Beyond Equity — A Strategy for Developing Critical Leadership in Transportation

A Look Into the Start of BBSP’s Fellows Program

by Farrah Daniel, Better Bike Share Partnership Writer

In partnership with NACTO, BBSP is currently in the process of conducting background research to identify the best format and approach for a pending fellowship program.

Since 2014, BBSP has worked to address barriers to bike share use in communities of color while observing that these same barriers also exist throughout shared micromobility and public transportation. We recognize that removing barriers to access is closely linked to removing barriers to employment and promotion within the shared micromobility field. 

If funding is secured, the Fellows program will build on BBSP’s efforts to increase the racial and gender diversity of the bike share industry while providing speaking and presentation opportunities to grantees and partners whose voices are underrepresented in that space. 

Here’s what you need to know about how BBSP is kicking off this program with the consultation of Dr. Destiny Thomas:

Who?

Cultural anthropologist Dr. Destiny Thomas is leading the exploratory phase of this possible program and will conduct archival research along the way to help shape the final program. 

If and when the program is funded, BBSP will develop and execute a year-long rotational fellowship with up to 10 professionals interested in institutionalizing mobility justice in shared micromobility and beyond. 

Two consecutive cohorts of culturally diverse practitioners will be carefully selected to work with BBSP staff, industry leaders and a trained facilitator to build their tools, strengths and networks with the goals of personal and professional development and fostering institutions that are more equitable, culturally responsive and representative.

What?

Thomas will start by hosting three 90-minute National Strategy Session on Equity through Leadership Development calls to co-imagine a program that grows, elevates, inspires and heals. 

She’s also facilitating this and conducting research by:

  • Creating an archival research report, as well as a needs assessment based on the natural discourse happening in the social media realm
  • Scheduling one-on-one calls with leaders within the transportation sector to assess the aspects of a leadership program their employees would most benefit from
  • Creating a white paper based on the social climate analysis she’ll generate regarding the need for leadership development and fellowship opportunities from an equity lens. This will also include participation outreach, an official recommendation for the fellowship and formatting key components that should be included

Where?

The digital survey can be found here, and the National Strategy Sessions will be held on a free conference line to be shared by Thomas soon. Please note you don’t need to participate in the strategy calls to take the survey. 

Complete the survey by 3/7/20 and receive an incentive for your participation!

When?

Though fully booked, the National Strategy calls will be hosted by Thomas on February 26, 27, and 28 at 12pm PST (3 pm EST). If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to Zoe Kircos at zoe@peopleforbikes.org to add your name to the waitlist.

Why?

The goal is to amplify the work and profile of professionals of color and allies that are interested in and have demonstrated the ability and passion to institutionalize our vision within their own organizations and beyond, while also providing professional development and networking opportunities that will have benefits beyond the time frame of the Fellowship.

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To keep up with upcoming announcements, follow BBSP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or follow Thomas on Twitter

The Better Bike Share Partnership is a JPB Foundation-funded collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the PeopleForBikes Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter. Story tip? Write farrah@peopleforbikes.org.