Skateboarders band together to push for change

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Protests pushing for police reform and fighting against racism have united many people in the country toward what they feel is a greater cause.

And now on Go Skateboarding Day, a certain demographic is joining the fight with some clever footwork.

“These are all my people. I love everybody here,” said Mikey Callender, a local skater in Grand Rapids. “Skateboarding brings everybody together and there’s a lot of things going on that people aren’t talking about that they should be talking about.”

The movement sweeping the world over is now grinding and riding its way through Grand Rapids with a focus on social reform.

“Keep an open mind, you know? Say, ‘hi’ to everybody, make a new friend, this is what this is all about,” he said. “You got to be cool with everybody and kind of make something out of nothing.”

It’s called ‘Push 4 Change’, an event that’s been shuffling its way through the nation all the way to West Michigan.

“We had talks last Sunday of, you know, ‘I feel like we should do something to actually create some change and get a part of the movement that’s happening right now.’ And we just pulled it all together in a week.”

The underground group brought their boards to Cherry Park, raising awareness and money for groups like the NAACP and then skated several miles through downtown.

“I mean, there’s so many issues right now that affects people of color, that affects the LGBTQ community and that can range anywhere from natural environmental issues to social issues,” said Annah Johnson, an organizer for Push 4 Change Michigan.

“The thing is, with skateboarding there’s so many different kinds of people,” Callender said. “Like you don’t really look at anything else besides you skate.

“So, no matter what, you’re going to be friends, you’re going to come together. Especially, you see all the people here — it’s a million degrees outside and we’re here to promote something that needs to be addressed.”

And West Michigan isn’t the last stop for Push 4 Change. It’s just playing its part in keeping the movement rolling.

“It goes to show you how strong the skate community is, especially in Grand Rapids,” he said. “It’s super sick.”