Claima is taking its entrepreneurial-focused storytelling to the water, with help from Sperry.
The podcast and creative content company has tapped the footwear brand for “Reclaim Your Water,” a three-part docuseries directed by filmmaker Faith Briggs. The effort will put a spotlight on three Black and brown entrepreneurs who are connected to, and inspired by water. According to Claima, the series will also show how each entrepreneur “reclaims what was once weaponized to build community and create change.”
“Throughout history, water has long been weaponized against Black communities, from slavery and segregation to Hurricane Katrina and the Flint water crisis,” Claima co-founder Bimma Williams said in a statement. “We were honored to work with Sperry in their commitment to equity and inclusion to not only bring awareness to this historical structural racism, consciously and subconsciously, surrounding water, but also to empower and inspire people of color to embrace and reclaim its cultural value.”
Claima said via statement that it worked alongside Sperry “to place the Black experience with water on a national stage and create storytelling that would educate and inspire a more equitable environment in the water space.” Also, Claima said the effort was created to highlight “how communities of color can reclaim water as a healing and enjoyable experience for all through the lens of each subject.”
The docuseries will offer a look inside the lives of Thurman and Torrence Thomas, co-founders of Louisiana-based Tankproof, an organization that offers free swimming lessons to underserved youth; Jahmicah Dawes, owner of the Black-owned gear shop SlimPickins Outfitters; and surf trainer Natasha Smith, who has helped teach the founders of Ebony Beach Club how to surf.
“The ‘Reclaim Your Water’ project celebrates the hard won resilience of individuals whom, in spite of longstanding systemic obstacles, choose to make a life and seek joy around water,” Briggs said in a statement. “We hope that this docuseries inspires and invites others to follow a similar path and amplifies the work these communities are doing to rewrite the narrative of Black people in a space weaponized against us. We are delighted to share their seemingly non dimmable light with our audiences.”
The partnership is a part of Sperry’s “All For Water. Water For All” purpose platform, which is focused on its commitment to protecting waterways, and serves as its declaration that all people are welcome on the water and should have access to it.
“At Sperry, we believe in the power of water and its ability to help people feel balanced, energized, and calm,” Sperry chief marketing officer Elizabeth Drori said in a statement. “As we aspire to unlock these feelings and experiences for everyone, we know that the water has not been an equitable place. It has been a privilege to partner with Claima and Faith Briggs on this groundbreaking docuseries. By sharing these important stories, we hope to spark new dialogue and understanding, and ultimately work towards creating an environment where everyone, everywhere, feels welcome on the water.
Aside from its role in the docuseries, Sperry has offered three grants of $15,000 “to initiatives that provide a more equitable environment in the water space.” The grants include one to Tankproof, as well as donations to Slim Pickins and Ebony Beach Club for events that teach people of color how to surf and fish.
The first video goes live today via Sperry’s YouTube channel.