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Women’s Forum: Steal These Ideas

Women Bike aims to seed, support and spread initiatives that are increasing female ridership — and we’re making sure the 2014 National Women’s Bicycling Forum is a venue to share proven, effective campaigns from across the country that can give you a boost in your community. 

So don’t miss the opportunity to “steal ideas” from the incredible work of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Women & Bicycles campaign, Girl Scouts on Wheels from Women Bike PHL and Mujeres en Movimiento from WE Bike NYC (pictured above).

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect from this much-anticipated session at the Women’s Forum:

While our work has been primarily organized around getting more women riding, engaging organizations outside the bicycle community, leveraging personal networks, and creating resources in languages other than English speak to far more than just the gender question. After providing brief descriptions of our work in New York CIty, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, we will provide concrete, take-home resources that allow participants to “steal these ideas” and adapt them for their own communities. We’ll focus our discussion around four big-picture points that have held true across cities and demographics: 1) the power of existing networks, 2) the need to form consistent, accountable relationships, 3) the importance of creating events that appeal to our audiences, and 4) how our work both creates and connects communities.

Katie Monroe will give an overview of the Women Bike PHL campaign in Philadelphia, emphasizing how harnessing existing networks, like Girl Scouts, can efficiently leverage minimal resources and staff time to have a big impact. She will share the bicycle patch curriculum she created (with a grant from Women Bike), offer strategies for convincing Girl Scout leadership that bikes are an important part of youth development, and suggest tips for working within the troop/leader structure. Collaboration with larger organizations like Girl Scouts allow small groups to leverage staff and resources in an efficient and far reaching way.

Nelle Pierson of WABA will present the Women & Bicycles program that mobilizes individuals and existing networks through mentorship, skillsharing, enthusiastic support, and good times to get more women on bikes. A strength of this program is its ability to be replicated in other cities because of its grounding in existing social networks and the Toolkit created for interested organizations. This model, peer-to-peer learning, applies more broadly than women’s outreach, it is people outreach. A grant from the League’s Women Bike helped WABA launch the program and create a comprehensive toolkit to encourage other organizations to start similar programming.

Liz Jose will explain her work in the Mujeres en Movimiento program creating bicycle curriculum and resources in Spanish and the challenges she faced in connecting communities across language barriers. As bicycle advocates recognize the need to diversify their resources, this program provides a vital model for sharing information across languages. Language resources not only allow for increased outreach and education, but also provide a platform for new voices to join the advocacy discussion. Through a grant from Women Bike, WE Bike NYC has created a “starter pack” of materials for other groups to begin outreach in Spanish Language communities. Additionally, Liz will share resources in French, Chinese, Taiwanese and more!

Register now for the Women’s Forum!

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