Equity Ride recap
By Alison Graves, Executive Director
Last Thursday, August 25th, the second annual Equity Ride took place, in the Lents neighborhood of SE Portland. Organized by Shelli Romero at the Oregon Department of Transportation, this year’s ride drew approximately 150 riders, more than twice the number of participants as last year. The ride highlighted collaborative projects in East Portland to promote equity among the diverse communities that reside there.
Equity can be defined as when everyone has access to the opportunities necessary to satisfy their essential needs, advance their well-being, and achieve their full potential. We consider equity to be a driving force for our organization, so we were very excited to be involved in the ride as a sponsor.
As we rode the six mile route around Lents, we explored a variety of inspiring projects. Friends of Trees, Portland OIC, and Verde presented their project – planting and maintaining trees along the I-205 bike path – a partnership that brought dozens of groups together to plant thousands of trees. The Audubon Society of Portland highlighted their work at the Leach Botanical Garden. This garden is carved into a woodland hollow along Johnson Creek, where they are introducing native species through education, conservation, and community involvement. Finally, I spoke at Zenger Farm, highlighting our collaborative projects at New Columbia and Hacienda that promote community building and bicycling.
The Equity Ride was a wonderful evening of celebrating our success and exploring what work still needs to be done. I even had the chance to speak with one woman whose life was transformed as a result of her participation in our Create a Commuter program.
It was really amazing to see so many folks actively improving life for all Portland residents. As we continue to strive for equity, we look forward to opportunities like the Equity Ride to help us connect with our allies. We’ll see you there next year!