With Juneteenth now being observed as a federal holiday, there was much to be celebrated!
On June 19, 2021 we held our 1st annual Juneteenth celebration. International Surfing Day also fell on this day so it was only right to partner with our friends at Surfrider SD to host this celebration. People from all over San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles came down to join in on the fun and we are so full of gratitude. Juneteenth is always a special day but this year, it was even more important because Juneteenth is now observed as a federal holiday! The reason we felt it was important to host a Juneteenth event at the beach was because it is important to provide representation. Beach and surf culture has become very white washed leaving the BIPOC community feeling under represented. One of our goals is to diversify the surf line up so we offered free surf lessons and it was a beautiful sight to see! We heard so many people saying
" I've never seen so many black people in the water before "
and that made us PROUD but also reminded us that we are not a majority in the ocean for many reasons including systemic racism and redlining and that needs to change. Kayiita, who runs the black.surfers IG account gave a very informative speech on Laru Beya's water safety campaign which mentions that about 70% of African-American children cannot swim. This is problematic and they are working to change that. We invited other Non-Profits to come out and celebrate with us and join in and they did not hesitate. We want to recognize Color the Water, For the Neighborhood, Un Mar De Colores who are run by phenomenal humans doing the work to get more people of color into the water.
We danced, ate great BBQ and listened to informative speeches. Many connections were made between people who were only instagram friends having not met in real life and people connecting for the 1st time ever and it was a beautiful thing to see. Community is extremely important and these bonds are special to have. We are a collective working together towards the same goal.
The energy was high the whole day with people talking and laughing. And everyone was just helping out without having to be asked. It was community efforts that made the event what it was. There were smiles everywhere you looked in the water and on land. So many people caught their 1st waves this day and it was an absolute honor and pleasure to be apart of that. Check out the photos below for a recap of the day and we will see you all next year!
Drone pilot: Daina Buchner
Photographers: Nathan French, Jarel Treichel, Jim Royer