Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Thairie Ritchie and Esabella Bonner share their experiences of being black in Santa Cruz, and working toward Love and Courage


Thairie Ritchie is a current Community Organizer and Activist. He organized the Juneteenth March in 2020. He is a former Co-Host of the Unheard Voices program at KSQD,and currently lead organizer of the March Towards Love and Courage Event coming up Monday, June 19, 2023. The march will address the current State of Black Lives Matter in Santa Cruz and foster empowerment and solidarity for the Community.

Esabella Bonner is a long-time Santa Cruz resident, entrepreneur, visionary, and award winning changemaker/activist working to help bridge our local community.  Bella is a Cabrillo and SJSU alumni receiving her Associates Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in Human Resource Management where she gained the tools (words) to describe and act upon the things she experienced, witnessed, and felt growing up Black/Bi-racial in Santa Cruz.

In 2020, Bella followed her gut and organized the largest ever social protest gathering that Santa Cruz County has ever seen with over 5,000 people in attendance. While this was the first protest she organized, it was a great success and opened up a world of movement work to her. She then went and organized the community to make space for black and brown people at various paddle outs as a part of protests on the water in Santa Cruz to support BLM. This led Bella to creating Black Surf Santa Cruz where she is the founder and executive director for the award winning organization which aims to promote physical, spiritual, and communal wellness and healing through surfing, recreation, education, and advocacy for our local community.