Melanin in Motion creates more access to winter sports for communities of color

A program at Theodore Wirth Park is now making it possible for families of color in the Twin Cities metro to learn how to ski or snowboard, without an hour-long commute or a bill approaching $100.

The Loppet Foundation, Minneapolis Park Board, Burton Snowboards and REI have teamed up to make it possible, providing quality equipment and instruction from BIPOC coaches.

"Our goal was really getting communities of color… and getting them moving," Melanin in Motion founder Anthony Taylor explained.

For the last five years, Taylor been trying to fix a problem he sees in his own community – the underrepresentation of people of color in outdoor sports like skiing and snowboarding.

"I think often people perceive that it is not for Black people," Taylor said.

Melanin in Motion founder Anthony Taylor

Now he is working to change that narrative, by making the sport more accessible and affordable.

"Changing who the coaches are and where it happens," Taylor said.

"Now it’s $15 [for] your lift ticket, lesson, [and rental equipment]" he explained.

It’s happening on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Theodore Wirth Park all winter long.

"[Being Black] a lot of kids of my color don’t really see themselves being able to snowboard or ski," coach Noah Famer of Minnehaha Academy said. "Mostly I teach them the confidence that comes with it."

The Melanin in Motion program helps make winter sports more accessible.

Along the way they get pretty cold, braving the elements to expand opportunities for the next generation.

"If I didn’t do this, I’d probably be at home sitting doing nothing, or watching TV and just being unproductive," coach Azariah Barrows of Hopkins said.

Instead, now things have changed for Barrows and many of her peers – and they’re making the most out of it in a way they never thought was possible.

Learn to ski and snowboard with Melanin in Motion at Theodore Wirth Park this winter. (FOX 9)