Almost a year after the first BIPOC Mobility Justice Lab in Los Angeles, CalBike co-organized a second gathering in January of stakeholders, advocates, and representatives of a broad group of Los Angeles-area community organizations to provide the opportunity and space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to collaborate on local and state transportation and mobility justice issues. This time led by People for Mobility Justice, the convening focused on relationship-building, power-building trainings and exercises, and strategizing around statewide and Los Angeles specific policy and programming possibilities: thinking beyond policing, disability justice, and government fiduciary responsibility.
The ongoing BIPOC Lab events implement two important and related parts of our strategic plan: prioritizing marginalized communities in transportation spending and policy decisions, and strengthening the power of the transportation justice movement. Ultimately, our success in Sacramento—to advocate for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities in which safe and healthy biking can be a key element—is dependent on the influence and power of local organizations and movements that can apply pressure from below to hold our state decision makers accountable. It was clear this time around local organizations, advocates, and activists have continued their work and built on their experiences at our last meeting and are considerably more prepared to tackle mobility injustices, at both the state-level and in the ongoing local struggles that are not just unique to Los Angeles but also align with many local struggles across the state.
What sets these BIPOC labs apart from other transportation advocacy convenings are the laboratories’ hyper focus on the way that forms of race, gender, and sexual exclusions are embedded features of our statewide mobility systems. The framework for these discussions and strategy sessions is rooted in both historical and present manifestations of colonialism and white supremacy that highlights particular forms of Indigenous and Black dispossession of land and resources. This bold frame opens up new opportunities to engage with and center government policy for historically discriminated groups while directly integrating the lived experiences of our state’s most marginalized residents.
We look forward to these transformative strategic meetings, ongoing and stronger partnerships, and substantive action in the months ahead!