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Future Bike: Echo Rivera

Echo Rivera knows how to go viral. In fact, she created one of the most-Tweeted images from the 2014 National Women’s Bicycling Forum. So we couldn’t be more delighted to host the visual artist at our next Women Bike event this September.

At the Forum this March, we discussed with leading feminist and civil rights’ leaders how the Women Bike movement can expand and become relevant to larger audiences by being more conscious of how bicycling and social justice intersect. Bringing some clarity to a complex issue, we shared an infographic from Rivera — and the illustration quickly turned the difficult topic into a Tweet-able nugget that sparked discussion far beyond the Forum.

At Future Bike, we want to explore how we’re currently messaging our work with bikes and how we can ensure those messages resonate with diverse audiences and reach out beyond our traditional circles. With her focus on social justice and talent in the realm of data, illustration and storytelling, we’re excited that Rivera will be joining us. Read more about Rivera below and sign up for Future Bike today!

I’m a research consultant and data analyst in Chicago. I specialize in creating visual materials for social research and evaluation projects, including data visualizations and GIS maps.

My PhD is in community psychology with a focus on gender-based violence. I believe that community-based research/evaluation can be used to promote social equity. It’s tough, though, and I started cycling as a way to cope with challenges that come with doing this work. I fell in love with biking and pretty soon I was blogging about bikes and became more involved the bike community.

I noticed similar problems and challenges in the cycling community that I had seen (and continue to see) while doing gender-based violence research.  Both in the treatment of the dominant culture’s treatment of the marginalized group and how the status quo is perpetuated, and also in how research and advocacy work is conducted. Since then, my passion for biking has merged with my career interests.

People like visuals. We like to see things. That’s because most of our brain is dedicated to sight and visual processing. People are social. We like to share things and tell stories, especially when they come with a picture. Yet, we rarely take advantage of visual story telling. 

That’s why I write and create graphics (including comics!) about cycling and social justice. You can chat with me on twitter, or check out my bike blog:

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