By: Andrew Shaw-Kitch, Bikes for Humanity Program Coordinator & Muz Afzal, Community Engagement Coordinator
On Saturday, March 10th SE Uplift and Bikes for Humanity will be hosting a community conversation on building inclusive communities through the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. “Beyond Invitation: How do we Create Inclusive Communities” will be a discussion on what it entails for organizations and neighbors to be more inclusive. Bikes for Humanity will also be working with SE Uplift to host the annual neighborhood cleanups kickoff event and will be available during cleanups to provide neighbors with support for repairing their bikes.
The SE Uplift partnership with Bikes for Humanities reflects a commitment to supporting diverse modes of transportation, with bikes being an emission-free, fun, and health-promoting means of transport. Increased use of bikes and improved bicycle transportation infrastructure mean safer streets, cleaner air, and healthier and happier people. SE Uplift has been a strong advocate for bikeways, most recently endorsing the 60’s bikeway that provides a route north-south between SE 60th Avenue and NE Portland, and advocating for a higher quality bikeway between SE to NE Portland in the 20th Avenue area. The work of Bikes for Humanity increases access to safe and affordable quality bikes folks who cannot afford to own and maintain a car, or who otherwise cannot or choose not to drive.
Both SE Uplift and Bikes for Humanity share a commitment to investing in our communities through increasing the number and diversity of people who are engaged in volunteer work. Bikes for Humanity trains community members in bike repair skills and is an entirely volunteer-run organization. It also runs a coffee shop, Braking Cycles, that provides opportunities for homeless and at-risk youth. Both the bike shop and the coffee shop offer paid apprenticeships where these community members learn barista and bike repair skills, and both programs heavily rely on volunteers.
Bikes for Humanity seeks to create a space where folks of all backgrounds can come and learn to make bikes work for them. They introduce potential riders by providing well-tuned, fully refurbished bikes outfitted with fenders.
Here’s how to get involved:
- Join their mechanics workshops! They offer two workshops a week: Thursday nights from 5-7, and Saturday from 11-1. The workshops cycle through 8 topics and provide hands-on learning by fixing donated bikes to get them ready for adoption. Check out the February schedule here!
- Attend one of their monthly board meetings to see what they’re doing and ways that you can pitch in. They run from 6-8pm, the second Monday of each month (February 12th), and take place at their shop/school on 3354 SE Powell Blvd.
- Volunteer! Bikes for Humanities is open to the public Thursday-Saturday from 1-5, and have volunteer nights Wednesday from 6:30-9, as well as occasional opportunities throughout the week. Are you a bike mechanic looking to mentor learning mechanics, or interested in fixing bikes for a cause? A writer interested in forming social media campaigns or press releases? Someone interested in hosting an inclusive and empowering space, facilitating education, and working with volunteers? Perfect! Bikes for Humanities always has lots going on, and they rely on volunteers and their interests to direct the work of the organization.