As an organization founded in memory of a Black skateboarder, run by a staff of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and serving predominantly BIPOC youth in NYC, we have struggled to find the words to express the range of overwhelming emotions we have experienced over the last two weeks.
While we are most known for the work we do providing scholarships to skate camp and creating positive skateboarding events and opportunities for skaters in NYC, supporting our staff and the youth we serve to manage the unrelenting challenges they face with police has been an important part of our work.
Each of us on the HHF staff has had our own personal dehumanizing experiences with police misconduct and brutality. According to our 2016 needs assessment of NYC skaters, and subsequent surveys of youth involved in HHF programming, 86% of the Black youth we serve report having had encounters with police.
Just last fall, we helped two Black skaters from the HHF community begin to navigate the long and difficult process of filing formal complaints, and potentially pursuing lawsuits, against NYPD officers for two separate and unrelated, deeply traumatic incidents of police brutality they experienced. These incidents happened in a single month.
Despite being a small organization with an extremely lean staff and budget, we have always worked to provide all HHF youth with support and advocacy to help them navigate a biased criminal justice system and school to prison pipeline, including:
As we work to transition to a more outreach-based model in 2021 and beyond, we are committed to making these resources available to as many skaters in NYC as possible.
We are filled with pride to see so many skaters standing up against police violence and brutality all around the world. We stand in solidarity with them and hope you will join us because...
Black Lives Matter.
Black Dreams Matter.
Black Futures Matter.
At HHF, the health and well-being of our staff, coach/mentors, and the youth we serve is our number one priority. As such, we have spent the past few weeks doing everything we can to thoughtfully and carefully respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working to establish appropriate contingency plans.
We were gearing up to launch our 2020 programs and initiatives just as the situation began to rapidly unfold in NYC. We therefore made the following immediate changes:
We have also taken proactive measures to continue supporting our community during this difficult and challenging time:
The suspension of our programs and postponement of events will have a huge impact on HHF as an organization and on the community we serve. At this crucial time of year, we are asking HHF community members to consider making a tax-deductible donation that will ensure we have the resources available to continue the impactful work we deliver year-round.
Thank you for your continued support. Please, take care of yourself and those around you, and always remain positive--we will prevail.
LEARN HOW TO THRIVE IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY FROM NYC SKATERS WHO PAVED THEIR OWN WAY TO CREATIVE CAREERS
Harold Hunter Foundation (HHF) and College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF) are teaming up for a special event at Firstborn in NYC. Join us on March 14th for CREATIVE TRACKS and enjoy FREE food, beverages, networking, and panel discussions with skaters who have established successful careers in advertising, design, art direction, photography, fashion, and more.
Featured panelists include Steve Rodriguez (Founder, 5boro Skateboards & SVP Creative Services, EP+Co), Dave Snyder (CCO, Firstborn), Orlando Asson (Creative Content Producer, EP+Co), Ian Michna (Founder, Jenkem Magazine), Peter Pabón (Photographer), Justin Kinard (Motion Designer, MAC Cosmetics), and more.
- Date: Saturday, March 14th
- Time: 6:00-9:00pm
- Location: Firstborn - 32 Avenue of Americas, 17th Floor (Tribeca)
** Please bring ID for check-in at Firstborn lobby **
Space is limited to 60 attendees. Please RSVP today to save your spot!
Free food provided by Fields Good Chicken and beverages by Wave Soda.
Illustration inspired by classic Andy Kessler photo by Ivory Serra.
As we roll into a brand-new year (and decade!), we wanted to take a moment to reflect on everything that went down in 2019. It was a very exciting year!
With backing from the extended HHF community, 2019 marked the second year of the HHF Legacy Program. Once again, a group of 40 NYC skaters were connected with three coach-mentors trained through the Up2Us Sports Coach Across America program for 7-months of weekly skate sessions, 10 life-skills workshops, on-going support and mentorship, and enrichment activities--culminating in our annual week-long trip to Camp Woodward.
In addition, with the support of adidas Skateboarding, we hosted another successful Harold Hunter Weekend and teamed up with Beyond the Streets for a unique fundraiser featuring custom artwork by Mark Gonzales; we launched an online store with limited-edition HHF products; we sent two HHF Legacy Program members to participate in the inaugural Laureus Youth Leadership Summit in LA; we received a grant from the Sheckler Foundation; we hit the streets for the 13th Annual HHF Bridgerun; and HHF Executive Director, Jessica Forsyth, was invited to speak at the 2nd Annual Pushing Boarders conference in Sweden.
Other highlights included releasing an artist series skateboard deck with legendary urban art pioneer PHASE2 (sadly, this was his final collab ever; he passed away in December); collaborating with Zoo York--now under Old Management--on their second Zoo York x Founders capsule collection; and executing an extremely successful Crowdfunding Campaign where we not only reached our goal, but exceeded it!
Harold Hunter Foundation programs continue to have a deep impact on our youth, as they become part of a positive peer group where they receive guidance and support from credible messengers. Impact data found that 93% of HHF participants made gains in targeted social emotional learning outcomes, with the greatest gains in developing a sense of positive self-identity, enhancing social skills such as empathy, and expanding social capital.
We are very proud of our progress and success to date. As always, thank you for your interest in and support of HHF. We look forward to bringing you more good news in 2020 and beyond!
“The Era” is the newest artist series from Maxallure Skateboards featuring KIDS-inspired graphics by Sunniva Wyller, with 10% of proceeds benefiting the Harold Hunter Foundation.
Click here to grab a limited-edition deck and tee, while supplies last.
We not only hit our fundraising goal, we exceeded it! Over the past 30 days we raised $21,732 (that's 109% of our goal!)—funds that will be used to support HHF programming in 2020 and beyond.
Huge shout out to everyone that got involved, whether you made a donation or simply spread the word—it’s all greatly appreciated!
HHF is a small, grassroots organization with limited resources, and none of this would be possible without the generosity of our supporters.
Thank you for helping us keep Harold’s legacy alive by providing a network of support, opportunity and advocacy for under-served NYC youth so they can thrive as skateboarders and most importantly, young adults.
LEGENDS NEVER DIE!
Jessica Forsyth, HHF Executive Director, was an invited panelist at the 2nd Annual Pushing Boarders, a conference that united passionate pro skaters, community groups, NGOs, policy-makers and academics in Malmö, Sweden (August 14-19) for a series of talks and Q&As exploring the social impact of skateboarding worldwide.
Co-hosted by the world’s only high school for skateboarders, Bryggeriet, Pushing Boarders joined the annual Skate Malmö Street event, Kristianstad Museum’s Skate! 2019 exhibition, and Smörgåsboard Film Festival in bringing together “skateboarding's treasures and trailblazers, as well as the underground and overlooked, the weird and wonderful of our culture and industry."
Each day included talks on topics as diverse as skate NGOs, cultural heritage, gender identity, and education, followed by skate events, exhibitions and film screenings held at different venues throughout the city. Panelists were invited based on their expertise and real world experience.
Jessica was featured on the Skate & Educate: From Classrooms to Communities panel which was chaired by industry veteran Rick McCrank. The panelists explored the potential of skateboarding as an immersive and transferable learning tool. At the heart of the discussion was the question, "How do we both learn skateboarding and learn from skateboarding?”
Watch the Skate & Educate panel discussion below. To learn more and watch all panel discussions from the event, please visit PushingBoarders.com.
Over the next 30 days we're on a mission to raise $20,000--and we need your help! Please consider making a donation so we can keep HHF programming rolling steadily along in 2020 and beyond. And, please spread the word. We truly appreciate your support!
Check out our campaign video to learn how HHF programming has positively impacted the lives of long-time HHF mentor/coach Wade Yates and HHF Legacy Program participant Christian Alcantara.
Video shot and produced by Parlour Productions.
On Sunday, September 22nd, the 13th Annual HHF Bridgerun went down in NYC with funds raised in support of HHF's Skate Camp Scholarship program. Dozens of HHF supporters were in attendance to run, walk, skate and bike the 5-mile route.
Participants received a special edition Nike Dri-FIT event t-shirt designed by artist Curtis Kulig featuring a photo by Davide Sorrenti. If you missed the run and want a commemorative tee, limited quantities are available on the HHF online store here.
Special thanks to the NYC Bridgerunners for all their support and guidance, and Radeberger Pilsner who donated beer for the after party.
Wrap-up video shot and produced by Parlour Productions.
Today, Zoo York is releasing the second drop in its series of ZOO YORK x FOUNDERS capsule collections, created in collaboration with the brand’s founders, Rodney Smith, Eli Morgan Gesner and Adam Schatz. Earlier this year, the trio returned to the brand as creative directors.
The latest ZOO YORK x FOUNDERS release pays tribute to Harold, one of the Zoo Crew's original team members. To honor Harold’s memory, HHF will receive a portion of proceeds from the collection which is sold exclusively at ZooYork.com. Zoo has an ongoing relationship with the foundation, with Adam Schatz serving on the Board of Directors for more than a decade.
“Zoo York was such an important part of Harold’s life. We’re thrilled to be working with Zoo’s original management on a special collaboration honoring Harold’s legacy and benefiting HHF,” says Jessica Forsyth, Executive Director of the Harold Hunter Foundation.
The capsule consists of seven pieces, with most featuring archival photos of Harold accompanied by his legendary quotes. Key items include co-branded decks hand spray painted and signed by Eli Morgan Gesner, as well as short-sleeve and long-sleeve tees both emblazoned with Harold's image and the quote, “The little information I have, that’s what I know.” Additional items include a hoodie, beanie and waist bag, as well as a re-issue of a classic Zoo crewneck from 1995 with Harold’s name on the back.
To showcase the collection, Zoo York tapped AJ Rodriguez, a four-time recipient of HHF skate camp scholarships and a newly-minted member of the ZY skate team.
"It was a life-changing experience," says AJ Rodriguez about his time in California at HHF's summer camp program. "This mentally opens up kids' perspectives that these experiences even exist. You meet new friends and the socializing boosts your motivation to keep skating. Zoo York and its founders have carved such an important history and are so respected. It's an honor to be welcomed into the family."
ZOO YORK x FOUNDERS: DROP 002 is exclusively available online here.
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.