Child of the Dominican Republic by way of the South Bronx, Kava is a 24-years-young human who feels most at home in between the cracks of crowded pavement.
For Kava, skateboarding is become a nucleus around which her passions for women’s empowerment, urban mobility, and sustainability revolve. For Kava, skateboarding is more than a sport or hobby; it is also a culture, lifestyle, and political act that challenges established paradigms regarding public space, gender dynamics, and cultural production.
In March 2017, Kava received the life-changing news that she had been selected as a recipient of both the Davis Peace Prize and the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. For her Davis Peace Prize project, Kava collaborated with the Skateboarding Association of Mozambique (ASM) and Germany-based organization Skate-aid to create Meninanda, the first girls skateboarding club in Mozambique. After five transformative weeks of (un)learning with and from her meninandas in Maputo, Kava flew to Malmo, Sweden to begin her Watson adventure.
Kava’s Watson project, titled “Skate Into The Sun” (2017-present), was/is an exploration of how women are personally and politically empowered by their participation in skateboarding communities. Throughout her fellowship year, Kava traveled to Germany, South Africa, India, and Mexico, among other countries. She is grateful to have skated with and learned from pioneers and pals, individuals, organizations, and brands who are passionate about using skateboarding as a vehicle to drive positive social change.
Kava is currently based in The Bronx, New York City, where she works as an elementary school science teacher, organizes with Uptown- and The Bronx-based skateboarding collective Good Hearted Goonz, makes crochet jewelry, and enjoys playing with turtles on Python.
Follow Kava’s Watson musings and feel free to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Instagram at @uncouthyouth.