Welcome to skatependants.org, a fundraising site to raise money for Diversify Ice, an organization that helps Black and brown skaters get the resources and coaching they need to be successful skaters at the elite levels.
My name is Simon Mintz, and I am a competitive ice dancer living in the Boston area. I started this tzedakah project as part of the preparation for my bar mitzvah , and I am continuing this project to further support diversify ice.
I am making and selling skate pendants and key chains, and the net proceeds will go to Diversify Ice. My starting goal was to raise $3,000, which helps pay for expenses, including skates, blades, costumes, coaching and ice time, for one skater. Thanks to all of you who helped me reach my original goal! I have now made my 2021 goal to $5,000!
My goal with this website also is to raise awareness about the need for more Black and brown skaters at the highest levels of figure skating. Based on my own experience, I know this is a need. I have never seen any Black figure skaters at the levels I skate at in competitions and have only seen one or two Black figure skaters on the high level practice sessions that I skate on.
I spoke with Joel Savary, a skating coach and also the founder of Diversify Ice Foundation, and he told me why he started the organization. “We really wanted skating to be cool among people among minority backgrounds. When I started coaching and started to get people really interested in the sport, I really wanted to lower the barriers.”
He told me about the barriers that make it difficult for minority skaters to stay in the sport, which include being told that figure skating is not for Black skaters, being judged differently because of the color of their skin and their non-classical musical choices.
In his book, Why Black And Brown Kids Don’t Skate, Mr. Savary wrote about his own experiences starting skating. He was the only Black skater and was once accused of stealing his skates. “At the age of fourteen, that was my first experience understanding being an outsider because of my race and I learned it at an ice rink trying to figure skate.”
I hope you will visit my shop to buy skate pendants to support Diversify Ice, and also help me spread awareness of the lack of diversity in ice skating and many other sports. Maybe we can help bring more Black and brown kids into this sport.
progress towards our goal