R4R: Skate Like a Girl
"You throw like a girl". "You hit like a girl". "Like a girl" has been a negative phrase in history. Skate Like a Girl is working on changing that.
Skate Like a Girl was started in the year 2000 in Olympia, WA, by Fleur Larsen and Holly Sheehan. The original intention was to build community and create space for non-male skaters. Along with a dedicated team of volunteers, they started by hosting clinics and events, which eventually led Skate Like a Girl to becoming an official non-profit by 2006.
Skate Like a Girl's mission is to create a more inclusive community by promoting confidence, leadership, and social justice through skateboarding.
Kristin Ebeling, the executive director of Skate Like a Girl, proves that skating like a girl is a super rad thing.
"Our goal is to challenge stereotypes, and more specifically those related to gender. Having a name like ours helps start conversations about what it means to "do something like____" Also, even though we serve all genders, our name intentionally calls in girls, who have been historically underrepresented in skateboarding", Kristin said.
When asked what is one lesson Skate Like a Girl hopes for participants to learn, Kristin said, "how to break down fear and build confidence, whether it be learning to drop-in, or leading stretches for the group".
They are also continuing to be a #forceforgood in their communities and helping the world be more understanding, patient and inclusive.
"We are starting conversations around equity and inclusion in a fun, youth-centric, and physical way. For instance, let's take a concept like consent - something that is extremely important in the post-#metoo landscape. We train our volunteers, many of which are young men in middle school, to ensure to ask for consent before touching participants' bodies. Through this, we are creating a space where people can learn about what consent is in a positive way, early on, and in a setting where they can ask questions, etc. The fact is that many of the most important things we can learn in life - the things that fundamentally make us better human beings - can't be taught in a classroom. Every day we inspire folks to be leaders, be more inclusive, and overall grow and learn on and off their boards" Kristin said.
Skate Like a Girls is inspiring so many to be confident in themselves and help others to feel the same and they don't stop there. The Bay Area chapter is hosting a skate jam at the end of summer, Portland is launching AllySk8 which are community conversations around social justice topics, Seattle folks will be headed to New York to partner to host an event with Lacey Baker's NYC Skate Project, and many of the team are headed to the Pushing Boarders conference in Malmo this August!
Follow them at @skatelikeagirl