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New League Staff: Adonia Lugo
You may already know Adonia Lugo.
The co-founder of innovative programs like LA’s City of Lights campaign reaching out to immigrant, day-laborer cyclists and the Bicicultures research network, Lugo has, for years, been a leading voice in the burgeoning discussion about bicycle and transportation equity.
Now, Lugo will bring that insight and expertise to the League, as our new Equity Initiative Manager.
Read more about Lugo below and stay tuned for her take on the equity initiative next week!
Dr. Adonia E. Lugo is an experienced bike advocate with a record of using anthropological research to design bicycle promotion efforts that focus on inclusivity, both in terms of existing and future bike users. She got her start in bicycle advocacy as an anthropology graduate student in Los Angeles, where she lived and organized from 2008-2011.
Noticing the gaps between self-identified cyclists and Latino jornaleros (day laborers) who used bikes, Adonia conducted a dissertation project that worked to build “human infrastructure” to bridge these divides. She co-founded CicLAvia, a popular open street event in Los Angeles that has attracted hundreds of thousands of Angelenos into city streets since 2010, and City of Lights/Ciudad de Luces, an outreach and education program that built connections between bike activists and low-income bicycle users in central Los Angeles. Both projects have continued since she moved to Seattle in 2011. City of Lights branched into the organization Multicultural Communities for Mobility in 2012, and the New York Times has credited CicLAvia with improving bicycling in Los Angeles.
In L.A., Adonia focused on supporting existing bike users who might be overlooked by the bike movement, but she also developed an awareness of how the active transportation message could be adapted to fit a diverse range of communities. She took this idea a step further in carrying out the Seattle Bike Justice Project with the support of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Bike Works in 2012. For that project, Adonia interviewed community leaders in the city’s most diverse area, Rainier Valley, to investigate the cultural meanings of bicycling there. The data from that project can be found online, as part of her commitment to making her research accessible to the public. Returning to her Los Angeles field site in 2013, Adonia organized a collaborative history of the L.A. bike movement and created a website, labikemvmt.org, based on this data gathering. In recognizing how bike movements grow through social networks, we can understand techniques for making connections with other communities.
Through her academic publications and personal website, Urban Adonia, she has also been a leading figure in the development of a qualitative research agenda for bicycle scholars. Adonia co-founded the Bicicultures Research Network in 2012, which is an email listserv connecting researchers who conduct interdisciplinary studies of bicycling’s many cultural and social worlds. Bicicultures held its first symposium in April 2013 in Los Angeles and Davis, California, to find new crossovers between advocacy and research.
Adonia joined the League’s newly formed Equity Advisory Council in March 2013, and she looks forward to innovating new ways of making bicycling a part of diverse American communities as the Equity Initiative Manager.