Yolanda Davis-Overstreet is a graduate of the Urban Sustainability Master’s Program (USMA) at Antioch University, Los Angeles (2018). Her community service work and consulting fall in the areas of community organizing and mobility justice with a focus on pedestrian safety in communities of color. She is the founder of Ride in Living Color, a bicycling and mobility justice advocacy initiative that was started in 2011. She is a woman of color, mother, mobility justice activist, and emerging social-justice filmmaker.
Like the Phoenix that rises from the ashes, Black and BIPOC lives continue to have an unseen connection to the realms of hope and resilience. Some of the key revelations that were spoken of during our interviews were on uplifting and educating our youth to become leaders and navigators in bicycling education and mechanics, safety education, and engagement, paired with mobility justice advocacy. Some of our interviewees even talked on the aspirations of training and mentoring our next Black and Brown bicycling Olympians and cycling professionals. We talked on the need to create more BIPOC-owned bicycling shops and CoOp’s, and on how this would look and operate under a social and mobility justice lens. The collective agreement was that one can’t exist without the other – mobility can’t exist without justice as it relates to the
wellbeing and safety of BIPOC lives. And lastly, from the transportation agency perspective, we spoke on the need for these agencies to invest in acknowledging, hiring, and collaborating with community leaders who have been doing the work to help keep their multi-generational community members safe and informed.
Harly Crandall grew up amongst the snowy peaks of the Kenai Peninsula in Soldotna, Alaska, before moving to Denver, Colorado in 2003. After a career in the live stage event business that spanned the remainder of the aughts, Harly moved to San Francisco to attend film school, at The SF Film School, and pursue his lifelong goal of becoming a filmmaker. After graduating in 2010, Harly worked his formative first years in the film industry while living in the Bay Area. Commercial or corporate projects for tech, work for non-profits, friends’ short films, and the occasional feature film is how he cut his teeth. In 2018 he moved to Los Angeles where he has since lived with his two sons, and now works as a freelance cinematographer and producer.
DESIGN LAB AT OTIS
The Biking While Black key art was created by the Design Lab at Yolanda Davis-Overstreet's alma mater, Otis College of Art and Design. Otis Design lab functions like an internship at a commercial art and design studio with faculty mentors and staff overseeing the process.
Education in the city of Los Angeles is a funny thing. We completely glossed over the more modern social atrocities such as redlining, atrocities that by and large were aimed solely at communities of color. My design pulls inspiration primarily from Emory Douglas, the head designer for the Black Panther Party at its peak, and a man whose work and methodology I admire very much. The hands, reaching for the sky are meant to symbolize newfound freedom, one which has escaped certain communities within the city for so long. The streets which snake through the hands tell the story of these communities, with each carefully placed and labeled in order to increase the meaning for the people who inhabit them.
Stylistically, the design is meant to touch on Douglas’ most influential works, which focused on the minimization of forms in order to increase the readability of the message included in that design. Overall, this project has been a learning experience I quite frankly didn’t know I needed to have, but one which will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Biking While Black is a project of Ground Truths Network (GTN), a community-based effort, supported by the fiscal sponsorship of Social Good Fund. This effort was born out of the extreme uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. GTN’s purpose is to bravely leap forward, better serving and transitioning communities of color into resilience, safety, and healing. Inclusive in our tasks is to expand upon the already active advocacy around pedestrian safety, wellness, and mobility justice for Black and Brown Lives. Our key resource is that of compassion.