In 2017, WTF Bikexplorers was founded to create a movement toward more connection, gender inclusivity, and racial equality within the bicycle adventure community. Our mission is to support, celebrate, and connect communities who identify as non-binary, transgender, femme, and/or women who use their bicycles to explore (be it the outdoors, themselves, each other, or the world we live in). One of the ways we carry out this mission is by offering five annual scholarships. In an effort to grow and support a more inclusive and diverse community, these scholarships help lessen the financial and material barriers to travel by bicycle. We ask for your help in expanding the SJ Brooks Scholarship Fund for 2020.
We recognize that the outside is not free. The freedom and access that many cyclists enjoy are not an experience equally shared by BIPOC, queer, and trans riders. This rings true, now just as ever with social inequality and systemic racism persisting against the backdrop of a pandemic. These injustices and inequalities have persisted so much longer than this current moment and we recognize that there is much work that can be done on our part to create more safe, accessible, and inclusive spaces and opportunities for these communities. The 2020 WTF Bikexplorers SJ Brooks Scholarship seeks to increase access to cycling opportunities specifically within Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer and transgender communities by reducing some of the financial and material barriers that are required to pursue a spirited bicycle endeavor. Spirited bicycle endeavors may include overnight or multi-day bike trips, community organizing, or attending a cycling event.
We need the cycling community's help to make this happen. If you support our mission, please help us grow and support our community through this scholarship fundraiser. Your donation will go directly toward financial stipends for the scholarship recipients to use to help pursue a spirited endeavor on their terms.
How can my business/company support the SJ Brooks Scholarship?
- Companies can donate to the GoFundMe fundraiser and/or provide gear support by contacting WTF Bikexplorers at [email redacted]. We are specifically looking for product donations related to bikes, camping equipment (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cookware), tools (multi-tools, pumps, repair kits), water filter, clothing (cycling shorts and cycling shirts, down jackets, rain jackets), cycling shoes, helmets, and hydration gear (bladders and/or water bottles).
Who is eligible to apply to the SJ Brooks Scholarship?
- This year we are accepting applications from individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color. If you are a white person who identifies as queer and/or trans, nonbinary, gender fluid or elsewhere along the gender spectrum, please share this application with your BIPoC community. Cisgender men are not eligible for this scholarship but are encouraged to share this application with their networks.
When do scholarship applications open?
- Scholarship applications will be accepted from Wed. July 29, 2020, to Sat. Aug 15, 2020. There will be an announcement in our newsletter and on social media about how to apply on our website.
What does the scholarship review process look like?
- The WTF Bikexplorers organizers and an advisory team will review the applications and will conduct a telephone/video interview with the final candidates no later than Tue. Aug 25, 2020. We will announce the scholarship recipients in the first week of September.
With the pandemic, how can the scholarship be safely put to use?
- We realize that traveling by bicycle is limited at this time due to the pandemic, so we are emphasizing the use of this support for local trips or for it to be used to support an endeavor in the future.
Why are the scholarships named SJ Brooks?
- SJ was an experienced cyclist in the community. A community organizer, beloved by many, SJ was the founder of the Seattle chapter of Friends on Bikes, a social cycling group for BIPOC who identify as women, trans, femme, or non-binary. SJ was scheduled to speak about Friends on Bikes as part of the queer people of color panel at the 2018 WTF Bikexplorers Summit in August. On May 19, 2018, SJ was fatally attacked by a cougar while biking just outside Seattle. SJ's death was a massive loss to the cycling community. They were a positive light who worked tirelessly to create change. By naming the scholarships after SJ, we hope to honor and pass on their legacy to future bikexplorers.
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