I am Raequan Wilson, a 22-year-old Black man residing in Minneapolis, MN. I have a passion for cycling and my community. I’m excited to bring these two passions together for something greater than me: #IRide4Them.
#IRide4Them is a movement of inclusivity for those who are creating an anti-racist world through cycling and other outdoor activities. The unjust deaths of numerous, beautiful black people across the world and in our neighborhoods continue to pump the brakes on our chances to excel as a race. It is up to us to take charge and pave the way for inclusion, leadership, and comfort in our communities.
The Juneteenth Revolutionary Black-out Bike Ride: an all-Black ride for healing, took place on June 20th. Hundreds of Black cyclists rode from North Minneapolis to South Minneapolis to the G. Floyd Memorial site on East 38th St. & Chicago Ave. As one of those riders, I participated in a moment of silence lasting eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the exact amount of time G. Floyd was recorded being murdered by a white police officer. During the moment of silence, tears rolled down my face, and fear began to develop. I feared whose life we would mourn next. Would it be my friend, or my neighbor, or my brother? Would it be me? This fear is my fuel to fight, to resist, and to defeat racism here in my community. I can't stand by while oppression is wreaking havoc on my people. Cycling is a tool I use to maintain my mental, physical, and emotional health. Riding my bike empowers and strengthens me as I combat racism. The experience of the Juneteenth Revolutionary Black-out Bike Ride inspired me to create the #IRide4Them Movement.
August 1st-10th, I will be riding my bike 84.6 miles per day. Each day I will begin at a different site. Each site will represent where a Black person was murdered by a police officer in Minnesota in the past 22 years. The eight hundred and forty-six miles I ride is a demand for the right of the Black community to live FREE and FEARLESS. This ride is not only for the fallen in our community; it is for the communities we live in now and for future communities.
I ask that you be one of 846 people to join me on my 10-day journey by donating $8.46 as well as following and using the hashtag #IRide4Them on social media. A portion of the fundraiser is to build a safer community by providing lights and helmets to people in need. Another portion will be to fund the monthly 84.6-mile bike ride in honor of the other fallen black people. I encourage you to choose a day to engage in an outdoor activity that empowers you to fight racism and track your activity for 8.46 miles, 84.6 miles, or if you’re up for the challenge 846 miles.
Due to social distancing, I will be riding solo. I encourage you to get active using the hashtag #IRide4Them with people from your household or solo.
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