Finding A Line: New Haven, community partners celebrate skate park ribbon-cutting in Dixwell

  • Ribbon cutting at Scantlebury skate park
    Steve T. Roberts and Alder Jeanette L. Morrison cut the ribbon at Scantlebury skate park. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Scantlebury skate park partners and community supporters
    Finding A Line: New Haven and community partners attend ribbon cutting. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Steve T. Roberts and J. Joseph
    Steve T. Roberts and J. Joseph YC'19. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Steve T. Roberts and J. Joseph YC'19 address the attendees
    Steve T. Roberts and J. Joseph YC'19 address the attendees. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Alder Morrison invites a young skate-boarder to addresses the attendees
    Alder Jeanette L. Morrison invites a young skate-boarder to addresses the attendees. Photo by Lee Busby
  • City of New Haven mayor Justin Elicker addresses attendees.
    City of New Haven mayor Justin Elicker addresses attendees. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Attendees show support at the Scantlebury skate park ribbon-cutting ceremony
    Attendees show support at the Scantlebury skate park ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Skateboarding equipment donated by Officer Phillips of New Haven Police Department
    Skateboarding equipment donated by Officer Phillips of New Haven Police Department. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Steve T. Roberts helps distribute kateboarding equipment donated by Officer Phillips of New Haven Police Department (pictured right)
    Steve T. Roberts helps distribute kateboarding equipment donated by Officer Phillips of New Haven Police Department (pictured r). Photo by Lee Busby
  • Gearing up to skate
    Gearing up to skate. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Youth join J. Joseph and Steve T. Roberts for a skateboarding clinic.
    Youth join J. Joseph and Steve T. Roberts for a skateboarding clinic. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Youth participate in skateboarding clinic.
    Youth participate in skateboarding clinic. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Steve T. Roberts offers skateboarding tips at clinic.
    Steve T. Roberts offers skateboarding tips at clinic. Photo by Lee Busby
  • J. Joseph demonstrates skateboarding technique at clinic.
    J. Joseph demonstrates skateboarding technique at clinic. Photo by Lee Busby
  • Youth participate in skateboarding clinic.
    Youth participate in skateboarding clinic. Photo by Lee Busby
September 1, 2020

On August 27, New Haven’s Ward 22 Alder Jeanette L. Morrison, New Haven city officials, and partners of Finding A Line: New Haven convened at Ella B. Scantlebury Park in Dixwell to cut the ribbon on a skate park. Morrison and guests applauded the contributions of J. Joseph YC’19 and Steve T. Roberts, who envisioned and initiated the project in response to a need in their hometown. The pair sourced the funds and rallied the partners necessary to bring the idea to fruition. Yale collaborators acknowledged at the event also included Bobbie Pourier YC’20, past president of the Yale Undergraduate Skateboarding Union, and the Yale Schwarzman Center, which provided $25,000 in matching funds for a grant Joseph and Roberts secured from the Could Be Fund toward the skate park’s construction. The grand opening concluded with a skateboarding clinic for youth ages 5-13, hosted by Joseph and Roberts and designed around physical distancing requirements.

Finding A Line: New Haven is the local branch of a growing nationwide initiative that cultivates collaborations between skaters and non-skaters to inspire positive social change. The name refers to both the act of finding a line through a physical space with a skateboard and finding connections between individuals. Finding A Line: New Haven partners include Push to Start, New Haven Innovation Collaborative (formerly Elm City Innovation Collaborative), the City of New Haven, Yale Undergraduate Skateboarding Union, and the Yale Schwarzman Center. Both Joseph and Roberts are currently working on skateboard and media-related projects for the Yale Schwarzman Center. Roberts is also the founder of Push to Start, a youth engagement program that promotes skateboarding as a physical activity and a means to building self-confidence and teaching perseverance.