Mr. Neftalie Williams - Professor, Researcher and Skateboard Diplomat

Mr. Naftalie Williams

Neftalie Williams is PhD Candidate at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and Lecturer of Skateboarding and Action-Sports in Business, Media and Culture at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles California. His research uses skateboarding culture as a lens to examine issues of diversity, identity, youth and mass culture, education and public diplomacy. He received his BA in Communication and MA in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. Neftalie is a research fellow at the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society and the Los Angeles LA84 Foundation. Neftalie is an academic skateboarding envoy for the United States, officially using skateboarding as a tool for cultural diplomacy to engage young Syrian refugees in the Netherlands and to promote inclusiveness, education and global citizenship with the US embassy in Cambodia. Neftalie’s research has focused on communities in Cuba, South Africa, Brazil, Spain and New Zealand and in 2015 he received the USC Black Alumni award for his work in skateboarding diplomacy. His contributions to skateboarding culture has been featured in various media outlets including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The N.Y. Times, the L.A. Times, Epóca Magazine, The Kennedy Center, Public Diplomacy Magazine,, Yahoo! Sports, VICE Sports, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Business, Voice of America, Jenkem, the Guinness Book of World Records, and he is a proud steward of the skateboarding scenes of Boston, LA, NYC, Tampa, his new home in New Zealand and the skate communities of Cuba, Cambodia, the Netherlands, South Africa and Brazil.

Skateboarding Diplomacy-What You Can Do for Your Country 

In this lecture, Neftalie discusses how his love of skateboarding culture manifested into a call to action to develop the concept of ‘skate diplomacy’ as a way to engage skateboarding, academia and cultural institutions globally. He hopes to inspire others to develop their own unique vision and reframe their passions in a manner to help create positive dialogues and communication between global publics.  This discussion is a reminder that the everyday actions of individual citizens can exemplify the spirit of public diplomacy, and act as the foundation for sparking dialogue between communities at home and abroad in a way that supports the best of American ideals. 


Mr. Neftalie Williams giving a lecture to UVU students

Mr. Neftalie Williams giving a lecture to UVU students.