Basementeer Spotlight: Brown Girl Surf

Group of women wearing pink t-shirts and wetsuits holding hands in front of the oceanPhoto from Brown Girl Surf

We're incredibly proud to have Brown Girl Surf as a Basementeer beneficiary and partner. Learn more about them (from them!) and how you can support below:


Brown Girl Surf logo

Brown Girl Surf works to build a more diverse, environmentally reverent, and joyful women’s surf culture by increasing access to surfing, cultivating community, amplifying the voices of women of color surfers, and taking care of the earth.

Mira Manickam-Shirley is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Brown Girl Surf. She is a long time environmental educator and artist in the San Francisco Bay area, former Youth Program Coordinator at NatureBridge, and a recipient of an Open Circle artist grant, and an Audobon Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship for her innovative work with youth in nature. She holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry. She is the author of the book Just Enough, available through the University of Washington press.



Our programs are meant to create a path towards surf culture creation that celebrates our diverse experiences as women–placing joy and environmental reverence at the center–so that more women and women of color in particular, can engage in surfing and ocean connection all the benefits that entails.

  • Having a staff and volunteer base made up primarily by women of color. We believe it is important that our participants are taught by women and girls who look like them and share their experiences.
  • Focusing on cultural access in addition to financial and logistical access to the ocean. This includes replacing negative narratives around women of color and the ocean, with positive ones; repositioning surfing in familiar cultural spaces for communities of color; and uplifting histories and cultural traditions that connect women of color to the ocean and water.
  • Utilizing a Mind-Body-Ocean curriculum which carries mindfulness, gratitude, observation, and caring for the earth as central threads through all our actions; and integrates a variety of teaching modalities, cultural traditions, and arts and expression throughout our program days.
  • Having ongoing events that occur outside of surfing, in Oakland and via outings.  Some examples of these are our Oakland based environmental cleanups, our Year End Celebration featuring a female hip hop showcase and our Brown Girl Surf slideshow, Cal Academy outings, ocean hikes and film screenings.  
  • Conducting programs that are intergenerational. This allows for adult women and young women and girls to develop relationships with each other, drawing on traditional intergenerational forms of care and communication.
  • Building the capacity of our volunteers and youth to act as ambassadors of Brown Girl Surf, and share their love of the ocean and surfing with others. 


In addition to being a Basementeer beneficiary, we at Sports Basement are actively working to provide donations to Brown Girl Surf. We recently donated nutrition to their organization so that the girls and women have energy to keep on surfin' on! We look forward to hosting future events with Brown Girl Surf when it's safe to do so.

A young Black woman standing with our waffle & GU donations in boxes with two surfboards behind her.


You can donate directly to Brown Girl Surf below. And don't forget to choose Brown Girl Surf as your Basementeer Beneficiary! Email us below to update your beneficiary:

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