I’m very excited about the panel for Wednesday’s Club Leadership Webinar on Diversifying your Membership and Outreach.
The issue is getting a lot of attention here in Washington, DC, lately — the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) has been active east of the Anacostia River, building bridges, as it were, with the advocacy community in the more affluent areas of the city. The city government under former mayor Andrian Fenty added a lot of bike lanes across Washington, though the lack of community input in some areas caused friction, as detailed in this recent City Paper article. Meanwhile, the explosive growth of the Black Women Bike DC has demonstrated that there are plenty of people outside the stereotypical biker demographics who are looking for a comfortable way into cycling.
In my time as League membership director, I’ve spoken to plenty of other types of people who have started their own clubs because they didn’t feel welcome in existing groups — family cyclists, older riders, and a racing team for riders who have had bariatric surgery.
Why is diversity important? For clubs, it can be as simple as creating a broader base for growth, and a richer mix of people to ride with. For advocacy groups, reaching out to new demographics means bigger, broader coalitions, and connections to social justice groups. And to truly build a Bicycle Friendly America, cycling infrastructure needs to integrate the needs of all current and potential cyclists.
While the needs and goals of different cycling populations are divergent, according to Allison Mannos of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), there is evidence that communities of color are more likely to take action on livability issues, like complete streets.
In the next Club Leadership Webinar, Wednesday, September 7, at 8pm Eastern, we’ll give some basic steps to start making your club more inviting and inclusive, as well as looking at LACBC’s City of Lights initiative and WABA’s East of the Anacostia outreach.
Diversifying your Membership and Outreach
September 7, 2011, at 8pm Eastern
Learn ways to make your organizational outreach, membership, advocacy and events more welcoming to all. Panelists:
- Veronica Davis of Black Women Bike DC will discuss how she came to start her own organization, and how they’re helping grow the number of black women biking in Washington DC.
- Dan Hoagland of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association will discuss their East of the Anacostia outreach initiative
- Ellen Jaffe of the New York Cycle Club will talk about how she’s gone about making NYCC more inviting and inclusive
- Allison Mannos from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will talk about the City of Lights campaign’s outreach to L.A.’s Latino immigrant community
Other upcoming webinars:
October 5: Off the Bike – Banquets, Speaker Series, and other social events
Effective Club Websites
December 6: Club Insurance Review
Panelists to be announced.
Club Leadership Webinars are free for League member clubs.
Scott WilliamsWilliams joined the League in April 2010. For the four years prior, he worked providing technology consulting and solutions to nonprofit organizations with Community IT Innovators.
League Director of Membership