What is the Commitment to Anti-Racism in Skateboarding?
The Commitment to Anti-Racism in Skateboarding was officially launched on May 25, 2021 — one year after a police officer murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Commitment was created by the Goodpush Alliance, together with working group members from a dozen skateboarding-based organizations, who have been meeting virtually since mid-2020 to address the systemic oppression prevalent in skateboarding in order to push the conversation forward towards meaningful action.
The Commitment recognizes that our security is linked to the safety of all oppressed people, and our shared joy and power is dependent on all of us working together to create a world free from all forms of xenophobia, racism, bigotry and associated systems of oppression.
Looking Back: The Impact So Far
We are super proud of the impact this commitment has made so far. Since its launch, the Commitment has more than 940 signatories, including 343 social skateboarding projects, brands and skate shops from over 50 countries. So far, six national governing bodies for skateboarding (representing skating in the Olympics) have also signed on, from Brazil, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Bangladesh and Germany.
The Pushing Against Racism working group has members from a dozen social skateboarding organizations and skate companies who have come together on a monthly basis for over two years. Together, we created the Commitment to Anti-Racism in Skateboarding and have followed that up by identifying key issues within our communities, raising awareness and creating resources to support the skateboarding community to self-reflect and improve in anti-racist policies and attitudes. In 2022 we updated the commitment text to explicitly speak to anti-semitism, anti-islam and other forms of prejudice and biogtry that must not be tolerated towards disenfranchised groups in our communities.
In 2021, we hosted two online events — one panel discussion where guest speakers highlighted the need for representation of skaters of color at all levels of the community/industry as well as the need for financial support. Forty-five people attended our annual signatory meet-up on Skateboarding and Racism in the Global South, where guest speakers from South Africa and Afghanistan shared their experiences and suggestions for overcoming barriers to making skateboarding more accessible and equitable.
Last year, we launched the Pushing Against Racism Fund and awarded 16 projects from 13 countries with a total of $12,000 in grants to financially support greater diversity and inclusion within the social skateboarding community worldwide. In June this year we announced the selected grantees for the 2023 Pushing Against Racism Fund. This time 12 initiatives from 12 different countries received a total of $15,000 USD for projects led by skaters from disenfranchised groups, to promote anti-racism in Skateboarding worldwide.
Looking Ahead: What’s Next?
Save the date!! On Thursday 7 December at 9am PST / 6pm CET, we will hold our 2nd annual signatory meet-up. We also plan to continue expanding the Pushing Against Racism Fund in the years to come.
We’d also like to invite potential new members who are interested to reach out if you would like to learn more about joining the volunteer-run Pushing Against Racism working group. We meet monthly or bi-monthly and work in small committees to keep pushing the movement forward. You can contact the working group at: firstname.lastname@example.org