Brown Girl Surf volunteers and staff had a big presence at the 3rd Annual Institute for Women’s Surfers at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University this October. Brown Girl surf sat on the steering committee of the conference, spearheaded by surf scholar Dr. Krista Comer, and over 8 current and former BGS Staff and volunteers joined a group of 30 women gathered from around the world to present their work and discuss issues of access to the ocean. We were proud to represent the BGS family and hosted a “Speak Out” where our volunteers shared some powerful stories about what it means to be a woman of color in the ocean. Others present were scholars, writers, and scientists from places as far as Wales and Australia. We were also joined by local friends big wave surfer Bianca Valenti, film maker Dayla Soul, journalist and big wave surf photographer Sachi Cunningham, Rhonda Harper of Black Girls Surf, and our friends at City Surf Project and the Wahine Project. It was an inspiring, energizing, and empowering weekend where women of the surf world got to join together, share stories, and uplift and encourage each other’s voices.
After the meeting, Brown Girl Surf volunteers who attended the IWS met to discuss how they could further the Brown Girl Surf movement via passion projects, inspired by the work of their fellow surf-feminist activists. Keep an eye out for upcoming Brown Girl surf volunteer-led projects promote civic engagement, and use various media arts to explore women’s surf stories and share our surf culture.