Bad Ass of the week: Kate Coysh

Kate Coysh

You may know Kate as the vocalist of REIVERS. Little did you know that she is an educator working with Oakland’s autistic youth and fighting for women’s rights one ride at a time with her crew F-WOD.

Born and raised in Oakland, Kate has been to every state but Louisiana. She’s grown up traveling all over the world from a young age and hasn’t slowed down. Her parents are old school punks; they were rebels and still are to this day. They also happen to be successful, recognized educators. Kate initially took courses with aspirations of being an art teacher. Through her General Ed classes, she found her passion in public education.

I’m an “Education Counselor for the Autistic community”. Full spectrum program, however many children at my school are considered “high functioning” Many parents fight to keep their kids in public school settings. We are essentially here for the kids that don’t easily transition into or cope with a public school environment. It’s a triumph like no other watching your students learn, grow and succeed. Even the victory of learning to write their name is a great one. They want to learn unlike so many people in the world. I really try to connect with them and facilitate whatever emotional needs they have. I love those kids more than anything. I really wish there was more emphasis and focus on Social Facilitation for children with Autism and Asperger’s, transitioning from child hood and school environments to adult life.”

Kate like so many other unrecognized people working directly with Oakland’s youth and the community does it for the kids. I’d say it’s a shame that there doesn’t seem to be any fame, big money and glory in these type of educator positions but then again I’ve never met anyone in this type of field that cares for those things. They fight the good fight to provide safe, nurturing educational environments for the children who need it the most. Why? Because they love our children; because they care. Personally I’m not a fan of reality TV shows, but I don’t understand why there isn’t a show that the children of our communities and highlights the very real struggle educators go through to provide for our children. Why people would rather watch shows about vein people with money, I’ll never understand.

When Kate isn’t at school with her students helping them conquer the world, she finds time to support her ALL FEMALE bike crew. By all female it should be specified that “term” applies to anyone who identifies as a woman. You are not defined by physical gender. Just don’t be a “dude”.

Crew is called F-WOD “For Women Only, Duh!” This group was started because we were tired of just riding with our significant others and being surrounded primarily by dudes. I’m fortunate that the women I ride wit are truly my community of sisters. Strong, beautiful babes that ride hard and support each other. You roll 20 deep and NO ONE will fuck with you. I’m a self-taught bicycle mechanic an at the request of “Chrome Bags” My home girl and I started a workshop called “I Can Do It My Dam Self!” We wanted a safe, open platform for women to come and say, “Hey I don’t know what that part is or how to use it, please show me”. It’s an incredibly supportive community void of bullshit male ego and bad attitudes”

F-WOD has had a recent chapter develop in Brooklyn and the California crew will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary in November. FUCK YES, ROCK ON, LADIES! These tough lovelies also started a community fund for their riders called “Broken Babes”. They collectively work together to provide support and funds to sisters in need. Sadly one of these women was badly hurt when hit by a car while riding her bike and was hospitalized. When she was recuperating and unable to work, they banned together and raised funds to pay her rent and bills until she was able to work again. They also regularly organize benefits for full donation to the community. Helping each other and reaching out to help others…what an exceptional group of women.

I guess we should mention the music as well. While it is not what defines her, as most of you already know, Kate is the BAD ASS vocalist of REIVERS. They were recently featured in NY Times magazine to the surprise of both herself and her band mates. (Yeah dude, NY TIMES) If you haven’t experienced the listening awesomeness of REIVERS yet, get on that shit ASAP.

How’d this band come about?

I was drunk with friends, doing karaoke and that song “Barbie Girl” came on. Instead of singing, I screamed that shit and my friend Jason Romero was like “Um, do you want to do vocals?” I was down and we’re still friends to this day. The rest is history.”

Damn, how randomly awesome for the rest of us. 😉

Oakland’s youth and women are lucky to have someone like you fighting in their corner dude, I salute you.

Ladies, check out F-WOD bicycle crew. EVERYONE check out REIVERS.