Bike Cleveland Equity Statement

In June 2020 Bike Cleveland released a statement that reiterated that “Safe streets for all” means more than building a connected bike network and safe pedestrian environments. It means creating an environment where all people, but especially African Americans and other persons of color, feel safe and comfortable using our city streets as public spaces for recreation, transportation, protest, and more.

Over the past few months our board and staff have worked to establish a series of policies and goals that incorporate racial equity and inclusion (REI) into every aspect of our work. This has led to the development of an equity statement and organizational goals that we will follow to continue to ensure that everyone has equal access to safe biking, walking, and public transit opportunities. Our statement starts with how we define equity, diversity and inclusion; then our commitment; followed by our goals and actions. 

Using a glossary from the UC Berkeley Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Initiative as a starting point, Bike Cleveland defines equity, diversity, and inclusion as follows: 

Equity – Just and fair inclusion into a society in which everyone can participate and prosper. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow all to reach their full potential, erasing disparities in race, income, ability, geography, age, gender and sexual orientation.

Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to foster equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.

Diversity – The acceptance of members from different types of self identified groups into an organization or unit. Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term “diversity” is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Inclusion – The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.

Inclusion integrates the fact of diversity and embeds it into the core mission and institutional functioning of an organization. It is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity —  in communities with which individuals might connect — in ways that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.


Historical and systemic transportation policies and practices have created inequitable conditions and marginalized our community. Bike Cleveland is committed to challenging its own history and practices, as well as that of our members and affiliates. As we reckon with our nation’s and local community’s wicked problems*, we are committed to this long-term journey and reconciliation. Bike Cleveland envisions a community where every person has equitable access to biking, walking and public transit. We are committed to listening, building authentic relationships, and developing equitable practices that uphold our strategies.  

Bike Cleveland will be intentional about engaging, reflecting, and working with communities, populations and neighborhoods who have traditionally been underinvested in, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), transgender people, women, people with low income, people with disabilities, and residents of our identified areas of concern.

*Wicked problems are social or cultural problems that are difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems.

To support our mission and equity statement we have developed the following goals and actions: 

  • Board and staff diversity that is representative of the city we serve. 
  • Mandatory racial, equity and inclusion training for staff, volunteers, board, and chapter leaders in 2021.
  • Design programs and events that create inclusive and welcoming environments.
  • Offer resources and programs that educate our networks (members and the general public) and bring awareness to topics related to bike equity. The goals of equity must be to create conditions that allow for just and fair inclusion in which everyone can participate, erasing disparities in race, income, ability, geography, age, gender and sexual orientation.
  • Partnering with and supporting others who are also committed to advancing mobility equity. 
  • Empower people by increasing access to bicycles and shared mobility (bike share, scooter share, public repair stands).
  • Developing an Ambassador Program/Neighborhood Mobility Committees within Cleveland’s neighborhoods in partnership with Clevelanders for Public Transit.

We will continue to review our work with an ongoing commitment to advance these goals and embracing them as core values in our work. We encourage our members and supporters to hold us accountable in our racial, equity and inclusion work. We also invite you to tell us where Bike Cleveland can improve as an organization dedicated to safe and equitable transportation for all. You can reach me at or 216-273-6863 and we will hear and respond to you. 

Posted in ,