This figure skating program is helping young women of color fight discrimination

Figure Skating Harlem is a program dedicated to providing educational mentorship and access to black and Latina girls, an underrepresented demographic in sports.
7:29 | 04/06/18

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Transcript for This figure skating program is helping young women of color fight discrimination
?????? Sng makes me feel great. Erything else just doesn't matter. When I'm on the ice don't have to express myself through words it's just I'm skating and that's alternate I have to focus on. 15-year-old girlas been skating since 6 years old. Adopted as a baby she's often struggled with her entity. Adoption is a tricky subject. Big part of it is know where you come om. Not being able to put two and two together can be confusing. He is said sting helped T put it all together. It just kind of guided me in the ri direction. She and H best friend are co-captains of figure Chris ca in Harl them a program geared towards girl who's are black and provide mentorship to access to a elite sport where few look like. Even in this year's winter olympics the complexon of the sport hasn't changed much not just in skating, historically the winter olympics is overwhelmingly white this year's team still92% white. The girls are headed tone of the last competitions of the season, connectic synchronized skating competition. I'm excited. We want to be top five. Being one of the only teams exclusively for young women of color the gir say their differences are not always celebrated. It's unfortunate but race isn't everything. We went to our lt competition and another teamame past us like don't let them take your bags we're like we're even by you we don't want your bags we have our bags. And fighting the conception that they are not real contenders. Just because something doesn't haore resour esn't mean it' more powerful, this it is more powerful than just Chris citing it's a state For girlsce time and coaches and gear traing could cost up to $50 a year. In these times of division would fhs play a more significanrole. No question. Today it's more vital than eve that girls of color have opportunity to become everything and anything theyan be in this world. Sharon Cohen founder of figure skati Harl them says 100% of students pur higher edition that's the goal. Our girls go on to Georgetown, Barnard, Howard and Spellman. She was once a competitive national medallist with olympic drea but felt the sport was missing song. The palette today doesn't look different than when skated. In 19 created a formal organization funded in part through charitybleonations they train on and off the ice twice a week taking classes in science and leadership. Anyone ever coded before? How can it be transformative. It is really hard to figure skate. It takes perseverance. Something I learned firsthand. I fell a lot. What's ice skating bring to Yo life. Definitely brings confidence to MLIFE. I feel this is where I'm supposed to be, like my home. At home and often the stands is her dad raising destin on his own. My sister would also skate in Harlem. Watching a French skater. A decorat olympian known for her famous yet banned back flips. She was intrigued a minority girl was skating. This is my favorite cture. He believes fhs Chang his daughters trajectory. Her mother lef when destiny W just a baby. What are you thinking about right now? What she's been through. Andt she's gng through in life and how this moment pure innocent. Hesed me by himself. I never had a woman fe so once I came here I got sis and stuff. Her father pays $850 a year a fee they say is well worth it. We definitelyuggle with money but we manage andhis definitely helps. Ack at the etition, girls are preparing to take the ice. They're here with three other fhs teams. Some as young as six years old. For nine-year-old Camille Lopez it her first year on the team. The thing about fhs and all of the opportunities it gives you and also havprograms to help you speak out and learn be confident in yourself. Figure skating Harlem has seen such a sss expded to motown. Why Detroit. It rose to the top because it had a community in need, in need of educational support as well as leadership that comes with king. Detroit who declared bankruptcy five years ago it's education struggling to rebound. We'retrong and always find a way to come back. She's lived in Detroit all her life when Ty learned about ice skating they were thrill. I was like I want to B a ice sk mommy. I was so excited, jumping around that wle day. This per koeshs little girl is already dreaming of the olympics. I'm strong. I am powerful. I can amount to anything. I newound coidence. We are black women,e can do anything that other people can Back in Connecticut at the competition Ela and destiny's team performs ex Uber antly. But falls short of their goal. They come in eighth PLAC I always going be the same levelf proud because we got on the ice 'S the hardest thing. Feeling a littlenervous. The song they chose to skate to, beyoncs "Run the world". For the younger team, victory, ind victory,and validation. Astonished like oh, my god these ople are black and won first place. W that's incredible. Like wow. I'ad that we won. It is all at once sisterhood a therapy session and confidence boosterlt on a foundation of ice. We walk in withur heads held high and let them know we're here Andere to stay. For "Nightlin in Harlem, New York.

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