BLM Sessions

The Everyone Rides Initiative is excited to announce the BLM Sessions!

When we sent out our Black Lives Matter Action Plan press release in December, we knew we wanted to continue sharing resources we found important- in other words, we wanted to AMPLIFY Black voices, stories, creators and the work they’re doing. And so, we’ll be using our platforms to showcase incredible work by Black visual artists, podcast hosts, musicians, directors, and writers: especially if that work intersects with cycling and local, Hamilton news. 

We will be sharing the BLM Session on all our social media platforms, so follow us to stay updated: twitter @Everyone_Rides_, facebook @everyoneridesinitiative and Instagram @everyoneridesinitiative. We will also be keeping all of the sessions here on our website. 

We chose the word “sessions” for our sharing series because that word reminds us of intimate spaces, and active listening: like music sessions, where appreciators of the arts gather in close quarters to enjoy new and wonderful melodies. While the ERI won’t be the musicians in this scenario creating new work, the “you’re right here, right now” spirit of “sessions” is what we want to bring to you as we gladly share and amplify Black-created content. And if you ever want to share anything with us, our inbox is always open to your suggestions.”


Session 1:

Black Girls Do Bike

 

The Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB) cycling group just won the League of American Bicyclists’ 2020 “Bike Club of the Year” Award- and it’s easy to see why. BGDB spans numerous chapters across North America, and keeps things current with captivating interviews, podcasts, and blog posts. Most importantly, the group has become a warm, radical community of Black women sharing stories and cycling tips centered around Black lived experience; from Antigua all the way to Alaska. Check out their interviews with cyclists on their show “Bike Girl Magic”, and take a look at the amazing diversity of their activities on their social media!

Read the ERI Blog Post about BGDB

 

Follow Black Girls Do Bike on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Check out ways to support BGDB.

 

 


Session 2:

BIPOC Voices

Amora Sanaa (left), Queen Cee Empyrean (middle), and Sharon Grant (right) share laughter. Photographed by Niv Shimshon in Hamilton, ON (Aug 2020).

 

QUEEN: "I feel like my personal life journey from Black girl to a Black woman is so layered and those layers have so many sections. And my journey starts from before I was even born, through my mother's own journey. Two major parts of my life journey have been influenced, inspired and empowered by my Mother (my Queen) and my daughter (my empress).

My mother inspired, empowered me to grow into the woman I would become, the community youth activist I would become and supported my passions as a musician and artist. She also inspired me to become the mother I would be to my 5 kids, which brings me to my one and only daughter and how I would inspire her, empower her and nurture her esteem as a Black girl because there are parts of her own journey I know she will experience and she will need to be built up for."

Photograph and excerpt are taken from Niv Shimshons BIPOC Voices project. 

Read the ERI Blog Post with Niv Shimshon about BIPOC Voices

 

Queen runs a small business Herstory Doll. You can follow her on Instagram.

Read more stories from the BIPOC Voices project, and follow Niv Shimshon on Instagram.

 

 


Session 3:

Sureesh and Luvo

 

Both Sureesh Monagaran and Luvo Ngarwe are seasoned ERI riders, with over 7 years of subsidized bike share pass history between them. As a result, they have much to share about what they love about cycling in the city. Monagaran’s favourite place to cycle is around Bayfront park, followed closely by touring the large, old homes in the Kirkendall South neighbourhood: “Biking around the city makes you see things more in detail- streets you’ve never been on before”. 

Ngarwe enthusiastically agreed with his friend, mentioning that his favourite place to ride in Hamilton is the Bayfront as well. He also admires Hamilton’s efforts to make the city a beautiful place to be, saying, “[Through cycling], I've come to really appreciate the beauty and effort they put into making the city look nice: hedges with flowers, the quality of the roads, the various parks”. 

When asked how they first began riding bikes, Monagaran and Ngarwe both mentioned that their fathers took on the task of teaching them a skill that still brings them joy and freedom today. Monagaran’s love for venturing into new terrain by bike began when he was a child, after learning how to ride near his house in Borneo, Malaysia. After his father’s cycling teachings granted him more freedom and independence, Monagaran started cycling within his neighbourhood before venturing into more isolated, beautiful areas near the jungle.

Read the ERI Blog Post about these awesome ERI Riders, Sureesh and Luvo!

 

Sureesh Monagaran and Luvo Ngarwe are featured in one of Niv Shimshon's photo projects. See more of Niv Shimshon's photography in his series "The Close Park", featured in the Spec


 Session 4:

Aaron Parry

 

Aaron Parry is a local graphic design artist and writer whose works have drawn attention for their beautifully detailed, multidimensional depictions of Hamilton’s Black histories and accomplishments. Parry’s collaboration with the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association (ACCA) led to the release of the ‘Deeply Rooted’ a historical colouring and activity book in 2021. 

Deeply Rooted, written for children between 3-12 years of age and designed to be an educational resource, aims to fill a void within Canadian educational and local history: that of the accomplishments and lived experiences of influential Black Hamiltonians upon Ontario and Canada as a whole. The book was commissioned by the Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association (ACCA), and Parry was signed on to illustrate the content, which he also chose and researched.

Read the ERI's interview with Aaron Parry. 

 

Check out more of Aaron Parry's art projects here. You can purchase 'Deeply Rooted' from the ACCA website here.