We ask for your support of our work, and (for parents/guardians) ask you to trust in our programs with your youth. But, while we often have these discussions internally, we might not share with you enough why we do this. Hence this blog post!
In the bustling world of sports and recreation, skateboarding stands out as more than just a physical activity; it's a subculture, an art form, and a platform for empowerment. While skateboarding has traditionally been associated with counterculture and rebellion, it has now evolved into a tool for positive change, especially for marginalized populations. This blog post delves into the significance of supporting skateboarding organizations that cater to marginalized youth, emphasizing how such initiatives can alter the trajectory of young lives for the better.
1. A Platform for Expression and Inclusion: Skateboarding transcends language barriers, cultural differences, and economic disparities. It provides a means of creative expression and a way to connect with peers who share similar interests. For marginalized youth who might feel alienated or excluded from mainstream activities, skateboarding offers a welcoming and non-judgmental space. These organizations foster a sense of belonging, allowing young people to showcase their individuality while being part of a supportive community.
2. Building Confidence and Resilience: Skateboarding is not just about mastering tricks; it's about conquering fears and pushing personal boundaries. Youth often face challenges that can erode their self-confidence and belief in their abilities. By engaging in skateboarding, they learn to persevere through failures, celebrate successes, and build a sense of resilience. As they refine their skills and conquer obstacles on the skateboard, they gain the confidence to tackle life's challenges off the board as well.
3. Teaching Valuable Life Lessons: Skateboarding isn't confined to the skatepark; it's a microcosm of life itself. When youth engage in skateboarding, they learn critical life lessons such as discipline, patience, and the importance of practice. Falling down and getting back up becomes a metaphor for resilience in the face of adversity. These lessons extend beyond the skatepark and equip young individuals with skills that are applicable to their academic, personal, and professional lives.
4. Providing Positive Role Models: Skateboarding organizations often feature mentors and coaches who serve as positive role models. These mentors share a genuine passion for skateboarding and act as guides, offering advice on both skateboarding techniques and life choices. For marginalized youth who may lack positive role models in their immediate environments, these relationships can be transformative, showing them the possibilities of a brighter future.
5. Fostering a Sense of Ownership: When youth are involved in skateboarding organizations, they take ownership of their experiences. Whether it's helping to organize events, contributing to community initiatives, or even designing skatepark features, they learn the value of active participation and community building. This sense of ownership instills a feeling of responsibility and investment in their own growth and the betterment of their communities.
6. Creating Pathways and Opportunities: Skateboarding can open doors to unexpected opportunities. Through competitions, sponsorship deals, and exposure to the broader skateboarding industry, marginalized youth can discover pathways they never thought possible. These organizations often facilitate workshops, educational programs, and vocational training that leverage the passion for skateboarding to equip young individuals with practical skills for the future.
Supporting HHF goes beyond merely promoting a sport. It's about recognizing the transformative power of skateboarding in altering the trajectory of young lives. By fostering a sense of inclusion, building confidence, teaching life lessons, providing role models, instilling ownership, and creating opportunities, these organizations contribute to the positive development of marginalized youth. Through skateboarding, these young individuals find a space where they can be themselves, learn important life skills, and pave the way for a brighter future. As a society, investing in these initiatives isn't just about promoting a sport—it's about investing in the potential of our youth and helping them rewrite their stories.
Happy to have more conversation if you'd like,
Interim Executive Director
It’s been a HOT summer in New York City (and around the world). Thankfully, in just one short month, Harold Hunter Foundation is taking a group of 25 youth to a real summer camp!
With help from our friends at Camp Nice, we have created a new relationship with the former Y Camp of NYC in Huguenot, NY. From Sunday August 20th - Saturday August 26th, 2023, we'll partner with Camp Reimagined to bring a one-of-a-kind 7 day HHF Skate Camp experience we’re excited to share with our community for the first time.
Will there be skateboarding? Of course! Campers will also enjoy classic camp activities such as swimming, s’mores, boating, arts & crafts, hiking, and more.
Registration is FREE for all current HHF participants aged 19 and under! Check your email and/or LeagueApps for the registration link and additional information. For past HHF program participants, it’s only $25 to sign up! If you’re interested in signing up or have any questions, email email@example.com to learn more.
We’re heading off to camp in less than one month so sign up ASAP to secure your spot!
Thank you again to Camp Nice and Camp Reimagined for working with us on this amazing opportunity! Together, we'll help young skateboarders learn valuable skills, build confidence, and forge lifelong friendships surrounded by nature.
Follow our Instagram for more updates. We look forward to seeing you at camp!
This Saturday, July 22nd, Aether NYC and Head Snacks are collaborating to bring you an epic afternoon of skating & partying! The event will run from 2-8pm at 110 Studios in Brooklyn, where there'll be food, a mini-ramp, live music, vendors, and a bar!
With drinks by Juneshine, 10% of all bar sales will be going directly to HHF. Come out, have a good time, and support us while you're at it! It's a day you won't want to miss out on.
The event is open to all ages! Those under 21 will be provided a wristband.
From 2-5pm, there'll be an open skate with a half pipe, then at 6pm, the performances will begin. At 7:30pm, the half pipe will be open again for the last half hour. For more info, check out Aether NYC's original instagram post.
You can purchase tickets here. We're also giving away a few free tickets for HHF program participants and youth - DM us on IG if interested!
Thanks so much to Aether NYC, Head Snacks, Juneshine, and 110 Studios for letting us be a part of this awesome event! We'll see you there!
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.
We are excited to announce our Under the ‘K’ Skate Jam event going on this Saturday (7/15)! In collaboration with North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and Blitz Jam, HHF is hosting a clean up before and after the event to help keep the park clean. There’ll also be a Cash for Trick and product giveaways so be sure not to miss out! The event will be held at Under the ‘K’ Bridge from 4-7pm.
Thank you once again to North Brooklyn Parks Alliance and Blitz Jam for working with us on this event! Let's show some love to Under The 'K' and help keep our skate spaces clean.
For more check our instagram @haroldhunterfoundation!
Every day is Go Skate Day at HHF! That being said, GSD is an important celebration for skaters all over the world! Here are a few events hosted by some of NYC’s favorite OGs and HHF Board Members: Steve Rodriguez and Alex Corporan.
Steve Rodriguez is collaborating with Vans, The Skate Park Project, Gotham Park NYC, and Liquid Death to host his annual GSD event. He'll kick off at the Brooklyn Banks from Noon to 3pm. Over $3000 will be given away for tricks in 3 divisions:
12 and under Male
12 and under Female
12 and under Gender neutral
13 and over Gender neutral
13 and over Female
13 and over Male
If you plan on entering the cash for tricks contests please choose a group that you best identify with and is relevant to your age but realize you can only enter one division.
After the Banks, Steve & the crew will head over to LES for an even bigger CA$H for Tricks contest! Thanks to his collaboration with Nike SB, Labor, and KCDC, Steve's got a fat prize purse of $5000 ready to rain on NYC's most talented skaters. Not to mention giveaways, food, and a good time! It’ll start at 3pm and skaters can choose to enter one of 3 divisions:
12 and under Male
12 and under Female
12 and under Gender neutral
13 and over Gender neutral
13 and over Female
13 and over Male
Once again, if you plan on entering the cash for tricks contests please choose a group that you best identify with and is relevant to your age but realize you can only enter one division.
Meanwhile, Alex Corporan is hosting a large variety of events along with NYC skateboarding's favorite bartender Matt Kruz.
At 1pm, food and drinks will be served at the 169 bar provided by Frank 151.
Then, they’ll head over to the middle of the Williamsburg Bridge for éS Skateboarding’s Game of Skate at 2pm.
At 3:30pm, a Best Trick for prizes event will kick off! It’ll go down at the Continental Army Plaza with Arizona and Natural Koncepts.
The party still doesn’t stop: at 4:30pm we head over to BKWEARHOUSE where Skatenight Games for prizes begins! Food and drink will be provided by Grillo’s Pickles, Williamsburg Pizza, and Liquid Death.
Then finally, at 6pm, performances by Prostitution and Rebelmatic will close the night. You can catch them at Cheese Rock at 221 North 4 st. & Metropolitan.
Check out @stever_nyc and @peanut186 on Instagram for more details and live updates.
Have an awesome GSD and we’ll see you outside!
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Juliana, a summer intern, but more importantly, the newest member of the Harold Hunter Foundation team! As a Development Associate at HHF, my job is to communicate with our supporters. Thus, I’ll be taking over the HHF blog until the end of August to give you some insight on what’s new with HHF–from event recaps, staff spotlights, to opportunity alerts, and more!
But first, a little about me.
I grew up in Bayside, Queens next to the bustling neighborhood Flushing (you could say I’m best friends with the LIRR). The food was always delicious, and pedestrians ruled the streets! I particularly love Korean BBQ, and when I’m in NYC I like to visit the new local trending spots with some friends. Hobby-wise, I enjoy the arts and am very in-tune with nerd culture (that’s shorthand for I like to play video games). Currently, I’m a rising junior at The George Washington University studying Political Science with a minor in Korean.
I’ve had some experience working at nonprofits before, working in community outreach and communications roles. As a woman of color and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I found that helping groups with diverse cultures is something that I not only loved doing in school settings, but wanted to pursue in “the real world”. Being a member of a group is empowering, and it’s organizations like HHF or WOTM that really lift up its members, making them feel a part of something meaningful that’s bigger than themselves. And while I’m not a skater, many people who I’m close with, like my Dad, have been positively changed by skating, which is why I’m so excited to be working at HHF and getting to know this diverse community!
I look forward to growing along with you all this summer & to being your guide into the wonderful work we at HHF do! Enjoy your day and catch you next time where we’ll be recapping the awesome 16th annual Harold Hunter Weekend.
Words by Blair Alley. Originally published 6/12/2023. Check out the full recap with photos + credits on www.skateboarding.com.
Whew! What a fun-filled whirlwind of a weekend the Harold Hunter Foundation just put on! Last week started with smoke, but the events all weekend were fire! The Blitz Jam under the K Bridge had to be postponed and the LGBTQ skate jam had to be moved indoors to Homage Skateboard Academy due to poor air quality, but by Saturday, the Supreme skate jam and Sunday's Harold Hunter Day in Manhattan all went off! Check the photo galleries [in the original article], and if you didn't make it out, you missed out and you gotta pull up next year.
Thursday night saw a private premiere of Charlie Samuels' documentary Virgin Blacktop, trailer here. You probably know Charlie from his seminal photos of Harold Hunter skating NYC in the 80s (and the new Element deck). It's a great documentary about the skate scene in the 70s and 80s from a group of kids around Nyack, New York.
On Saturday, Supreme and Tyshawn Jones' Hardies Hardware put on a proper summer block party at 12th & A. The day started off with a woodworking demo, showing kids how to build boxes and quarterpipes. Then the best trick contests cracked off with Alex Corporan on the bullhorn. There were food trucks outside from Tyshawn's restaurant Tastes So Good. There was a side yard full of carnival games and a dunk tank—a big draw when TJ's girlfriend was offered up for dunking. A product toss went crazy—free Supreme gear getting thrown out! It was wild.
Simultaneously downtown there was a Grillo's Pickles pop up with a collab deck by Shut and Russ Pope. As evening descended, we all ended up on The Delancey rooftop for a fundraiser auction to benefit HHF. The Gnarmads' Matt Kruz was tending bar and our friend Boogie was running the kitchen, bringing out banging chicken sandwiches with the famous pickles in them.
On Sunday, it was Harold Hunter Day! Everyone converged on the famed Tompkins Park asphalt and tricks for cash ensued. The transplant street hockey dorks tried to shut down the session but the local skaters weren't having it. They've been skating this spot for years before these goons started playing street hockey there. It was great to watch them back down to King and his crew.
Every skater followed Leo Heinert down Avenue A to the LES park where more Best Trick contests ensued. Girls' contest over the pyramid, a wallride contest, and finally a comp on the gap to rail. Check out the full best trick on the handrail video below.
It all ended with a mad product toss and we were off to ride City E-Bikes back over the Williamsburg bridge. Major shouts to Ray Mendez and Barbara Heisler at the HHF, Michael Cohen, Steve Rodriguez and everyone that made this weekend happen. It's always a great way to commemorate Harold Hunter. His legend will never die.
Starting tomorrow Thursday June 8th - Sunday June 11th, 2023, the Harold Hunter Foundation begins another exciting and fun 4 day event run that will reach electrifying Harold-like proportions. Photo & film exhibits & screenings, good old NYC style parties, a partnership with top international skateboarding contest series producer (The Boardr), all ending in the grand finale and celebration - “Harold Hunter Day”!
Check out the day-by-day event schedule below!
JUNE 8TH-11TH, 2023
Thursday June 8
4:00 PM - 6:00PM Cash 4 Tricks + Skatepark Cleanup (Under the K) POSTPONED
7:00 PM - 10:00PM Private Film Screening (Invite Only)
Friday June 9
4:00PM - 8:00PM Women & LGBTQIA+ Skate Jam (Homage Skateboarding Academy)
8:00PM - LATE Life of Harold Hunter Celebration hosted by Friends From New York (Manero's of Mulberry)
Saturday June 10
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM The Boardr Open (LES)
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Supreme Woodworking Demo (12th Street & Avenue A)
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM SHUT! X Russ Pope deck release pop-up (2 Rivington Street)
8:00 PM - LATE HHF x SHUT! Fundraiser Party (The Delancey)
Sunday June 11
12:00 - 5:00 PM Harold Hunter Day (12-2pm @ Tompkins, 2-5pm @ LES)
Follow @haroldhunterfoundation on Instagram for live updates, and catch ya'll outside this weekend!
On Wednesday, June 1st, HHF Coach Carlos Pavon sat down with professional skateboarder Zion Wright to have a much-needed conversation about mental health and skateboarding. Thank you Zion and Red Bull for hosting us!
Video filmed and edited by Parlour Productions.
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.