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Tamika Butler facilitates “real talk” about equity and power in bicycle advocacy

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by Wade Johnston

Tamika Butler joined Tri-State Trails for our sixth biennial Summit to discuss the intersection of race and equity in active transportation on October 29. During an engaging two-hour conversation, Butler unpacked how Tri-State Trails and the Greater Cincinnati region need to address racism, listen actively and empathetically to the voices of people of color, and focus on building true equity in the process of planning and implementing trail and bikeway infrastructure. 

Tri-State Trails Director Wade Johnston recapped the progress we’ve made in 2020 and emphasized the importance of prioritizing connections in our urban trail and bikeway network. Sharing a series of maps illustrating how active transportation infrastructure is lacking in African American communities, Johnston said, “Trails should not be something that’s exclusive to a certain population in Greater Cincinnati.”

More than 90 individuals showed up for our virtual gathering. Through anonymous feedback on Zoom, attendees were able to engage in a frank discussion about race and equity in trail and bike advocacy. Butler led conversations about how to define equity, understand the role of racism in advocacy, and identify barriers to making equity a priority in our work. 

Butler closed the event by saying, “We can’t want to be comfortable. We have to want to be brave. We have to be vulnerable. If we do this work right, we are going to make mistakes.” 

A recording of the event can be viewed below.

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