BikeMN’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota is deeply invested in our vision of a safe and healthy future where getting around on foot and by bike unites people, eliminates inequity, and creates thriving communities.
To realize that goal, we have work to do in Minnesota and nationwide to make bicycling accessible and safe for everyone, regardless of their skin color. The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and opposes police brutality. We are dedicated to working to overcome the vast impacts of systemic racism and white supremacy within our organization and in bicycling, walking, and rolling more broadly. Much work remains.
This page is to document our work as we continue to grow and learn on our racial-equity journey.
Why Anti-Racism in Bicycling Matters
At BikeMN, we work toward a mission of engaging people, providing education, and advocating for biking and walking. But we must also confront the reality that our streets are not truly safe for everyone, and we have not done enough to equitably protect the lives of Black and Brown people on our streets, bicycling, walking, or otherwise. As our strategic plan makes clear, BikeMN is committed to working to eliminate inequities in community health outcomes and in mobility and transportation access through better bicycling, walking, and rolling.
In other words, we believe deep systemic changes are needed to make our streets safe for everyone. We know from data and from our community’s stories that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color experience bicycling and walking differently. We believe we must actively fight systems of oppression and inequality if we hope to meaningfully contribute to the movement. To do anything less would perpetuate these same systems and further harm BIPOC people on and off the bike.
BikeMN has been actively working on these issues and will develop a Racial Equity Plan that will guide us toward desired outcomes. We are excited and energized by the work we are doing, including:
Working with our partners at MNDOT and supporting organizations to prioritize underserved communities in our work together. Our work to implement the Walk! Bike! Fun! (WBF!) Elementary school safety curriculum has prioritized underserved communities from the beginning. In 2020 we adapted WBF! to distance learning and made it available in Hmong, Somali, Spanish, and English. We’re also working to launch an expanded Adult Learn to Ride Program in the suburbs in the fall of 2021 and someday soon in Greater Minnesota.
Amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations, such as the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, Ride4Repartions, and Stamina Racing Collective – Machines for Freedom to name a few.
Establishing workplace culture, workplace equity, and working group(s) that prioritize racial equity.
Our workplace is working to cultivate an organization that values equity and diversity through the development of a process that amplifies the needs of staff of color and which provides a safe and secure way to talk about race and racism within BikeMN. Among its objectives, we have had a standing meeting about race and equity monthly where we discuss how BikeMN’s work directly impacts equity, each other, our board, and our supporters.
Though much of this work is internal, BikeMN also reaches out to external advisors, BIPOC board members, and supporters to provide feedback on our efforts, and to review new and existing policies, practices, and programs through it to ensure we achieve racial equity by centering communities of color.
How Can You Help?
There are many ways BikeMN members, volunteers, partners, and supporters can advance racial equity within bicycling, walking, and in their communities.
- Follow Black, Indigenous, and People of Color leaders who have organized, researched, and worked on these issues for a long time. Here are a few. You can also take a look at some national and local organizations here.
- Read more about how to be a good ally. Make sure newcomers on group rides or in other BikeMN spaces feel welcome and part of the group. Believe people when they say they experienced racism while biking.
- If you are white, don’t expect Black or Brown people to educate you or to give you a pat on the back for your progress. Examine your internal biases and explore what being anti-racist means.
- Research local BIPOC-led organizations and sign on to support them, donate to them, or engage with them.
- Support the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, Stamina Racing Collective, Las Bici Xicas, and other statewide and local clubs, shops, or groups and help build leadership skills and bike knowledge in youth from underserved communities.
- If you attend a panel on bicycling, a bicycling event, or another space, lift up the voices of people of color in the room or call out the fact that they are missing if none are present (and feel free to hold BikeMN accountable by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Streets.mn is building an “Anti-Racism Reading Libraray” that’s definitely worth checking out and you can even help by suggesting additional resources. Below is an image of sample resources. Clicking it will take you to their post.