The goal of the League of American Bicyclists is to make bicycling safe and comfortable for people of all ages in all communities, but we recognize that youth, women and people of color are underrepresented in many bike advocacy efforts and local transportation decisions.
Equity issues have been a source of discussion in the bicycle movement for many years. However, there has been a lack of dedicated staff capacity, direct knowledge, and guidance from local leaders of color in engaging in a sustained, strategic dialogue about these issues. Currently there are few resources to address disparities on the ground and equity as it relates specifically to bicycle advocacy.
The League's initiative works to innovate solutions to this problem by working directly with diverse leaders to change the culture and programming of the League itself, which will contribute to transforming cycling advocacy at the local and national level.
Through its Equity Initiative, the League engages leaders from traditionally underrepresented demographics and bridges the current gap between diverse communities and bicycle advocates. By adding staff capacity, undertaking an internal equity assessment and transformation process, and partnering with equity advocates in strategic and sustained relationships, the League will leverage its position as the longest-standing and most-trusted source of bicycle advocacy resources to develop diverse leadership and cultivate effective local partnerships to advance inclusion and, ultimately, equity in the bike movement.
The League has already committed resources to this effort. In 2013, the League hired an Equity and Outreach Fellow, Hamzat Sani, who has experience organizing in underserved communities and bridging the gap between advocates of color and traditional bicycle organizations, to guide this effort in its first six months. The League established an Equity Advisory Council and brought together the members of the Council to meet in person at the 2013 and 2014 National Bike Summits. We continue to move forward with specific goal-setting via ongoing email discussion and monthly conference calls.
In November 2013, Dr. Adonia Lugo became the League's first Equity Initiative Manager thanks to generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The League Board of Directors has adopted equity as one of our top priorities, and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion resonates through our mission and vision.