Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion enables the League to fulfill our mission and achieve our vision. In order to meet the promise of a nation where bicycling is safe, comfortable, and open to all we must address systemic disparities, build a more diverse movement that truly represents our communities, and speak with one voice for a Bicycle Friendly America for Everyone.
Updated August 26, 2020
In order to meet the promise of a nation where bicycling is safe, comfortable, and open to all we must address systemic disparities, build a more diverse movement that truly represents our communities, and speak with one voice for a Bicycle Friendly America for Everyone.
Safe streets for everyone is at the heart of the League of American Bicyclists’ mission. Safe streets means more than slow streets, bike lanes, and sidewalks. It means that everyone is free to move on our streets, in our neighborhoods, and throughout our cities without fear of violence, racial profiling, or police brutality.
This summer we are reflecting on the inequities in our society and what we can do as an organization to address these in our work to make bicycling safe, comfortable, and accessible to all.
Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Each of them, and the too many Black Americans killed before, deserved the freedom to live. Because Black lives matter. Their names are among the countless that have been victims of racism and exclusion that has plagued our country’s history since its founding. The League played our part, too, most notably by banning Black people from our membership in the 1890s and not owning up to this fully until the 1990s. We also can’t ignore the less-overt exclusion that has been fostered throughout the 20th century and to today in bicycling events and programming.
We, as a movement, must do more than make statements and simply say the doors have been opened, people of color are welcome, and that policies are changing. There is more work to do in service of true equity, diversity, and inclusion. It means going out and welcoming people in and making a place at the table. It means being quiet and letting other people talk, and then moving forward together fully acknowledging there will be bumps. The first step is acknowledgment. We have been part of the problem. If we truly believe in leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for Everyone we need to be representative of America’s diversity. If we are going to truly improve lives, communities, our world, we must be riding together.
This is why the League condemns racism, aims to practice anti-racism, and stands with the communities of color demanding an end to racial inequities on our streets and in our culture. We are asking ourselves the questions posed by Tamika Butler, starting with, “Do I understand that not being racist isn’t the same as being anti-racist?”
Based on our surveys, League members and supporters are overwhelmingly white and male. To improve in our understanding and effectiveness, we must increase representation and the diversity of perspectives in our organization and movement. The League is thankful for the women and BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) advocates who have pushed us to do better. We have much more work to do to welcome, to listen, learn and act to make our organization better and more effective through partnership and action. We must do this work so that as an organization, we can participate authentically in building a future where streets truly are safe for everyone.
How do we do that?
We don’t want these to be just words. The League put EDI objectives and strategies into its Strategic Plans of 2015 and again in 2018, and updated our Mission and Vision statements to reflect the commitment that everyone should be able to bike - for transportation, for well-being, or for the pure joy of it. While the League has made progress on equity, diversity, and inclusion since we launched the Equity Initiative and Women Bike Program in 2013, we could have done much more. We should have. There is still much that needs to be done. Here are some of the changes we’ve worked on since then:
Board, Staff, and Operations
- Staff participated in two EDI trainings
- Established organizational EDI Statement and Board EDI committee
- Bi-monthly EDI-focused staff discussions
- Tracking member demographics
- Board EDI Training (New - Fall 2020)
- New Staff EDI Training (New Fall 2020)
- Monthly Staff EDI accountability meetings (New - Summer 2020)
- New hiring and recruitment policy and process (New - Summer 2020)
- Promote need for Board diversity in request for applicants (New - Summer 2020)
- New EDI onboarding process for new hires (Coming Fall 2020)
- RFP Policy and Process for contracting with BIPOC/ Women-owned businesses (Coming Fall 2020)
Communications, Research, and Publications
- Publishing groundbreaking reports on EDI in bicycling and bicycling advocacy
- Showcasing BIPOC-serving and -led bike advocacy and educational programming in communications channels and in research publications
- Improving representation in our resources, campaigns, and publications including American Bicyclist
- Tracking and ongoing reporting on demographics and disparities of bicycle ridership and safety of people of color in 2018 Biking and Walking Benchmarking Report Showcasing leadership in bike equity through new Kittie Knox Award (New - Spring 2020)
- Updating The New Majority Report (New - Winter 2020)
- Outreach to BIPOC serving organizations and events to investigate partnership opportunities like joint memberships and co-promotion (New - Fall 2020)
Federal and State Advocacy
- Working with a task force of the Transportation Equity Caucus to identify Highway Safety Grant funds used for enforcement, and work to redirect them to non- police enforcement and other effective education and behavior change options. m
- Advocating for federal requirements to ensure Automated Vehicles must pass a Vision Test including the ability to “see” and respond to people, of all races and ethnicities, bicycling, walking or using mobility devices.
- Increased diversity of presenters and attendees at the National Bike Summit through Equity Scholarship Program
- Continued engagement with the Transportation Equity Caucus to ensure League supported policy is inclusive of everyone, including people with disabilities, and of all races and ethnicities.
Smart Cycling Education Program
- Increased diversity of the national network of League Cycling Instructors through limited scholarship program and creation of Organizational Coaches, which enabled state and local organizations to more easily certify a more representative team of LCIs reaching more communities
- Began tracking demographics and effectiveness of Smart Cycling classes through online registration system
- Translated Smart Cycling Quick Guide and Smart Cycling Manual into multiple languages
- Added Spanish-speaking LCI Coach making the LCI seminar more welcoming for candidates that are Spanish-speaking and have English as a second language.
- Created new Equity Scholarship Program for LCI Certification and partnered with Be Good Foundation to support it (New - Summer 2020)
Bicycle Friendly America Program
- Conducted EDI review of all Bicycle Friendly America® certification programs (2014)
- Added equity measures throughout BFA certification programs (2014)
- Discounted Bicycle Friendly University application fee for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Serving Institutions, All-Women's Colleges and Community Colleges (2017, when BFU application fee was implemented)
- Discounted Bicycle Friendly Business application fee for minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses (New - Summer 2020)
- Enforcement section of BFC and BFU applications taken offline in June 2020, applications updated in August 2020 (New - Summer 2020)
- Enforcement changes made permanent in October 2020 (read more)
Read more about EDI work on the League blog »