Gone. Hope I make it home...
(Note: Requisite background music for your reading pleasure: Gone by The Weekend (Explicit). Clean version here. Please consider donating to the Slow Roll Chicago Capacity Building Campaign.)
Dear Slow Roll Chicago Community:
The Slow Roll Chicago Bicycle Movement will always be my home.
I am resigning my position as President & CEO of Slow Roll Chicago, effective December 31, 2017. I will continue to support our movement in the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors, focusing my efforts on big picture vision, strategy and fundraising.
I am confident Slow Roll Chicago has the solid foundation, as well as the extensive strategic planning and organizational development processes in place, in order to intentionally, deliberately transition from a grassroots organization to a financially sound, adequately staffed and properly managed bicycle advocacy organization, while staying passionately true to our original purpose statement, vision, mission, priorities, strategies and continuing to serve our target audience.
Please consider donating to the Slow Roll Chicago Capacity Building Campaign, allowing us for the first time to hire a full-time Executive Director.
I am confident that the right person to lead our work in the short term is Slow Roll Chicago's Interim Executive Director, longtime volunteer and ride season manager Romina Castillo. I am confident that the right person to partner with Romina on leading our organization at this time is Slow Roll Chicago's Director of Community Engagement, longtime volunteer and program manager Dan Black. Please contact Romina and Dan regarding all matters related to our 2018 ride season, bicycle advocacy, partnerships and programs.
I've recently founded Equiticity, a national racial equity movement, operating at the intersection of equity, mobility and justice in communities of color across the US. Please contact me via email or cell at 773-916-6264 regarding business or organizational matters related to Slow Roll Chicago, anything related to Equiticity, my advocacy work calling on the removal of police enforcement from Vision Zero and my work on establishing bicycle libraries here in Chicago.
May the journey continue...
This journey started over ten years ago, when I decided bicycles and the activity of cycling were tools in my own healing journey through severe depression. From the Chatham neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago to corporate america to becoming a solo cyclist, only willing to ride on the sidewalk or the lakefront trail. From founding The Pioneers Bicycle Club to unintentionally becoming a bicycle advocate. From living in Brazil to co-leading Red Bike & Green - Chicago. From co-founding Slow Roll Chicago in September of 2014 to receiving The 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change Award at The White House. From the beautiful struggle to Equiticity, I arrive at this place at this time.
Now, moving beyond bicycles and beyond Chicago, I will continue to center my work around exercising the inherent power which exist in Black and Brown communities throughout our country. I will execute a full suite of burn/build, inside/outside strategies to ensure the dismantling of structural racism and white supremacy, as the root cause of all injustice experienced by people of color in the US. I will work to hold accountable those institutions which commit acts of structural violence against people of color. I will call for the explicit, intentional eradication of implicit bias and paternalism at mainstream organizations such as Active Transportation Alliance, as well as government institutions such as the City of Chicago Mayor's Office, City Hall and the Chicago Police Department. I will fight for the removal of police enforcement from Vision Zero, both in Chicago and nationally. I will establish community-based, community-owned models of shared mobility and emerging transportation technologies, controlling the planning process around how these are delivered in our cities and our neighborhoods.
Together, people of color will achieve racial equity, increased mobility and racial justice in our society.
Or, I will die trying.
Gone. Hope I make it home...
Olatunji Oboi Reed
Co-Founder, Slow Roll Chicago
Please consider donating to the Slow Roll Chicago Capacity Building Campaign.