connect / 2021

Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word Skateboarding Initiative

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word

Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word is the go-to destination for any girl or womxn in skateboarding that wants to be heard, or just needs help or advice dealing with the “boys club”. GN4LW helps fund events for female skaters and donates products for girls who wish to skate but may not be able to afford to do so. We have an online website that promotes female and non-binary skaters & events daily, and we also work behind the scenes to encourage (and PUSH) large male-dominated skate companies to step up and support female riders.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Getting more girls and womxn skateboarding. That comes from having events, meet-ups, and getting more female and non-binary people together on skateboards as well as those who may not be able to afford the gear and creating an environment that feels safe when learning or skating at the skatepark. If this is not possible during the COVID timeline - we feel that virtual meetups via zoom have been a good way to have meet-ups and even discuss techniques and encourage skaters. Girls usually drop out of skateboarding in their late teens as they can not pursue a career as a skater - like boys can - due to lack of financial support. We feel that the more girls are out there skating, the more skate companies - and others will start changing that financial landscape. If you want to skate for fun, we love it - if you want to pursue it at the pro or Olympic level we feel that the support should be there for the women too.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

If COVID does not allow in-person strategies, we plan on continuing visual support through multiple social media channels, interviews on the website, donation of our “It’s Not About Pretty” skateboard book to libraries and schools that can not afford them. IF ALLOWED we’d also add in - Monthly meet-ups and skill-building / learn to skate groups, events and contests. Also identifying and donating gear to communities where female and non-binary skaters live and play.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

900
Direct impact
5,400
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

We will have more gender equality at community skateparks through Los Angeles County. Girls and womxn will feel safer and more confident going out to skate at these skateparks if there are more girls skating. By creating a larger network of female and non-binary skaters it assures the skaters that they can go skate and are not alone in a male-dominated atmosphere. This equals a thriving skate scene that is not all about the boys as it has been since the beginning.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

We have been the co-chair, along with our fiscal sponsor, of the Venice Ladies Skate Jam for 4 years and each year more and more girls and womxn come out, take over Venice Skatepark, make new friends, and skate - our goal continues to be to have it grow every single year. While we are dealing with COVID we have shifted our focus to more social media representation and website coverage. A hardback book we self-published continues to show these young womxn that there are many other female skaters out there - they are not alone. Visual representation is key. We’d like to continue our interviews with these skaters on our website as we know from past web traffic - those interviews are a big source of inspiration. We also do collaborations and create products that give back financially to womxn in skate.

Which of the connect metrics will you impact?​

  • Social and emotional support
  • Volunteerism
  • LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY