Almost 100 skate decks were given out to Long Beach youth on national Go Skate Day by the local organization and event, Push for Peace.
A crowd of about 60 people, varying in age from toddlers to seniors, gathered on a patch of grass at Cherry Beach to participate in the Push for Peace event where organizers like Devan Romo and Zaine Jakeem gave free t-shirts, skate decks, Vans shoes, and food to the community.
Several local vendors and organizations participated in this event. Adept Designs provided grip tape and art supplies while Good Bus catering and The Kookery provided free food.
Push for Peace was created last year in response to the civil unrest brought about by the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and excessive police brutality that ignited a series of protests around the world. The event in 2020 showcased local musicians and bands such as Wacko and The Sleeperz playing on Cherry Hill as mobs of skaters busted out tricks. Over 100 people were in attendance.
Devan Romo, 24, a member of the Push for Peace organization, said that the money raised from the event last year went toward making the skate decks and t-shirts that they were able to distribute on June 21, 2021.
“This is us giving back,” said Romo.
The overall message behind this event and the work the organizers focus on is about mutual aid for the community.
“We want to help each other out. We have these resources and we want to share them with people who can’t afford them. Kids love to skate and we see them riding around on broken down boards so we figured let’s give them some fresh ones, some free t-shirts, food, shoes,” said Zaine Jakeem, community member and frontman of the local band Wacko.
Although it was planned to showcase local bands that played last year along with other acts, patrolling police moved the event from Cherry Hill and prohibited live music around 12 p.m. as the event was just beginning.
This did not seem to dampen the spirits of the attendees, who represented the diversity in Long Beach. All ages, creeds and cultures came together to celebrate the city and its loving community.
“Change starts when we develop the mindset to stop thinking only about ourselves and instead focus on helping the people around you,” Jakeem said. “Once we have that mindset, we can see what needs to happen around you and in your community. If you see something that needs to happen and no one else is doing it, do it yourself,” Jakeem continued.