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Surfing as a beginner can be scary for anyone, but for the Black community there can be the added perception that “surfing is for white people.” Lizelle Jackson, surfing instructor and creator of the #ColorTheWater movement aims to show that “The ocean is for everyone.”

Being active and being outdoors have always been a part of Jackson’s life. Her own mother was a marathon runner and as a kid, Jackson spent much of her summers hiking, camping and rafting. Jackson played competitively for her college volleyball team and eventually traveled the world, working as a guide in the outdoor adventure space, and ultimately learning how to surf during her time in Costa Rica.

Even though athletics and nature always called her name, Jackson grew up seeing surfing as a “white” sport as presented by the media. Hoping to change the demographics of surfers and encourage anybody interested in surfing to give it a go, Jackson started the hashtag #ColorTheWater. It’s a joyful movement meant to combat racism and inspire more members of the Black community to get out and enjoy the ocean. Jackson says she hopes to change the demographics of who is represented on the water. Parallel with creating the #ColorTheWater movement, Jackson started offering free surf lessons in Los Angeles and before she knew it, she’d created a community.

Nissan believes the road less traveled is where you find adventure at every turn. Made for Adventure celebrates African Americans who seek adventure on the path less traveled.

Follow the progress of the #ColorTheWater movement on Instagram at @color_the_water


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