Velodonnas and Anti-racism: What we’re talking about and an invitation to participate.

It’s the beginning of July and 2020 has been one hell of a year already. We are living in a climate crisis and a global pandemic and while we were sheltering in place at the end of May the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis sparked a firestorm of public protest across the USA and Canada. Anti-black and anti-indigenous racism, its history and the devastating role it plays in our society is in our daily news feeds and some of us are talking about it privately, for the first time in our lives.

Velodonnas is having an important conversation right now. Like individuals and organisations locally and globally, we are challenged to examine our role in anti-racism and systemic inequality. As a Winnipeg based, recreational cycling club for women, what is our role in promoting racial equality and removing barriers to participation in our club and in the sport/activity of cycling at large? How do we do this work in a meaningful way?

For a few weeks, we have been listening and learning. We have been gathering resources on racism and antiracism generally, and in sports and cycling, specifically. If you know of any resources to add, please contact us.

Our next step is to form a subcommittee, tasked with informing the Velodonnas leadership group on how our club can continue to “inform, instruct and inspire” with an antiracist lens.
And not only with an antiracist lens. To be honest, we are also learning more about the intersectionality of racism and feminism and we are asking ourselves questions like, how can we relate to the LGBTQ+ community and to people living with disabilities. We acknowledge the many areas of cycling advocacy and community building where we can do better. We are figuring out how to start and we want to do it right.

We recognize this is not something we will figure out overnight. We expect this work to be on-going with a focus on building not just stronger cyclists but a stronger, inclusive community. Opportunities for involvement are expected to grow as next steps are identified.

We invite anyone who is interested in participating in this work with us, to please contact the club today.