Organizers

Leadership team

The core leadership team for The Untokening is comprised of advocates from diverse social and racial backgrounds who work in professional and personal capacities to advance equity in mobility  and community development. We are supported in this endeavor by a wider Advisory Committee, which includes advocates from diverse backgrounds working at a grassroots level across the country. Our project is fiscally sponsored by the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis, MN, which has been working at the intersection of health and culture to “unleash the power of citizens to heal themselves and to build community.”

zahra alabanza zahra is a life enthusiast, which encompasses many things. She is a mother, organizer, creative and adventure.  A project starting, wandering overlover and outdoor junkie. zahra has happily resorted to enjoying life the way she did when she was 13 years old, unapologetically with tons of play.  Currently, she utilizes outdoor adventure, growing food, yoga(ing) and being a creative  as the root of her community organizing efforts to enhance physical and mental wellness, economic vitality and environmental stewardship. zahra is the co-founder of Black Freedom Outfitters and the Atlanta chapter of Red, Bike and Green. She has planned and completed 5 long distance bike tours; one of which she pulled her then 5 year old along for the ride. zahra rides a fixed gear KHS Flite one hundred named, LadyJo. LadyJo allows her to expand her existence, moving her endlessly through space and time. Riding encourages her to live beyond, more, limitlessly and in touch with herself, community and the earth. zahra on her bike is an act of love and resistance. She sees biking as a tool for communal and individual transformation. Biking is a means of building and rebuilding whole communities that are abundantly safe, confident, well(thy) and self determining. zahra believes that no matter the reason  you come to biking you ultimately become more invested in yourself, community, the environment. zahra is working to master the handstand and the mundane. She is in love with being.

zahra alabanza

zahra is a life enthusiast, which encompasses many things. She is a mother, organizer, creative and adventure.  A project starting, wandering overlover and outdoor junkie. zahra has happily resorted to enjoying life the way she did when she was 13 years old, unapologetically with tons of play.  Currently, she utilizes outdoor adventure, growing food, yoga(ing) and being a creative  as the root of her community organizing efforts to enhance physical and mental wellness, economic vitality and environmental stewardship.

zahra is the co-founder of Black Freedom Outfitters and the Atlanta chapter of Red, Bike and Green. She has planned and completed 5 long distance bike tours; one of which she pulled her then 5 year old along for the ride. zahra rides a fixed gear KHS Flite one hundred named, LadyJo. LadyJo allows her to expand her existence, moving her endlessly through space and time. Riding encourages her to live beyond, more, limitlessly and in touch with herself, community and the earth. zahra on her bike is an act of love and resistance.

She sees biking as a tool for communal and individual transformation. Biking is a means of building and rebuilding whole communities that are abundantly safe, confident, well(thy) and self determining. zahra believes that no matter the reason  you come to biking you ultimately become more invested in yourself, community, the environment.

zahra is working to master the handstand and the mundane. She is in love with being.

Naomi Doerner Naomi Doerner a social justice and racial equity conspirator within the national active transportation planning and advocacy community. In 2016, after a decade of developing successful community engagement programs for transportation planning processes and through advocacy campaigns in communities across the U.S., Naomi started Assembly, a justice and equity-centered transportation planning practice. Assembly specializes in growing diverse coalitions and co-creating authentic community planning engagement strategies to support walking, bicycling and transit use. From planning methodologies to policy evaluation to coalition design to advocacy trainings, campaigns, and conference programming, Assembly uses an equity, diversity and inclusion framework to develop context and culture appropriate solutions with communities and for clients. Mrs. Doerner holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, and a Certificate of Geographic Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. She proudly serves on the Boards of ioby, a crowd-resourcing platform that connects community leaders with funding and support to make neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun, and PlayBuild, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that transforms vacant lots into active play spaces for children to learn about architecture, planning and design. Naomi has been cited in numerous academic, research and technical publications. She has also developed equity content for several active transportation organizations and conferences. Naomi, her husband and rather aloof cat reside in a colorful double shotgun home next to the Mississippi River levee in New Orleans, LA.

Naomi Doerner

Naomi Doerner a social justice and racial equity conspirator within the national active transportation planning and advocacy community. In 2016, after a decade of developing successful community engagement programs for transportation planning processes and through advocacy campaigns in communities across the U.S., Naomi started Assembly, a justice and equity-centered transportation planning practice. Assembly specializes in growing diverse coalitions and co-creating authentic community planning engagement strategies to support walking, bicycling and transit use. From planning methodologies to policy evaluation to coalition design to advocacy trainings, campaigns, and conference programming, Assembly uses an equity, diversity and inclusion framework to develop context and culture appropriate solutions with communities and for clients.

Mrs. Doerner holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, and a Certificate of Geographic Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. She proudly serves on the Boards of ioby, a crowd-resourcing platform that connects community leaders with funding and support to make neighborhoods safer, greener, more livable and more fun, and PlayBuild, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that transforms vacant lots into active play spaces for children to learn about architecture, planning and design. Naomi has been cited in numerous academic, research and technical publications. She has also developed equity content for several active transportation organizations and conferences. Naomi, her husband and rather aloof cat reside in a colorful double shotgun home next to the Mississippi River levee in New Orleans, LA.

Adonia Lugo Dr. Adonia Lugo is an anthropologist working to build human infrastructure for sustainable transportation. She spent 2013-2015 in Washington, D.C., running an initiative to transform the U.S. bike movement into a space welcoming to women, youth, and people of color. Adonia created and moderates the Bike Equity Network and is an editor of the book Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? (Routledge 2016). She is a college instructor in Los Angeles, where she sits on the advisory board for Multicultural Communities for Mobility. Other work includes co-founding the Bicicultures research project and sitting on the Safe Routes to School National Partnership Diversity Task Force.

Adonia Lugo

Dr. Adonia Lugo is an anthropologist working to build human infrastructure for sustainable transportation. She spent 2013-2015 in Washington, D.C., running an initiative to transform the U.S. bike movement into a space welcoming to women, youth, and people of color. Adonia created and moderates the Bike Equity Network and is an editor of the book Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? (Routledge 2016). She is a college instructor in Los Angeles, where she sits on the advisory board for Multicultural Communities for Mobility. Other work includes co-founding the Bicicultures research project and sitting on the Safe Routes to School National Partnership Diversity Task Force.

 
Sahra Sulaiman Professional nerd Sahra Sulaiman is an ethnographic researcher by training (an M.A. and A.B.D. in International Relations from USC), a journalist by profession (Communities Editor for Streetsblog Los Angeles, covering South Central and Boyle Heights), and a long-time volunteer with teens in inner-city schools. She tends to use first-person accounts and qualitative data to explore the obstacles that conspire to keep residents in lower-income communities of color from being able to safely access their streets. And as a Health Journalism fellow, she examines the impact of community violence and insecurity in the public space on the health and well-being of youth in Watts. She also works to introduce readers to the unique grassroots efforts of local residents, community leaders, and local organizations to address some of these issues on their own. In doing so, she hopes to underscore the need for attention to equity in planning and to open up lines of communication between city agencies and residents of areas of Los Angeles that have been neglected for too long. Her work has been cited or re-printed in publications around the city and she has been honored for excellence by the Los Angeles Press Club in 2013, 2014, and 2015. (Photo credit: Benjamin Dunn/Daily Trojan)

Sahra Sulaiman

Professional nerd Sahra Sulaiman is an ethnographic researcher by training (an M.A. and A.B.D. in International Relations from USC), a journalist by profession (Communities Editor for Streetsblog Los Angeles, covering South Central and Boyle Heights), and a long-time volunteer with teens in inner-city schools. She tends to use first-person accounts and qualitative data to explore the obstacles that conspire to keep residents in lower-income communities of color from being able to safely access their streets. And as a Health Journalism fellow, she examines the impact of community violence and insecurity in the public space on the health and well-being of youth in Watts. She also works to introduce readers to the unique grassroots efforts of local residents, community leaders, and local organizations to address some of these issues on their own. In doing so, she hopes to underscore the need for attention to equity in planning and to open up lines of communication between city agencies and residents of areas of Los Angeles that have been neglected for too long. Her work has been cited or re-printed in publications around the city and she has been honored for excellence by the Los Angeles Press Club in 2013, 2014, and 2015. (Photo credit: Benjamin Dunn/Daily Trojan)

Carolyn Szczepanski New to the realm of affordable housing (and Minnesota), Carolyn is currently the Communications and Marketing Manager for the Minnesota Housing Partnership, a statewide advocacy group based in St. Paul. After working as a reporter for nearly a decade, Carolyn served as the Communications Director for the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists, where she helped to launch several programs focused on advancing equity in bicycling.

Carolyn Szczepanski

New to the realm of affordable housing (and Minnesota), Carolyn is currently the Communications and Marketing Manager for the Minnesota Housing Partnership, a statewide advocacy group based in St. Paul. After working as a reporter for nearly a decade, Carolyn served as the Communications Director for the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists, where she helped to launch several programs focused on advancing equity in bicycling.

Anthony Taylor Anthony is an accidental advocate. He has never stopped biking since receiving a Schwinn Apple Crate for his birthday in 1971. He and his mentor Louis Moore, using bikes as a tool in the 80’s to raise money for building playgrounds, developed a love for racing and the challenge of endurance races. In 1998 a group of African American women who wanted to complete the AIDS ride from Minneapolis to Chicago approached them for help and the seeds of Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota (MTBCMn) were born. The MTBCM was founded in 1999 with the commitment to increase the participation of the African American community in cycling for sport, transportation and health improvement. Anthony is a member of the League of American Bicyclists Equity Advisory Council, an LCI, co-founder of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Mn, and a founding member and VP of the National Brotherhood of Cyclists. He is currently working to create a community bike center in Minneapolis. Anthony hails from Milwaukee, WI via Grenada, MS. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Anthony actively engages in partnerships that use active transportation as a tool to build community, increase personal power, community safety and improve the wellbeing of our communities with a special commitment in African American communities and other historically oppressed communities. Anthony is currently the Adventures Director for the Loppet Foundation, where he works to provide opportunities and create passion for year-round outdoor activities and adventures in the Twin Cities area FOR ALL. Last winter was his first winter using his bike as a primary mode of transportation.

Anthony Taylor

Anthony is an accidental advocate. He has never stopped biking since receiving a Schwinn Apple Crate for his birthday in 1971. He and his mentor Louis Moore, using bikes as a tool in the 80’s to raise money for building playgrounds, developed a love for racing and the challenge of endurance races. In 1998 a group of African American women who wanted to complete the AIDS ride from Minneapolis to Chicago approached them for help and the seeds of Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota (MTBCMn) were born. The MTBCM was founded in 1999 with the commitment to increase the participation of the African American community in cycling for sport, transportation and health improvement. Anthony is a member of the League of American Bicyclists Equity Advisory Council, an LCI, co-founder of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Mn, and a founding member and VP of the National Brotherhood of Cyclists. He is currently working to create a community bike center in Minneapolis. Anthony hails from Milwaukee, WI via Grenada, MS. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Anthony actively engages in partnerships that use active transportation as a tool to build community, increase personal power, community safety and improve the wellbeing of our communities with a special commitment in African American communities and other historically oppressed communities. Anthony is currently the Adventures Director for the Loppet Foundation, where he works to provide opportunities and create passion for year-round outdoor activities and adventures in the Twin Cities area FOR ALL. Last winter was his first winter using his bike as a primary mode of transportation.

Advisory Committee

This effort is informed and co-created by advocates across the country who have dedicated their time, energy and insight to developing the agenda, advancing communications and facilitating the logistics of The Untokening. To date, they include:

  • Keith Benjamin (Safe Routes to School National Partnership -- DC)
  • Tamika Butler (Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition)
  • Liz Cornish (Bikemore -- Baltimore)
  • Veronica O. Davis (Nspiregreen; Black Women Bike DC)
  • Nedra Deadwyler (Civil Bikes; Georgia Bikes)
  • Whitney Fuller (Atlanta Regional Council)
  • Chema Hernández Gil (SF Rising)
  • Timberley Jones (Relay Bike Share -- Atlanta)
  • Laura Kling (Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, Grease Rag)
  • Jordyn Krumroy (Atlanta Bicycle Coalition)
  • Do Lee (Intersectional Riding -- NYC)
  • Adrian Lipscombe (Ph.D. candidate, University of Texas at Austin)
  • Sarah McCullough (Bicicultures -- LA)
  • Mychal Tetteh (Community Cycling Center -- Portland, OR)