Introducing Our 2023-2024 Transportation Justice Fellows!

by Kiran Herbert, Communications Manager

Meet eight individuals from across the country shaping a more equitable transportation system.

The Better Bike Share Partnership — comprised of NACTO, PeopleForBikes, and the City of Philadelphia — is proud to announce the 2023-2024 cohort of the Transportation Justice Fellowship.

In 2021, The Better Bike Share Partnership debuted the Transportation Justice Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind program designed specifically for those who identify as people of color working to embed mobility justice in transportation. Led by NACTO and open to U.S.-based, early- to mid-career professionals, the fellowship was created as a way to invest resources to support and sustain the people doing the heavy work to operationalize equity across the transportation field.

Now, we’re excited to launch our third fellowship cohort, which will run from November 2023 to June 2024. This year, we’re centering shared micromobility (SMM) as a critical tool for building transportation justice. Our eight fellows work in all sectors of SMM, including government agencies, nonprofits, advocacy organizations, and private operators.

BBSP narrowed down more than 100 applications to a final cohort whose backgrounds and skill sets reflect the diverse communities we aim to serve. Fellows hail from all regions of the U.S. and each brings a unique biography, as well as a variety of hard and soft skills to share with the group. By creating a community of peers, our aim is to equip the fellows with the skills necessary to address some of the toughest transportation challenges facing the U.S. today, while cultivating their ability to remain in the transportation field.

Fellows will participate in eight months of training, developing their individual and institutional capacities to create a more just and equitable mobility field and equitable transportation systems. Through skills-building sessions, one-on-one coaching, special trainer visits, and structured collaboration, fellows will receive deep support as they advance professionally and work on tangible ways to improve mobility for communities of color. Robin Wright-Pierce and Nelson Pierce, Jr. from the Wright Institute for Transformative Change will once again partner with BBSP to oversee the cohort.

Introducing Our 2023-2024 Fellows:

Prentis Grayson (he/him/his), with a background spanning 15 years in the Arkansas Army National Guard as a public affairs specialist and prior service at the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, has transitioned into the role of senior manager of outreach and advocacy at Trailblazers, a nonprofit in Northwest Arkansas.

His journey began as a sexual assault advocate at the Northwest Arkansas Center for Sexual Assault, followed by an elevation to the position of community organizer at Trailblazers, where he passionately began promoting equity in the region’s trail and active transportation infrastructure. Prentis collaborated with Bike.POC and Equitable Cities to create the Northwest Arkansas Trails and Active Transportation Equity Report and establish the Trails, Cycling, and Active Transportation Advisory Council.

His overarching goal is to drive Northwest Arkansas toward #MovementForAll on the trails, cycling, and active transportation infrastructure network.

Ricky Reed (he/him/his) is an expansion specialist with POGOH located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His experience involves working with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, as well as community partners, to plan bike share stations and mobility hubs. Ricky is passionate about connecting communities — his goal is for folks to feel safe while riding.

Ricky grew up in the city of Pittsburgh and is a Steelers fan — don’t ask him to plan a station on Sunday! He loves his city, and that’s what drives his passion to change and make a safe environment for his people to live in.

Bryan Nguyễn (he/him/his) is the shared micromobility coordinator at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. He currently leads station planning for Biketown, the city’s bike-share program, and is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city’s e-scooter program. Bryan is a 2019 graduate of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program with a strong interest in active transportation and food systems.

Prior to working at PBOT, Bryan lived in Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam as a U.S. Fulbright student researcher. As a heritage grantee, Nguyễn traveled back to his parents’ native country, Việt Nam, where he used his experience to support the University of Đà Nẵng – Sư Phạm (Science and Education) as they moved towards achieving their campus sustainability goals through waste management.

Before living in Việt Nam, he spent two of his summers during graduate school researching dockless bikes (remember Ofo or Mobike?) and transit systems in Shenzhen, China, and studying sustainable transportation in the Netherlands. Originally from Southern California, Nguyễn received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Vanessa Gallego (she/her/hers) is from the native lands of the Tohono ‘O’odham and Pascua Yaqui (Yoeme) peoples currently known as Tucson, Arizona. Vanessa is an alumnus of the University of Arizona and is a sustainability and mobility advocate serving as chief operating officer of her family’s business, Recyco, Inc., a top scrap metal recycling company in Tucson. Her community involvement includes serving as commissioner and advisor for the City of Tucson climate action, resiliency, and sustainability platforms, as well as Chair of the Sierra Club Nopales Group.

Vanessa is a founder of FUGA Tucson — Families United Gaining Accessibility | Familias Unidas Ganando Accesibilidad — a mobility justice group that uses the bicycle as a tool to engage the community on a variety of issues. FUGA’s work is specifically focused on equity in disinvested areas on the south and west sides of Tucson. As Program Manager for FUGA, Vanessa is committed to pushing for collective changes that address inequities in barrios, neighborhoods, and people who have been historically impacted by systemic barriers.

Sherelle Streeter (she/her/hers) is a mobility strategist at the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office of Mobility Innovation (OMI) where she manages the city’s shared-use mobility program. Her work includes developing and managing projects, policies, and programs around e-scooters, bikes, rideshare, and carshare.

Sherelle is passionate about increasing access to sustainable modes of transportation in the City of Detroit. She believes that transportation equity is achieved when there is both the availability of and accessibility — technological and financial — to a spectrum of transportation and mobility options centered around human experience and community needs.

Sherelle was born and raised in Detroit. She has a background in environmental studies and a Master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan. Prior to her role at OMI, she worked at WSP as an assistant transportation planner on Detroit’s Streets for People Transportation Master Plan and managed the launch of the city’s e-bike leasing pilot program.

Sarah Huang (she/her/hers) is a senior program coordinator at the Shared-Use Mobility Center, where she supports the Clean Mobility Options Program to provide clean transportation solutions to California’s under-resourced communities. She leads the Clean Mobility Equity Alliance, which is a peer-learning network that provides resources, training, and group discussions to help support project implementation and advance equity and justice in the clean mobility space. Sarah received her Bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys baking desserts to share with her friends and family, starting new arts and crafts projects, and spending time with her dog.

Carol Antunez (she/her/hers) is a passionate advocate for transportation equity, hailing from the vibrant streets of New York City, New York. Her journey from being a New York City transit rider to her current role as senior policy and partnerships manager at Veo, a leading micromobility and electric vehicle company, exemplifies her dedication to equitable urban mobility. With more than eight years of experience in NGOs and startups, Carol is a driving force in advancing EV adoption and sustainable transportation solutions. Her expertise in government affairs, partnership building, strategy, and communications has paved the way for impactful collaborations and navigating complex regulations.

As a global traveler, Carol has explored more than 30 countries, gaining invaluable insights into urban challenges and opportunities which has fueled her drive to keep learning and innovating to bring forth solutions to some of our most pressing transportation-related challenges.

Samikchhya Bhusal (she/her/hers) is committed to creating clean, affordable, and equitable transportation systems. She currently works as the senior policy associate at Forth. Her current role focuses on the Towards Equitable Electric Mobility (TEEM) Community of Practice, where she provides facilitation, research, and programmatic support to advance equitable clean mobility at the national and state levels. Prior to Forth, she worked at the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional and Policy Studies on the Access to Opportunities initiative.

Her previous work has been at the intersections of transportation access and anti-displacement planning. Samikchhya holds a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s in liberal arts from the Soka University of America. She grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. In her spare time, she likes to read and write poems.

The Better Bike Share Partnership is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to increase access to and use of shared micromobility systems in low-income and BIPOC communities. The partners include The City of Philadelphiathe National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and PeopleForBikes.