Words: Brian Park
Images & Video: Grow Cycling Foundation
The cycling world is not immune from a culture of exclusivity and racism, and as 2020 progressed, pro DH racer Eliot Jackson felt a growing need to help within the cycling community. So he has started Grow Cycling Foundation with the aim of promoting education, access and opportunities that increase diversity and inclusion in cycling.
How is Pinkbike involved?
This new foundation aims to create new avenues for inclusive community building and career development in the cycling industry, as well as to empower existing programs working to tear down the barriers to entry in cycling for marginalized communities.
With a five-year plan in place, Grow Cycling's first initiative is to build a pumptrack in a historically diverse neighbourhood of Los Angeles, CA. Grow is aiming to inspire career paths and involve the local community by using this space for world-class events, community building and programs that teach various cycling industry skills.
Back in June I wrote about Race and Accessibility
, and we told you that Pinkbike would be committing time and money to improve diversity in mountain biking. Since then many of you have asked how and when that was happening. Well today I'm excited to tell you that we've been working behind the scenes with Eliot Jackson as he launches this foundation, and we're proud to be supporting their efforts.
In addition to financial support, ad value, and fundraising, Pinkbike is also working with Grow Cycling on an internship to offer opportunities for those looking to enter the media, journalism, and content-creation sides of cycling. We're looking forward to what these new voices will bring to the industry.
We're also particularly excited about working with Grow Cycling for this fall's Share The Ride initiative. Over the years, our Share The Ride
program has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide disadvantaged kids from all backgrounds with bikes and gear. The details are still being worked out, but by using Grow's ear to the ground in those communities we'll have the opportunity to address some of the barriers they face.How can you help?
If you'd like to support Grow Cycling Foundation, please consider donating
. The foundation is organized as a nonprofit corporation and is a 501c3 public foundation partner. All donations are 100% tax deductible.
In addition to Pinkbike, brands like Yeti Cycles, Santa Cruz Bicycles, FOX Suspension, Rebecca Rusch's Be Good Foundation, Red Bull, and more are all on board and committed to doing the hard work to build a more inclusive future for cycling. We hope Grow Cycling's efforts inspire other individuals, brands, and organizations to step forward and help tackle these problems positively and proactively.
Grow Cycling FAQIs Grow Cycling just to help build inclusion for people of color or will you help other marginalized groups as well?Historically, people of color have been largely underserved in the outdoor industry, so we are starting there with the understanding that the same systems of power that exclude people of color, exclude other marginalized groups as well. Our ultimate goal is for the world of cycling to be representative of the world around us, full of all genders, colors, and backgrounds.How much of my donation goes to Grow Cycling initiatives?We aren’t taking salaries or any wages to do this. Currently, everyone working at Grow Cycling Foundation is a volunteer. Aside from platform hosting fees and administrative costs, 100% of your donations go directly to Grow Cycling initiatives and are tax-deductible.
Our dream is that Grow Cycling grows large enough to have global reach which may, in the future, require full-time, salaried staff. If this happens we commit to being fully transparent with our donors and community about where their donations are going.If I can’t donate, how can I help?• Spread the word to your cycling friends and communities - tweet, repost, share or pin
• Tell your employer about us and ask them to share the story and get involved
• Commit to spending time educating yourself on inequalities of access to your sport or industry
• Show empathy daily and be intentional about inviting new people into your cycling circles
• Be empowered to speak up when you notice homogeneity in your companies or social circles. Ask why that might be and how you can open the doors to different groups of people
Learn more at growcyclingfoundation.org
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