From the desk of my dear sister Romina Castillo:
Dear Slow Rollers,
Three years ago, I met these two guys who were mobilizing people across Chicago through community bike rides. Their mission was to use the transformative power of cycling to make our neighborhoods better. I was sold by the idea right away and ever since, I have dedicated much of my free time helping Slow Roll to organize and manage the rides, coordinate partnerships, and build new relationships.
Even good rides must come to an end, and it is time for me to step down from my leadership role with Slow Roll Chicago.
For the last few years we have built together a city-wide movement, and I am forever grateful for the support and friendship of the Slow Roll Chicago community. When I had the opportunity to take on more responsibilities within this organization, I quickly realized that Slow Roll Chicago is not the people leading the rides, but the community of riders who show up every ride from different parts of Chicago and beyond. Slow Roll is not a small group of individuals, but a network of partners and allies. Slow Roll is every and each one of you who have trusted us, who have invited us to ride in your neighborhoods, and who have joined us through this journey in one way or another. You all have created the motion to keep Slow Roll rolling, and—for this reason—I am confident that Slow Roll has enough power-by-people energy to keep moving forward.
While I am stepping down in my role as Interim Executive Director of Slow Roll, you will still see a lot of me. I will remain as Slow Roll’s ally and supporter. I will continue to work with partners that are striving to improve our neighborhoods, advocate for mobility justice, and develop more equitable decision-making processes with regards to pedestrian and cycling issues.
I would encourage you all to support Slow Roll Chicago now more than ever. This transitional period will be challenging, but critical for shaping the long-term direction of the Slow Roll movement.
A shout out to the two guys who made this possible to begin with, Oboi Reed and Jamal Julien. They helped me discover a passion for community organizing and cycling, and both my professional and personal lives have been positively impacted by the movement they created.
I would not have been able to keep a riding season together without my Slow Roll partner in crime Dan Black. He has been such an anchor and a leader for the organization. I am incredibly thankful for having had the opportunity to work alongside Dan.
To all of you I say: this is not a ‘goodbye’, but a ‘hasta luego’ (see you later).
Romina N. Castillo