-My presence in the water is so important. It’s showing other women of color that this is not a “white man’s playground.” This is our playground. This is everyone’s playground. I was born and raised in the Bronx, and for some reason — when I was around, like, I think it was 6 or 7 — this weird obsession with, like, the water and surfing started. But I think I was just born to be in the sea. When I moved to California, I was 1) the only person of color and 2) the only female at a lot of the breaks that I would surf at, which made me really uncomfortable.And that’s when my involvement with Brown Girl Surf started. -Morning. How are you? -We are… Brown Girl Surf. We are… Brown Girl Surf. -Brown Girl Surf is a community-based social movement around connecting girls and women of color to the ocean. Our mission is to create a more diverse, joyful, and environmentally reverent women’s surf culture. -Then always placing the back foot first. And then putting — like this. -Surf lessons can sometimes be intimidating, and so we try to create familiar, welcoming territory. -There are a lot of emotions that come up, and fear is one thing that comes up a lot. And a lot of women in their own way work through that fear. Being a black woman in America today is learning how to defy odds in almost every single aspect of your life.The water is a safe space for women of color because the water is honest. The things that our society has kind of created to hold me back don’t exist in the water. -Definitely not a good time in America to be a woman of color, and it’s a wakeup call to see women organizing, standing up, and being in solidarity with each other. I definitely see what Brown Girl Surf does as a really powerful form of resistance. -The water is our space, too. Don’t fall into the traps of the stereotypes that you hear about black women in the water, or things that you see, don’t let those hold you back. Get in a wetsuit and get out there. .