Hey there! My name is Anne, and I'm all about social justice, frolicking outdoors, ice cream, people power and seizing new adventures. Bike & Build fits right into my passions, so allow me to elaborate more.
I'm a senior (eeeek) at the College of William and Mary, double majoring in Environmental Policy and Sociology and I'm from Richmond, VA. I've always been passionate about environmental issues, and my college experiences have pushed the boundaries of what it means to care about the environment to me. I've become more and more involved with activism, currently working on a campaign to get clean energy on campus, formed an amazing support network, and found my niche in grassroots organizing to create change. Through my inspiring peers and academic studies, I began to broaden my concern of simply conserving resources and preserving nature to include the intersecting links of environmental, social justice, and inequality.
In May of 2015, I participated in part of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Resistance Ride, organized by the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC). The purpose of this ride was to amplify the voices of community members fighting this proposed natural gas pipeline in my home state and create solidarity across the growing student movement. At the time, I had never biked more than a leisurely ride to the park or to speed through campus when perpetually running late for class. Over the course of four days, we biked 120 miles to the ocean front of Norfolk, VA, one of the most vulnerable cities to climate change. The sense of accomplishment from biking from one city to another solely through pedal power, not fossil fueled cars, was incredible; biking with a purpose for justice gave the ride meaning and strength that carried me through every hill and sore muscle. I knew I wanted more.
As a soon-to-be college graduate, existential crises have become the new norm for this year. Right after Bike & Build, I will be heading back to William & Mary and attempt to adult in "the real world" starting my job as the Hunger and Nutrition Fellow at the Office of Community Engagement. I found out about Bike & Build online and through a friend at W&M who rode NC2SD '14. After hearing stories about her amazing experience, I was sold almost immediately. I've never been farther out than Kentucky, so what better way to challenge myself and explore the West? Additionally, it's a no-brainer for me to connect the issue of affordable housing to so many other systemic social issues, including the cycle of poverty, gentrifying and urban displacement policies that disproportionately affect communities of color, and property destruction related to rising sea levels and intense storms from anthropogenic climate change.
I have participated in construction trips in the central Appalachian area, and seen the dire need for affordable housing, and need for compassion to create long-term solutions for those affected. During my time at W&M, I have been heavily involved with the Student Environmental Action Coalition, as well as Branch Out Alternative Breaks as a trip leader. In this role, I have learned about the importance about working simply beyond just service and doing something because it makes us "feel good;" rather, working towards becoming active citizens who are intentional, inclusive, and willing to put in the effort to build relationships that work towards structural and systemic change. I intend to employ this same model of active citizenship in my Bike & Build journey.
NOW! That's not to say I don't have any fears or worries around Bike & Build. What if I struggle to reach my fundraising goal? What to do when I miss my friends and familiar faces? 4000 miles is a LOT, will I really be able to handle that?? But whenever these doubts start to creep into my thoughts, I focus my attention on the purpose: immersing myself in so many parts of the country I've never seen before in a new way, appreciating the natural beauty and new community I hope to gain with the purpose of social change. Also with lots of random dance parties and awkward tan lines. And then I think, bring it on!! Your donation of any amount is greatly appreciated. Much love for any and all support on my next crazy adventure.
For more updates, follow my blog! https://annebikebuild.wordpress.com
$25: Shout out in a Thank You video at the 2500 mile mark
$50: Postcard from the road from me to you! (+shout out)
$100: Personalized video from Build Site of your choice (+postcard+shout out)
$200: Bike & Build sticker sent to you (+video+postcard+shout out)
$300: Bike & Build water bottle sent to you (+sticker+video+postcard+shout out)
$500: WOW YOU ROCK You'll get your very own Bike & Build t-shirt (water bottle+sticker+video+postcard+shout out)
|Anne has currently raised $5,115.|
That's 114% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.