expose the youth to agriculture and to promote a healthy lifestyle because Mamelodi has a high substance abuse among the youth. Through this program, skateboarders who can't afford a skateboard can now come to our organization and volunteer in the vegetable garden…when they accumulate a certain amount of hours they earn a new skateboard/trucks.
One of our stars of this program is Tebogo, he is 20 years old and he has 3 siblings who are all part of our Skate Club as well. Tebogo started volunteering in the garden to earn a new skateboard because the one he had was beginning to fall apart and lost its pop. He successfully accumulated the necessary hours to earn a brand-new skateboard but he did not stop after that because he said ‘I love planting because it keeps me busy and it's something positive, instead of being home and doing nothing.’ He now has his own vegetable bed in the Tateni backyard where he planted spinach, beetroot, moringa to take home to share with his family, it is important for everyone to have a nutritional meal but not all families can afford vegetables as needed. Tebogo feels proud of himself and that motivated him to start another garden at home.”
...And that's not even all the projects! So keep your eyes open for the next blog piece to read about more inspiring projects from 2022. In the meantime, there's only 5 days left to apply for the Pushing Against Racism Fund 2023! Click below for all of the information and how to apply.
The deadline to apply is midnight on May 23rd, 2023.