Civil Rides is a 5-day 500-mile trek from the steps of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA that follows in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to raise awareness around persistent rural poverty in America and advocate for racial justice and healing.
Wednesday, April 4 (the 50th anniversary of the assassination Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) to Sunday, April 8.
Aspects of ride
Ride well. Impact the lives of people.
-Departure from the National Civil Rights Museum stage as part of MLK 50.
-Showing the world the power of working together through national and international media.
-Taking part in a groundbreaking event with a nation looking for a better way forward.
-Participation helps launch the Angela Project. (Click to read more about it)
-Full SAG (mechanic, light repair gear, or even hitch a ride)
-Stretch points to refuel along the way – physically and mentally
-Hotels – single occupancy for your alone time
-Suppers – more than just a “light snack” – riding through some of the best food spots
-After hours events – go to bed early or don’t…
-You’re on your bike a lot – as if that weren’t evident
-Phenomenal new friends – well, I’m sure you’ll at least talk to great people
-Three main ride groups to allow for different paces and to share the workload of 500 miles (unity, collaboration, encouragement – you know, the things we’re riding for)
On April 4, 1968, the struggle for civil rights suffered a great loss with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Since his death a great deal has changed in America, but the struggle for equality and equity remains a challenge. In essence, Dr. King’s dream has yet to come to fruition. The ongoing inequality and the struggle to keep the dream alive is why this ride, Civil Rides, exists.
Poverty is a modern-day civil rights issue. Together for Hope works to alleviate poverty through asset-based community development which strengthens the community from within, providing a true path out of poverty. In this work, Together for Hope has four priorities: Education, Health & Nutrition, Housing & Environment, and Social Enterprise. We have partner organizations from Arizona to Appalachia and from the Dakotas to the Delta.
Ushering in an “oasis of freedom and justice” requires us to turn our nation from the “sweltering heat of injustice and oppression. We must talk about, be about, and live out justice and let freedom ring.” Dr. King relayed this necessity in 1963, “‘My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride let freedom ring.’ If America is to be a great nation, this must become true.”
We are driven by Dr. King’s vision and believe, with him, that when any of our neighbors suffer in poverty, we all suffer because “an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”
The urgent moment Dr. King mentioned in 1963 is sadly still urgent today. The fight for civil rights in America has been and continues to be a struggle that affects all people – regardless of race or ethnicity. Holding to the self-evident truth that all people are created equal requires showcasing this philosophy through acts of love and justice. Each other’s freedom is inextricably linked, and one another’s destinies are conjoined. No one is free if anyone isn’t free. Justice is not just if its scales weigh color.
An outcome of the forces of inequality continues to be a higher percentage of minorities struggling with poverty and hunger. These base issues are where we are making great strides in improving the livelihood of people living in poverty. We work to fix systems in food delivery and improve how communities and religious institutions address the causal effects and outcomes of poverty in their neighborhoods.
Take action for equality and equity. Ride in the inaugural Civil Rides event. If you can’t ride, sponsor. If you can’t sponsor, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, be love and justice where you are.
In addition to the incredible camaraderie, challenge, and great experience, when we ride we are raising money to address modern day civil rights issues that stem out of historic social systems of injustice. Working together we show unity in our diversity to truly address hunger and poverty in our nation. We’ll travel through some of the poorest counties in America representing the hope that Dr. King preached and embodied. In those same counties, the work of Together for Hope changes lives by providing programming and opportunities to individuals who are working to overcome the barriers imbedded in racism and economic inequality.
National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to New Orleans, another pivotal location in the struggle for civil rights.
Tentative Daily Routes:
day 1 https://ridewithgps.com/
day 2 https://ridewithgps.com/
day 3 https://ridewithgps.com/
day 4 https://ridewithgps.com/
day 5 https://ridewithgps.com/
National Civil Rights Museum
The Angela Project
Memphis Brand Initiative