Brown Girl Surf originally started out to amplify the visibility and voices of women of colour who surf. Today its mission has evolved to include teaching women of colour how to surf and to be active environmental stewards.
Named in honour of Polynesia’s first female surfers, Brown Girl Surf is dedicated to fostering a diverse, alternative women’s surf community in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.
Brown Girl Surf was founded in 2011 by Farhana Huq and Mira Manickam in the Oakland area, and today has extended its reach to include fostering a community by teaching environmental awareness, increasing access to surfing and providing lessons for those looking for their way in the water.
This Oakland-based non-profit organisation, which is run by volunteers, attract girls and women of all ages and backgrounds for their weekend Surf Sister Saturday outings and run seasonal surf crews and a summer camp for youth who want more surf when school’s out.
Brown Girl Surf’s programmes have reached hundreds of girls and young women of colour from Bayview, Hunter’s Point, Oakland and beyond. Surfboards and wetsuits are provided for participants, the majority of whom also receive some sort of scholarship.
Brown Girl Surf say: “Our mission is to elevate the historical significance of trailblazing female surfers, and to connect them with resources and support (and each other) so they can continue making waves of change in their communities now and for generations to come.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea