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Be A Contributor: Give Back to The Culture of Skateboarding
It's the season of giving skateboarding!
Last month marked the first anniversary of Al’s Skate House. Shout out to #bronze300 for getting the ball rolling. The first post expressed growth. Let’s celebrate this milestone with gratitude.
I thank people for their “contribution to the culture” whenever I reach out for insider information. Beyond landing tricks and adding to the cannon, positively impacting the culture should be the goal of every skater.
Skateboarding is an education in so many ways. It’s an education many of us received from dudes with a mouthful of beer, cigs, and curse words. However, there are many new ways to learn etiquette, foot placement, and life skills.
The gift of skateboarding is one of the best presents anyone can give. The following are people and organizations who uplift our community and show people of all ages that skateboarding culture is for everyone. In the spirit of the holidays, consider supporting these cultural contributors.
College Skateboarding Educational Foundation
Tons of skaters go to college because places of higher learning have excellent spots. Some skaters even make it inside the building, sit down, and listen. However, paying to get into the building can be a daunting task.
Unless someone is super stoked on asparagus or a whiz marble shooter, it can be hard to find scholarships as a skater. Skaters have a shot thanks to the College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF).
Getting on college flow should be high on a skater’s list of dream sponsors. Boxes of shoes are nice—but assistance in education is how to play the long game.
“The mission of CSEF is to provide skateboarders the opportunity to build a better future for themselves,” says Joshua Rowe, Creative Director of CSEF. “Everyone deserves a chance at pursuing a college education, and skateboarders are no exception. Through our scholarships, skateboarders across the country will be given essential assistance with completing their goals in school and life.”
CSEF is 100 percent a volunteer organization. The donations they receive go back to helping skaters secure scholarships. Beyond supporting with dollars, support CSEF with your time. Sign up for their newsletter to assist with upcoming events.
Skate Like A Girl
Feeling included is an essential and empowering feeling. It is a feeling that can be hard to achieve when trying to participate in a subculture historically dominated by cis-men. For as much as phrases like “skateboarding saved my life” get tossed around, it can be hard to find pockets of acceptance.
Skate Like a Girl unlocks skateboarding and acceptance for young women and trans people. This organization started in Olympia, WA before launching chapters in Seattle, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I first got involved with Skate Like a Girl through my daughters,” says Board of Directors member Tim Murphine. “They wanted to learn to skate, and Skate Like a Girl’s clinics sounded like the ideal way to introduce them.”
The mission and vision of Skate Like a Girl creates skaters who can feel empowered to become community leaders and spread positivity and inclusion. The organization contributes to the culture in numerous ways:
Skate camps and clinics
After school programs
Free community meetups
Leadership training to start grassroots cooperatives
The mission and values of Skate Like a Girl are expanding thanks to their S.I.C. (Skateboarding Inclusivity Cooperative) program. Now, organizations all over North America are doing incredible work and making skateboarding fun for everyone.
Harold Hunter Foundation
Harold Hunter summed up what it meant to be a skateboarder. He used his skateboard as a tool to break into other worlds. Harold will be remembered as an enigmatic figure who was known around the world.
The Harold Hunter Foundation extends the legacy of the namesake. This organization embodies what it means to apply skateboarding to the greater good of society.
“Yes, our organization is centered around skateboarding,” says executive board chair Patrick Kigongo. “However, our mission is bigger than skateboarding. We also provide career counseling, youth outreach, as well as local community engagement.”
The foundation advocates for women and LGBTQIA+ inclusion in skating. The legacy of Harold Hunter has provided 185 scholarships for city kids to attend skate camp.
Consider signing up for their newsletter to keep up with events like Harold Hunter Weekend, the Bridgerun, and panel discussions.
Spread the Love
This is by no means a complete list of skate-related causes to consider supporting the holiday season. Make it a new years resolution to donate to one organization a month. Drop any organizations we missed in the comments below.
Al’s Skate House Thanks You
It’s been an honor to start this project and have it evolve quickly—apologies for taking November off. Al’s Skate House was undergoing renovations and tribulations.
Thank you to all the readers and subscribers. Thank you for contributing to the culture ✌🏾.
Subscribe if you did not win SOTY this year.