COMMITMENT TO ANTI-RACISM IN SKATEBOARDING
THE COMMITMENT IS AN INITIATIVE OF THE GOOD PUSH ALLIANCE
The MNSR Skate Initiative would like to highlight this anti-racism initiative created by The Good Push Alliance. As equality, diversity, and inclusion are integral themes in the awareness topics covered on MNSTR Skate, this initiative focused on anti-racism and skateboarding resonates strongly with me. As a skater, I aim to support the anti-racism movement through this platform and in my interactions within the skateboarding community online + in person. In addition to providing a safe space for the affected communities to seek information online and connect through social media, MNSTR Skate will be hosting meetups with a focus on inclusion in the future. Awareness of anti-racism and anti-oppression matters with a connection to our collective mental health will be featured around the site.
As members of the global skateboarding community, we have come together to make a collective commitment to actively resist and challenge systemic racism in our own scenes, organizations, the skateboard industry, and wider society.
Skateboarding and skateboarding-based social programs should always be safe spaces where everyone can thrive. Yet, we recognize that we operate within social and organizational systems that are larger than us. We recognize power relationships exist and we are mindful of how racism can take many forms, overt and covert or “micro”. We see it as our duty to put in the work to co-create spaces and areas of influence that are: welcoming, empowering, representative, and committed to racial equity for all individuals – particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), and all racialized peoples that experience discrimination against their ethnicity or religion.
This Commitment recognizes that our security is linked to the safety of all oppressed people, and our shared joy and power are dependent on all of us working together to create a world free from xenophobia, racism, bigotry, and associated systems of oppression.
We know that the experiences and impact of color-based racism, cultural discrimination, colonialism, anti-Indigenous policies, antisemitism, and Islamophobia are interconnected and that we can’t address one of these without addressing all of them. Racism can express itself differently in each context and is experienced differently by each individual. We acknowledge that these experiences of racism are also impacted by the complex intersection between gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and faith.
We aim to actively provide pathways and establish spaces where all voices are heard, valued, and have support and access to resources to contribute fully to the skateboarding community. We also aim to support each other in the work of challenging systemic racism that may appear at our skateparks, in our media, in our organizational structures, in skate programs that we run, and in the skateboard industry. We also commit to co-creating spaces for learning and accountability for people with social privilege and especially racial or ethnic privilege. We agree to set a positive public example by acting in a manner that supports this vision of equity in skateboarding.
BY SIGNING ON TO THIS COMMITMENT WE, THE SKATEBOARDING COMMUNITY, AGREE TO THESE GUIDELINES FOR TACKLING RACISM TOGETHER:
We are committed to learning about and challenging all types of systemic racism that affect skateboarding and fellow skateboarders, either directly or indirectly.
Together, we acknowledge the emotional labor, expertise, and valuable time of those oppressed by systemic racism.
We recognize that it is our collective responsibility to do the work to educate ourselves about privilege and racism.
We welcome feedback and are open to change and learning.
We will endeavor to replace defensiveness and reaction with listening and reflecting.
We encourage people to be open and share about our experiences with systemic racism if we feel safe to do so in order for the community to improve on this matter.
We recognize that we can only achieve progress if we let ourselves be vulnerable as we move toward equity. As with skateboarding, we have to be willing to potentially make mistakes and learn from them.
We work to make space for each other and try to encourage one another to contribute to our collective knowledge-building and action.
We are focused on the goal of dismantling racism and prejudice in the skateboarding community and industry worldwide.
WE AGREE to hold each other accountable and support each other to challenge racism and build equity in skateboarding.
WHO CAN SIGN? All skateboarders, skate shops, brands, social skate projects, skateparks, media, and anyone else who is a part of the skate community and wants to fight to end racism. Signing this Commitment does not mean the work is done – it is only the beginning of the serious work we must do to abide by the principles and actions within it. Download the Anti-Racism Commitment PDF here.
This is an introductory vocabulary list of common terms that you may come across when learning about or doing anti-oppression / social justice work. There are many more terms and more detailed definitions that can be found easily online. Source: Good Push Org
Acceptance - Acceptance is better than tolerance. Acceptance makes space for everyone and our differences. It lets us shine. Tolerance just says that's ok I will allow you to exist.
Anti-Blackness - Anti-Blackness is very widespread, unfortunately. It is the idea that Black people are less important than others.
Anti-racism - Anti-racism is the act of working actively against racism in our society. It's more than just accepting and not hating other people. It's speaking up, it's signing political petitions, it's protesting, it's starting conversations with your family and friends, it's not laughing at racist jokes, it's teaching children about racism, and talking to others about their racist behavior if it feels safe to do so.
Antisemitism - Hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.
Bias - Bias is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief.
Casteism - A stratified system based on a status conferred at birth due to an individual’s descent in which individuals do not have social/economic mobility due to custom or law.
Classism - Classism refers to discrimination against an individual or a group on the basis of social class.
Colonialism - The belief in and support for the system of one country controlling another.
Colorism - In most societies, people with lighter skin tones hold more power. Even in predominantly Black societies, this can be true.
Discrimination - Excluding someone or treating them unfairly because of their appearance, characteristics, or identity.
Diversity - Understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, geographic location, socio-economic status, age, physical or cognitive abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
[Alternative definition] Diversity is all the things that make us unique as human beings. The same things that we experience prejudice for, as well as our thoughts, opinions, and life experiences make us diverse. In nature, an ecosystem with more diversity is strongest. A diverse society is also stronger than one where everyone feels they have to be the same as others.
Equity - Providing opportunities to certain groups or individuals in order to achieve equality and fairness of outcomes.
Inclusion - The behaviors, actions, and social norms that ensure people of minority backgrounds have access to equal opportunities and resources, as well as feel welcome, safe, and supported.
Internalized Dominance - Internalized dominance refers to internalizing and acting out (often unintentionally) the constant messages circulating in the culture that you and your group are superior to the minoritized group and thus entitled to your higher position.
Rationalizing privilege as natural (“It’s just human nature—someone has to be on top.”)
Rationalizing privilege as earned (“I worked hard to get where I am.”)
Perceiving you and your group as the most qualified for and entitled to the best jobs (“She only got the position over me because she is Black.”)
Living one’s life segregated from the minoritized group yet feeling no loss or desire for connections with them (i.e., patterns of White flight rationalized as “I want my kids to grow up in a good neighborhood where they can play outside with their friends.”)
Lacking an interest in the perspectives of the minoritized group except in limited and controlled doses (i.e., during “ethnic authors” week, or holidays such as Chinese New Year) or when it appears to benefit the dominant group (“I want my child to experience diversity.”)
Feeling qualified to debate or explain away the experiences of minoritized groups (“I think you are taking this too personally, I don’t think that’s what he meant.”)
Internalized Oppression - The incorporation and acceptance by individuals within an oppressed group of the prejudices against them within the dominant society. Internalized oppression is likely to consist of self-hatred, self-concealment, fear of violence and feelings of inferiority, resignation, isolation, powerlessness, and gratefulness for being allowed to survive. Internalized oppression is the mechanism within an oppressive system for perpetuating domination not only by external control but also by building subservience into the minds of the oppressed
Islamophobia - An expression of fear, hatred, or intolerance towards Muslims and their religious beliefs and practices.
2SLGBTQIA+ - This is an acronym that includes a spectrum of sexuality and gender diversity that has often been excluded or oppressed. It stands for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the + symbolizes space for additional orientations and identities other than cisgender, straight or heterosexual. (See Inclusivity page)
Oppression - Using privilege and power to hold others back.
Solidarity - Solidarity is standing with others to protect each other from harm, even when an issue does not directly affect you. Solidarity means making someone else's challenge or struggle into your challenge too.
Systemic Racism - Policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race. It manifests as discrimination in areas such as criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, education, and political representation. It is also called "institutional racism," a term coined by Black Power activists Charles V. Hamilton and Stokely Carmichael to distinguish it from individual racism, which is typically more overt.
Prejudice - The belief that someone has negative qualities because of the way they look or their identity or experiences. Prejudice can exist against ethnicities, religious groups, disabilities, poverty, skin tone, weight/body type, sexual identity/LGBTQ, gender, criminal history, education, and many other factors that make up the human experience.
Pride - Pride is a feeling of happiness and joy about who you are. Pride is something everyone feels sometimes but it is a really important feeling for people who experience discrimination regularly, to be able to take the thing that others may see as a weakness and celebrate it as a strength.
Racial Profiling - the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.
White Privilege - The societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people, particularly if people are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances. With roots in European colonialism and imperialism and the Atlantic slave trade, white privilege has developed in circumstances that have broadly sought to protect white racial privileges, various national citizenships, and other rights or special benefits.
Willful Ignorance - The practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard, or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence, and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs. Many times it is practiced due to laziness--people not wanting to have to do the work to rethink their opinions, the fear of the unknown, the fear of being wrong, or sometimes simply close-mindedness.
Xenophobia - (from Ancient Greek: ξένος, romanized: xénos, meaning "stranger" or "foreigner", and phóbos, meaning "fear") is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.
If you have any thoughts or questions about this page, please CONTACT me with the subject line: Pushing against racism.