Lifting Voices: Mpls organization seeks to diversify winter

As winter approaches in Minnesota, the leaders behind the Mpls organization continue to encourage everyone to make the most of the season.

Minneapolis — This week, the Great Northern Festival kicks off across the Twin Cities Metro with events for winter enthusiasts. In the meantime, Melanin in Motion remains focused on its mission to make sure these “lovers” include everyone.

“Melanin in Motion is a community-based program that works hard to connect primarily communities of color to outdoor adventure opportunities. I’m working hard,” Anthony Taylor said as he prepared to climb the hills of Minneapolis’ Theodore Worth Regional Park.

“Who’s not here?”

In 2016, Taylor co-founded Melanin in Motion with Linnea Atlas Ingebretsson as an extension of the outreach started at Minnesota’s Major Taylor Cycling Club.

the goal? Make sure that even the snowy areas in our community are a level playing field.Taylor himself, when he started snowboarding, winter he said the sport lacks diversity. pointed out. But when the now 63-year-old athlete saw children become more interested in winter sports, he especially recognized the disparity.

“When my kids started being part of the community, I wanted more black kids, more brown kids, as part of that community to see the benefits of that kind of cultural method in sport. It really felt like it was important to have kids…I saw there was something to work out,” Taylor told KARE 11’s Carla Hult.

Basically, Taylor went on. Melanin in Motion started by asking critical questions.

You might be better off thinking, “Who’s not here?” So I really think we are very focused on black and brown families. We are very focused on middle to low income families. Very focused. ”

Whether you’re a winter enthusiast or just live in Minnesota, most people are aware of the costs of participating in the most popular winter sports. Taylor herself is quick to deal with that economic reality.

“The typical cost for a young person to experience snowboarding or alpine skiing for a day is between $75 and $100. The worst day is that you have to commit to going 3 times.$300 to $400 equipment – just learn.It’s exorbitant. It’s a decision we often say “no” to within the decisions we’re making. ”

But Melanin in Motion aims to “solve these challenges,” said Taylor, by offering lessons in easily accessible parks like Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Regional Park. rice field. They also tell the family that the lesson costs “$15 or pay as much as you can.” And, perhaps most importantly, Taylor said, make sure “a representative will meet you in the parking lot.”

“Our coaches and organizers are black, brown, and female. He added that he would support and encourage him.

“In fact, for most black and brown communities we work in, it makes a lot of sense that building a community tells us what we do and why we exist,” Taylor said. say.

“Making winter as part of our racial calculations”

And Melanin in Motion’s mission also touches on what directly benefits Minnesota’s larger community.

“We’re going to say that space is segregated in America. No matter how you face it, it’s a fact,” Taylor said, overlooking the activity of those arriving at Theodore Worth.

Among the opportunities to learn more about winter sports (snowboarding and skiing), Taylor and other organizers say children in particular will begin to rethink where they belong.

“In many ways, what we do is expand the expectations of young people about where they belong. I think it’s amazing to me,” he said.

Given the benefits of being in nature and both our recent and distant past, it’s especially important when it comes to individual and collective health in our communities, he said.

“Ultimately, in terms of people’s well-being, their ability to build resilience, their ability to be collaborative humans, these are all things that can be developed by connecting to the outdoors,” he said. added to correct? We want all citizens, regardless of race, income or gender, to realize the benefits of what we believe is most important. ”

“You can also make winter as part of the racial calculation,” Taylor said.

Three Sisters of Theo Worth

And, lest one think that joy can’t be found in the intentional and profound, the Medas sisters gathered atop Theodore Worth’s Hill to demonstrate the skills and resilience they’ve learned through organizational endeavour.

“Fun, fun,” 10-year-old Candy Medas said of her snowboard lessons.

13-year-old Charity Medas is also learning from her older sister, 16-year-old Caymean Medas, who graduated as a “coach” within the program.

As for Caymeann, she recalls a conversation with a friend.

“They were like, ‘Are you going to snowboard? They seem pretty surprised,'” she laughs, also revealing that the sport has changed her feelings about winter.

“When we first got here it was cold and things like that. But then I started snowboarding,” Kaymian recalls, adding, “And I feel more comfortable in the snow. Now,” he added.

For more information on joining or supporting the Melanin in Motion opportunity, please click here.

For more information on all events related to the Great Northern Festival, which runs from 25th January to 5th February, click here.

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