A particularly snowy day in downtown Minneapolis in late November wasn’t enough to keep away the many bicycle, pedestrian, and transit advocates and local planners, developers, and elected officials to learn about and discuss “Mobility Justice.” As we emerge from a global pandemic, racial reckoning, and historic labor shortages, more workers are recognizing the importance of and advocating for more equitable and just workplaces that also ensure the freedom of movement.
This year’s Transportation Summit was hosted by Move Minneapolis, the Cultural Wellness Center, Move Minnesota, and Our Streets Minneapolis. The Summit shed light on the complexities of delivering quality and accessible mobility options to every community, and the many gaps in deliverables our communities face. The interconnected challenges of transportation options, gentrification, accessible housing, food access, quality employment opportunities, and more were on full display during the panel discussion between Hennepin County Commissioner, Irene Fernando, CEO of Wellington Management, David Wellington, and Minneapolis College President, Sharon Pierce.
BikeMN friend and local advocate, educator, and leader Anthony Taylor facilitated the discussion. Anthony’s questions helped reveal the shared goals to further mobility justice in Minnesota and the shared frustrations with slow progress on designing for mobility justice.
The fight for greater mobility justice extends nationwide, highlighted by the Transportation Summit’s Keynote speaker, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet. Davis-Overstreet shared her experiences in her Los Angeles neighborhood that ultimately stirred in her a desire to become a community organizer and outspoken advocate for mobility justice. I believe everyone in attendance was highly inspired to work together on these challenges and I would encourage those who were unable to attend to keep an eye out for the YouTube footage of the Transportation Summit from Move Minneapolis. Learn more about the inspirational and passionate advocate, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, through this feature in Outside Magazine.