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Fund Skate Gals & Pals - Making skating accessible

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This year has been very eventful with the pandemic but also with all the social issues surrounding people of colour. Many of us are now looking for safe spaces where we feel represented and can thrive without having to assimilate to societal norms. We want to bring more to what ‘normal life’ life was, and introduce people into safe spaces where we are freed of our marginalisation and any boundaries imposed by society. This is why we want to put all the amazing members of this collective under the spotlight, folx who have turned up to a meet-up full of strangers but went back home with friends for life. All the people that are inspiring each other and individuals that are more than their skin colour. 

About us:

We are Melanin Gals & Pals. The collective is part of a bigger collective called Skate Gals & Pals, doing social action through skateboarding. Which was created to make space for non-male individuals within the skate scene. After few years of running that collective, as a black woman, there was still a lack of intersectionality. Empowering women and non-binary individuals wasn’t inherently empowering non-white skaters. To make the collective more whole and cater for a wider audiences’ needs; we created Melanin Gals & Pals. Tired of trying to assimilate, she decided to create her own space, little did we know this would open the door to endless opportunities.

We are a collective of skaters with the aim to empower marginalised communities as well as amplifying their voices. We are working through a fair representation of BIPOC within the skate world, providing wellbeing benefits of skating and a safe space. The collective was created by a young Black woman, as a response to the lack of representation of non-white skaters in mainstream skate and non-skate medias. The skate community is slowly tackling its gender inequalities issues, but a conversation about racism, intersectionality and under-representation of BIPOC is yet to happen.  

Our aims: 

We want to make all forms of skating accessible to everyone and mostly to underrepresented and underprivileged communities within the skating world. 

We aim at combining skating with creative, arts-based education. We provide safe spaces where anyone of colour can have fun, build their skills and confidence and break down social barriers by making new friends and express themselves.

Skating is more than a sport - it is a way to be more creative, to express yourself unapologetically and to have a sense of community. This is what we want to emphasise. 

By the same token we want to give our members the opportunity to showcase their own hustles, talents and creativity!

Our objectives: 

Through all forms of skating we want to offer the full scope of benefits that goes with skating through art, mental health support, social justice advocacy, physical benefits and community building. 

To do so we want to give collective members access to funds to express themselves and conduct different projects that will benefits and shape the skate community locally and worldwide. 

We also want to use some of our funds
to support different organisations and causes
that are helping those in needs. 

By encouraging anyone who does not feel like they belong or are represented to the skate community; we want to reshape, decolonise and degender the skate culture and scene. Change the way people see skating as distant from society and socio-economic systems, instead use it as a tool to advocate for social justice.

We have the tools to create a long term positive social impact for marginalised genders and people of colour. 

Our projects include:

A podcast, skate clinics, skate and donate events, skate and create events, photos exhibitions and movie nights, monthly donations to international skateboarding organisations and skateboarding programmes for disadvantaged kids. 

We recently got a grant for a project which brings skateboarding to disadvantaged refugees and British girls between 8 and 13 years old. This demographic group would have less likely been introduce to skateboarding for economic, social, gender or ethnic reasons. We want to provide them with safe equipment and lessons. So far, this project has been forecasted to be delivered for six months with the help from Women Win and The Good Push but we are hoping for it to be run for longer and provide the mobile skatepark to more children! But to do so we need to keep raising funds for us to be sustainable. 

Our Skate & donate events will intend to fundraise for humanitarian skate and non-skate 
organisations, community based organisations or causes close to our hearts. 

The zine will showcase the many talents we have been blessed with in our crew as well as advocating for social justice and everything we stand up for. We also want the zine to be a way to create a collective fund to conduct other projects we have got planned. We currently have more than 60 people from non-white background, contributing to this zine. This will be done through call for submissions from our collective’s members and Zine workshops. To provide these workshops we will need to buy: art supplies, fund production and printing, rent spaces to conduct the workshops. 

We would like to organise monthly skate and pics nights; these nights will be in different London Borough every months. We will be going around London, skating the streets and taking pictures of each other. This will be a good way for our members to channel their inner photographer with the hope to put on a photography exhibition/movie nights every other months to showcase our subculture in the skate community. To do so we would like to: provide 35mm cameras to anyone coming to the event (or have teams of two or three sharing a camera) + one video camera per event; provide a 35mm film for each team; have enough funds to develop films and finally, rent spaces to showcase our work. 

Finally, we will do skate clinics where we welcome anyone feeling like they belong to our skate crew. We want to have a time and space to encourage people to get into skateboarding. Help participants,  provide assistance for our guests to learn basics and progress their abilities by providing qualified skateboarding coaches. We want to provide skateboards and protective gear for people who cannot afford buying a skateboard or roller skates. Finally we want to make it fun and provide refreshments, goodie bags etc. As time goes, we want to partner with schools to give students the opportunity to take part in skate clinics as a school activity.

We have also set up a Volunteer Programme to involve our members to do social action.  We must provide training to everyone who joins us for the wellbeing of our participants, volunteers and organisation. 

Volunteers will be provided with a Safeguarding training as well as volunteers clothes, stationary and refreshments, both costs that add up quickly but are imperative to the successful implementation of our projects.

Ways we raise money:

Online fundraising: We seek financial donations from anyone looking to support People of Colour, non-male and POC queer community 

Merch selling: With the donations, we are hoping to start making merchandise such as t-shirts, bags, skateboards etc. to sell at our event and help us becoming self-sustainable.

Skate School: We have three qualified skateboarding coaches who will provide private, income based lessons to members of the public.

Grants application: We apply for funds and grants available, that are matching our collective’s criteria.

We are working hard everyday to become a registered charity by the end of the year! 

Any support we receive for our project will be used to help us grow our collective to benefit more individuals around London, the U.K. and hopefully the world!

Please let us know if you'd like your donation to go to a specific project <3

As time goes, we hope to offer rewards for your donations!

Thank you for supporting us!!!


Marie-Ermelinda Mayassi

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