FOUNDER and operations
YOUTH AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH
During the Summer of 2016, our Founder, Kalala began to casually ride her bicycle in the West Ward of Newark, NJ as a way of meditation. By doing so, she was able to observe and analyze the unconventional beauty of her community. She found "hidden forests", vacant houses, & community gardens. Riding her bicycle in her neighborhood even allowed her to talk to those living in the area who shared stories of their experiences growing up and living in the West Ward, causing her love for Newark to grow immensely.
One day, while riding her bicycle to West Side Park, she encountered a man who told her to continue riding her bicycle because he didn’t see many girls doing so. His comment made her realize, that there weren’t many girls in her community riding bicycles or participating in any recreational activities in public. In fact, she never saw any girls riding their bicycle at all. She then began to think, ‘What if I can get more girls to ride bikes?’, and that is what she did. Kalala began inviting her friends to cycle with her and she marketed those experiences on Instagram by specifying that they were ‘Girls On Bikes’.
By taking that small step to encourage her friends to ride bicycles, Girls On Bikes IS now a Community Organization whOSE mission is encourage girls in urban communities to participate in recreational activities in the public, in style of course.
In our community we recognize girls and young women are not participating in recreational activities in the public. Young people of color are distraught about reckless drivers and the crime that occurs in our community. Many are unable to purchase bicycles and other recreational equipment because they cannot afford to do so. Our community lacks the resources of health food stores and many residents are unable to afford organic food that is beneficial for themselves and their family. Youth are in need of empowerment to withstand and conquer all of the obstacles they face.
Girls On Bikes mission is to build up a generation to create a culture of unstoppable women. By curating safe and creative spaces we have a hands on influence on young people in our community. Workshops permits girls to discuss the challenges they face while exercising in public. GOB enables an environment wherein girls can help each other and even themselves, by tackling the social and political issues surrounding exercise. By doing so, girls are able to form a community amongst their peers to empower each other daily to be leaders.