Power + Privilege
At Brown Girl Surf (BGS), we recognize that diversity is complex and multifaceted.
We believe that an important part of creating a more diverse surf culture is building a community where Black, Indigenous, People of Color are the majority, including at the leadership level, and that the experiences of our BIPOC community members and their voices are centered. Our community is composed of folks of all different backgrounds who we love and celebrate, AND we assume that by being here, you are accomplices in creating a surf culture that centers the experiences and leadership of folks of color.
We specially request that our white volunteers and community members uphold Brown Girl Surf expectations to center and amplify the voices and experiences of BIPOC leadership* in the BGS community. We’ve created community agreements that we ask all allies to read and uphold when interacting with the BGS community and programs.
BGS is a volunteer community that welcomes girls*, women*, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, trans, and gender expansive people who seek women* centered spaces from all
backgrounds, including folks who do not identify as people of color. We believe that we ALL play a crucial role, in getting us to a more equitable and awesome world. So our community is comprised of girls*, women*, nonbinary folks, and gender expansive folks of all different backgrounds who we love and celebrate, AND we assume that that by being here, you are accomplices in creating a surf culture that centers the experiences and leadership of folks of color.
The four pillars we hold within our community are:
Honor diversity within our community.
The words “brown” or “person of color” are broad terms. We ask that you honor and respect the diversity in culture, race, sexual orientation, gender, citizenship, religion, age, physical and mental abilities that are present in this group. All of these factors affect how we perceive and are treated by the world around us.
Sit with your discomfort.
Be conscious of how you reinforce bias and racism within your own community. We all come with different privileges that are based not only on the color, but also the shade of our skin. This work requires that we call each other in and recognize how we may have power and privilege due to our relative ease to assimilate, code switch, and be heard by those who are in power. It is critically important for those of us who are not Black to recognize the ways in which we may uphold anti-Black bias.
Take space / Make space.
Encourage full participation by all present. Take note of who is speaking and who is not. If you tend to speak often, consider “moving back” and vice versa.
Practice self focus / Use “I” statements.
Speak on your own experiences and responses. Do not speak for a group or express assumptions about the experience of others.
Thought for self-reflection: Practice *Depth without sinking*
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH POWER AND PRIVILEGE WILL IMPACT HOW YOU INTERFACE WITH THE ROLE, THE ORGANIZATION, AND THE COMMUNITY?