Amna Akhtar grew up in one of Birmingham’s most inner-city areas which lead her to co-founding GirlDreamer, an organisation dedicated to empowering millennial women of colour.
Growing up in inner city Birmingham, Amna journey has been a huge transformation. A woman with a vision Amna is the Co-founder of GirlDreamer, a non-profit empowerment platform for millennial women of colour. In 2017 an initiative was launched through GirlDreamer called Boarders Without Borders.
Since then, Amna has gone on to become a TEDx speaker, a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, set up the UK’s first women of colour longboarding and surfing initiatives and recently set up her own mentoring venture specialising in Mindset, Wellness and Emotional Intelligence. She has also had international success as a fashion designer with her work being featured in British Vogue.
Amna, why was it so important for you to create the UK’s first WoC Surf Crew?
I could honestly spend a whole day talking about this, but I think one of the biggest things we can do is build representation. Quite simply, you can’t be what you can’t see. The imagery around surfing hasn’t moved on enough. It shows the same people in the same way leading and dominating the sport. For those who don’t identify with the lifestyle of what or who is always shown, it’s hard to see yourself in that way or in that place. Surfing hasn’t always seemed like the most inclusive sport, so it doesn’t allow for others to engage as not everyone is comfortable breaking the mould on their own, therefore, groups work really well.