To strengthen the power of youth who are Black, Latine, Asian, Indigenous, and People Of Color to overcome challenges, achieve audacious goals, and discover their true selves.
The reason we started SnR in 2010 is not the reason it exists today. After two years of advocating for better educational outcomes for youth of color in the school district, we were still asking, “Who were the kids falling through the cracks?”
To me, it was like bodies being pushed off a cliff. Endlessly.
In a conversation with a school board member, I was told “the school district is like a cruise ship. It doesn’t turn on a dime. It takes a long time to make a significant change”. Soon after we formed our Spoke’n Revolutions program and the youth chose the Underground Railroad as our first tour.
A great deal was learned by taking youth on a cross country bike ride of over 1000 miles linking untold history with community service. The main thing we learned was that it wasn’t about the achievement of biking a great distance. We were witnessing the personal transformation when history was told with a focus on people of color. People surviving and making a way regardless of the odds against them.
With these historic personal achievements, they were seeing themselves for the first time. We witnessed changing attitudes, unhealthy diets becoming healthier habits, and greater self-confidence leading to assertiveness.
Experience is the key to human development. But experience alone doesn’t prepare you for adulthood. Using the strength of the family, youth are encouraged to build strong bonds of friendship that have integrity. Respect for others helps to build strong character and the self-confidence to engage with communities, new and old.
In the end, youth will use their emotional intelligence and learn to be better critical thinkers while having fun.
Investing in youth empowerment means investing in the future. Empowering youth is like saving in an impenetrable bank. When the young are empowered to do good, society becomes a better place for all.
Partnering with Triangle Bikeworks helps to ensure a future where different cultures, open land, and natural resources are respected and preserved.