West St. Paul hosted a Saturday skate night at Harmon Park last night with a few hundred people coming out for Skate Against Hate. The event supported the Black Lives Matter movement with donations going to the grassroots organization A Mother’s Love.
“It’s a protest, a skate, fundraiser, food drive, and healing, all in one,” said the organizers.
You can still make a donation to Skate Against Hate, where 100% of the proceeds will go to A Mother’s Love.
The Folks Behind the Event
A trio of retired Minnesota Roller Derby players organized the event, including West St. Paul City Council Member Lisa Eng-Sarne, Sheena McCollum of North Minneapolis, and Lindsey Lyford of East St. Paul (for a tri-county effort).
Current Minnesota Roller Derby player and graphic designer Rachel Avenido created the artwork.
Fun for Everyone
Organizers tapped into Worldwide Rollout Day, a global effort by roller skaters to stand against hate and racism organized by skatefantacee. Some events featured more of a rolling march, but Eng-Sarne described wanting more of a party feel. The DJ, bubbles, and welcoming nature of all abilities on wheels making circles in the Harmon Park rink achieved that vibe.
Threatening storm clouds in the distance couldn’t dampen the party, as Skate Against Hate enjoyed weather shifting from warm sun to cloudy with a cool breeze—a nice reprieve from the recent heat.
The event included plenty of roller derby fans decked out in helmets and pads, as well as lots of local kids and families with skateboards, bikes, scooters, and more. Safety measures for the ongoing pandemic were encouraged, including wearing masks and keeping appropriate distance.
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(Photos courtesy of Lisa Eng-Sarne and Abby Hendricks. Video courtesy of Lisa Eng-Sarne.)