Transportation Justice Learning Series : Supporting Anti-racist work in PGH

There’s work to be done, what can you do as a BikePGH supporter?

In August, we published our first post in this learning series which outlines our thoughts and preliminary plans of what this series is, who it is for, and what we hope it can grow into. Through this series, we aim to educate and inform ourselves and supporters, listen to the experiences of marginalized communities locally and nationally, and work collaboratively with experts and advocates to address transportation inequities in Pittsburgh.

In a time of social isolation, it can be hard to know what each of us can do, as individuals, to support the work of the anti-racist movement in Pittsburgh.

Personal health and safety are important to consider, don’t do anything that makes you feel unsafe or puts yourself or others in unsafe situations. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Start by committing to one or two ideas from this list and build from there.

Listen to marginalized people

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to read, listen, watch, and absorb content created by people who don’t look like you and don’t have the same lived experiences. 

We’ll be sharing a few of the books we’ve been reading if you’d like to read along with us. Stay tuned for our staff’s current reading list.

Only through actively listening to and learning from the lived experiences of marginalized people in Pittsburgh (and beyond) can we understand the systemic inequities that affect our communities and start to dismantle them. 

There are many reading lists out there, here are a couple that will get you started. 

Donate & Follow

If you have the financial means, consider donating to these local groups and organizations who are working, tirelessly,  every day to improve the lives of marginalized people in Pittsburgh.

Follow these folks on social media to learn more about their important work. 

Consider Attending a Protest  or Demonstration 

For months now there have been regular demonstrations in Pittsburgh related to police violence, systemic racism, and the need to address these life-threatening inequities. Consider attending a protest and listen to what people’s concerns are. Again, through listening comes understanding.  

Note: unless asked to participate or take on a specific role, let the organizers do their work. It serves no one to come to a demonstration and insert yourself into it or to try to take control. Listen, talk to community members there, and ask how you can participate or be involved.  

People on bikes play an important role at protests acting as bike marshals. Bike Marshals help keep people safe, and have been part of sanctioned and unsanctioned demonstrations for a long time. Learn more about this important role here

Volunteer Your Time

Not everyone is able to make a financial donation to an organization,  that’s ok! Consider volunteering your time, ensuring it is safe to do so. Many organizations need volunteer labor to help achieve their goals, you may have a skill they need.

Support local, Black, Brown, and Indigenous Businesses 

It’s a fact that using your money to support locally owned businesses directly benefits people in your community. 

Knowing that so many small businesses are struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, shop local, and skip supporting Amazon and other global monopolies. Spend within your community and watch it prosper. 

Check out Cocoapreneur for a searchable list of Pittsburgh’s Black owned businesses.  

“The mission of Cocoapreneur is to foster an environment of economic prosperity in order to ensure more sustainable neighborhoods for the historically African American communities and neighborhoods around Pittsburgh, PA.”

Soup Pitt’s Black owned business directory is another great resource to find Black owned businesses in PIttsburgh.

Advocate for change in your neighborhood

By joining or starting a neighborhood bike & pedestrian committee, you can help reshape your neighborhood while working collectively with other bicyclists. 

We need your voice. Although we have members in every city neighborhood, it’s necessary for residents to contact their elected officials with problems, praises, and making sure that they are aware of your desire to live in a walkable, bikeable neighborhood. Our message is amplified when citizens take the time to contact decision makers.

Learn more about our grassroots advocacy groups here.

Participate in our Transportation Justice Learning Series 

We’ll continue to produce blogs and share resources, please show up and engage in this work with us. 

If there are topics or ideas you feel we should cover in this learning series, let us know! You can email us at info@bikepgh.org or dm us on social media @bikepgh


Posted by DeAnna Srock

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