“We acknowledge that our institution has contributed immensely to the historic pain and burden you bear.”
— Chris Warner, PBOT Director
A Reed College graduate who has gone on to be a leading voice on the intersection of racism and transportation reform advocacy will join Portland-based Microcosm Publishing for a live event on YouTube later today (5/28).
Adonia Lugo earned a degree from Reed in 2005 then went on to earn a Masters Degree and PhD in anthropology from UC Irvine. She spent two years as manager of the equity initiative at the League of American Bicyclists. Her book, Bicycle/Race: Transportation, Culture, & Resistance was published by Microcosm in 2018.
Lugo is also one of the organizers behind Untokening, a group that has risen to prominence in transportation reform circles for work that, “Centers the lived experiences of marginalized communities to address mobility justice and equity.”[Read more…]
Warning: This post includes references to and an image of racist phrases that might be hurtful to some of you.[Read more…]
Courtney Williams wants cycling advocates to change on the inside before working to change what’s outside.
Williams, a bicycle advocacy consultant who lives in Brooklyn, New York and is also known as The Brown Bike Girl, wants more organizers and community leaders in the cycling space to think not just about bike lanes, but whether or not their own biases and privilege prevent people from influencing projects and policies that relate directly to the institutional and physical barriers they face while getting from place to place.
Williams will host, Outside Advocate: Anti-Bias, Anti-Privilege Seminar, on Saturday (1/25) at The Street Trust headquarters in northwest Portland.
While here, Williams said via email this week that she wants to, “Help the Greater Portland bike community begin to work through eliminating some of the repetitive racial faux pas and internal biases that have been a roadblock to unification of diverse communities over time.”[Read more…]
“How can you call yourself a bike-friendly town if you have people of color who are afraid to leave their house? How do you even accept these awards? It’s a moral question.”
Those comments are why Charles Brown (@CTBrown1911) is a name that won’t soon be forgotten by the hundreds of people in attendance at his keynote speech during the Oregon Active Transportation Conference last week.
Brown, a researcher and transportation justice activist, delivered some very real talk to the policymakers, advocates, and agency staffers in the room — several of whom audibly gasped when he questioned our bike-friendly status viewed through a lens of racial justice.[Read more…]
We hear from many of you that it feels like streets in Portland are getting more lawless by the day. One reason is a severe lack of police presence due to a staffing shortage that’s been years in the making. The flip side of that is a concern among traffic safety advocates and the Police Bureau that too much presence in certain parts of the city might lead to unfair or over-policing.
As part of their work to update the citywide walking plan the Portland Bureau of Transportation spent 17 weeks doing a survey to find out what keeps people from doing it. With 4,855 responses tallied, the results are in.
“Why don’t more African-Americans ride bicycles?”
That headline from a national advocacy organization asks a question that’s common to many planners, policymakers, and advocates. It’s a question that helped spark a discussion about equity that has been a focus of many programs, studies and initiatives over the past decade.
For the most part the response to that question has centered around standard stuff like research and data, attempts to uncover the barriers to bicycling faced by people of color, and how organizations can be more inclusive. Those are important parts of the work; but what if we’ve been avoiding the root cause?
What if we aren’t making enough progress because we’re too uncomfortable to acknowledge the racist foundation of our land-use policies, transportation system and planning culture? What if the white privilege of many planning and advocacy professionals has led to the segregation of black people out of bike lanes? What if many black people do bike, but in places white people don’t usually associate with “cyclists” or “commuters”?
Those are just some of the questions that bounced around my head as I biked home from a talk given by Tamika Butler on Wednesday night. Butler was chosen by Portland State University’s Inititiave for Bicycle & Pedestrian Innovation to give the Anne Niles Active Transportation Lecture. She didn’t hold anything back.