Last night, I met a terrific dude named Miles who is my brother’s high school buddy. Miles is doing his part to make the world a better place, and his passion about it is contagious. In light of the news about Steve Jobs, a man who did in fact change our world for the better, this topic couldn’t be more pertinent.
Miles (with his girlfriend, Lauren) started Cuba Skate, a start-up project aimed at bringing diplomacy to Cuba by helping its skateboarding youth get the resources they need. The project began after Miles and Lauren studied abroad in Cuba and discovered the immense need to support the country’s skateboarding scene, a channel for community, friendship, and growth. Well, their hard work and passion shows as Cuba Skate is taking off. I met with Miles to learn more about his story and what he’s doing with Cuba Skate to ultimately see how I could help out from a branding, communications, and design perspective. We had a great, inspiring chat. During our discussion we chatted about Cuba Skate’s logo, which was created by an outstanding NYC designer, Oliver Munday, a graduate of MICA. I was seriously impressed by Oliver’s work and looking forward to the prospect of collaborating with him.
I feel connected to the Cuba Skate project on a number of levels. First, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that sport does have the ability to change lives. I grew up in a household where sport was emphasized as a vehicle for physical and mental well-being. Being active wasn’t a choice, it just was, and it’s become a part of who I am. Running has kept me healthy, balanced, and confident. Second, my dad is the former President of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), a successful non-profit with a similar mission as Cuba Skate except it focuses on tennis in DC. Knowing the impact WTEF has had on DC youth, I know the sky’s the limit. Also, I like that there’s an art aspect to the sport of skateboarding… everything from the people themselves (tattoos, clothing) to the skate gear. Since it’s an urban sport, graffiti tends to be a main backdrop for skate parks, and I am drawn to this kind of art because it’s visually impactful, vibrant, and exciting.
Keep an eye out for Cuba Skate’s exciting happenings, and definitely consider supporting their mission. Visit their site above or find them on Facebook.
In the meantime, watch this rad skate video from Cuba (not sure if Miles filmed it himself, but either way it’s good stuff).