McKenna Becker fell in love with cycling a little over a year ago. She’s always been an outdoorsy person, running and hiking and being active outside whenever and wherever she can.
It came up in conversation while out riding, that cycling is not a very diverse sport. “It’s pretty white and it's not very diverse. Why is that?” they asked. “So from there, we started to dig a little bit deeper and we saw that it's on every level. Not just in advertising, but it's also in cost, and access, and not a lot of people know that there are used bike shops. Why is that? And being able to live next to a mountain or open trails itself is also a privilege,” McKenna told me on a phone call.
So McKenna, who has a background in non-profit work, went home and got to work launchingThe Race to End Racism.
What is it?
The Race to End Racism is a coalition of brands, athletes, and bike shops who all came together under the same goal of diversifying their sport and breaking down some of the exclusionary barriers of entry.
“We didn't want to reinvent the wheel. We wanted to tack onto groups that are already on the ground doing the work. So our goal is mostly to use our brand names, our social capital, all of that, to raise money for existing organizations that are already doing things that we totally support,” she said.
And that’s just what happened. McKenna and her friends reached out to others in the cycling community to gauge interest in the initiative. “Everyone wants to say something, and everyone feels like they need to say something, and they do. So when we approached them and said, we have this really great collaboration and we want to send this really loud and clear message from the cycling community that we acknowledge that this is a problem and we want to fix it,” she said. “It was like a snowball effect. The more people we reached out to, the more people we got. Everyone was so receptive. We were really blown away by the number of people that wanted to join.”
How it works.
Any brand or organization that wants to participate, can. Each brand will design or organize their own product or kit or package to sell. They’ll also get to designate an existing non-profit organization they want to support.
The first collaboration is withShredders Digest, who designed an entire collection for the initiative, titled the“Let's All Shred Together” collection. 100% of the proceeds from this campaign will go toWaterside Workshops,Cycles of Change, andTrips for Kids.
BUBS is on board.
The Race to End Racism will then move on to other brands, 14 so far, who will continue to raise funds and awareness to diversify cycling. BUBS Naturals is on board. BUBS Naturals will be on deck later this year,and for our month with the initiative we plan to give away aBUBS Essential Bundle each week. Our designated organization will beThe Bahati Foundation, who saidtheir biggest campaign revolves around a bike drive at Christmas time.
The campaign will then continue on to other brands like Fox Racing, Schwinn, Hudski, and Mongoose.“We wanted to also make sure this movement does not end with raising money from a t-shirt. It has to be an ongoing change and it has to be an ongoing initiative. So we thought that if we have all these different brands and different organizations, then this can continue. Then everyone kind of passes the torch, and we avoid burnout, and we can reach more people, and keep it an ongoing initiative,” McKenna told me.
If you’d like to know more, or get involved, with The Race to End Racism you can email them atTheracetoendracism@gmail.com.