Happy July! As Pride Month comes to a close, we wanted to spotlight some of the work done here at HHF to support Women and LGBTQIA+ folks.
At HHF, our Women & LGBTQIA+ initiative is led by Jae Cooper, who won Up2Us Coach of the Year in 2022 for their amazing work in supporting and connecting with the skating community. With the goal of providing safe spaces and resources for Women, BIPOC, and queer identifying people, Jae hosts monthly gatherings on the last Tuesday of every month. It’s a chill vibe, like friends gathering to skate and lift one another up. At their most recent meeting, on June 27th, they partnered with HousingWorks Youth and Prevention Services, CAMBA, and Brooklyn YAS to educate and help those struggling with substance abuse or housing issues.
Jae’s goal is to foster a strong community for historically underrepresented groups not only in skateboarding, but NYC as a whole. They’re an activist–most notably having participated heavily in BLM protests at their height in 2020. “I want to take up space, so people can acknowledge the specific struggles of BIPOC, women and queer people.” Jae explains in an interview. “I really just want to be the person I didn’t have, and become that mentor for the younger generation.”
And they’ve seen great success in such a short amount of time! For Harold Hunter Weekend XVI, Coach Jae hosted the only queer Cash for Tricks in NYC for the 3rd year in a row, this time at Homage Skateboarding Academy. We saw friends old and new, where a variety of tricks were shown. Take a look at some of these sick pics captured at the event:
Special thanks to Nico Trainer for taking photos and capturing the event!
“Happy tears typing this but god I am thankful and so honored to be the person hosting these cash for tricks. Y’all really continue to amaze me and make all of my hard work worth it.” said Jae in an Instagram post recapping the event.
And the fun doesn't stop there! On Juneteenth, Jae hosted the 2nd annual Skate n’ Donate event along with Jhanaiya, SK8 Babes, and Kearah-Armonie. Last year, they were asked to be a part of the event, but this year they were given the reigns to put it on. The event celebrated Black people from all walks of life, including those GNC, Queer, and LGBTQIA+ identifying. There were sponsors that helped the event donate to several organizations aimed at helping Black individuals in the community, like Environmental Hood Restoration and Black Trans Liberation. There was a potluck with lots of food, laughter, and fun, showing tons of love and support for Black people all across NYC. Check out some pictures from the event:
Special thanks to Ashley Hernandez for taking photos and capturing the event!
Be sure to also check out the charities that were supported through the event here!:
Jae’s hosted five events in the month of June alone–all while supporting several other community events such as Environmental Hood Restoration’s “"Feed The Streets" Skate Jam on June 17th.
Jae’s hard work shows the passion they have to make a difference in the lives of Women & LGBTQIA+ skaters. In terms of the future, Jae wants to continue to “be better” as a whole. “Adapting to the needs of the community is just as important as my own goals” Jae says. Personability to the people they serve is their most important priority, and it's something they keep in mind as their influence grow. Their momentum isn’t slowing down, and we at HHF can’t wait to see what work they put out in the future.
Come join us for our event this month as well! Check out this flyer for more information or visit HHF's instagram!
Do you want to support Jae’s work with the Women & LGBTQIA+ Initiative? Contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect! To reach out to Jae directly, you can reach them at email@example.com !
Follow us on Instagram @haroldhunterfoundation for updates on upcoming events and opportunities.
Harold Hunter Foundation
The Harold Hunter Foundation (HHF) is a grassroots, community-based organization that provides support, opportunity, and advocacy for skateboarders in NYC and beyond.