Two-time School of IAS alumnus Ben Warner embodies the mission of the School of IAS by contributing to our complex multicultural society while encouraging sustainable citizenship with a dedication to positive change.
Drawing upon his UW Tacoma education and experience, Warner created Alchemy Skateboarding to offer Tacoma youth a safe space and education within a culture of inclusion.
Located behind Grit City Grindhouse at 311 S. Seventh St., The Alchemy Indoor skate park houses the 501(c)3 nonprofit. Alchemy Skateboarding offers camps, school P.E. classes, pop-up community events and leadership training to Tacoma’s youth.
Alchemy’s newest program is a youth advocacy team, where youth can learn job skills and meet with the Tacoma city council to address issues to engage and support youth skaters.
“Skateboarding is a universal language,” Warner says. “The invitation to play is irresistible if communicated well…and play breaks down cultural bias.” If Alchemy achieves its goals, Warner tells the News Tribune, Tacoma itself will become better.