Cadence Youth Cycling (CYC) alumni Allen Williams addressed a crowd of Bicycle Coalition supporters at a small, private event. He told the crowd how CYC helped him develop discipline and commitment, gave him a network of support, and provided him opportunities to travel outside of Philadelphia.
And he’s brought that leadership with him to the University of Virginia, where Allen is chair of the Leadership and Development Committee of the Black Student Alliance. As the chair, Allen is responsible for designing retreats and leadership, fostering exercises to bring out the leaders in the black community. (In support of Allen, and all black students at the University of Virginia, please consider giving a donation directly to the Black Student Alliance here.)
Less than 24-hours after Williams spoke at the Bicycle Coalition event, racist protests broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the University of Virginia is located. Neo-Nazis and affiliated groups descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
In a horrific act of terrorism, Ohio resident and alleged white nationalist James Alex Fields allegedly drove a motor vehicle into a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather D. Heyer, a 32-year old paralegal.
Our hearts are heavy for the hatred and bigotry that underlies these protests and the associated act of terrorism.
We stand in solidarity with Allen, who returns to campus next week, and will continue to serve on the Executive Board of the Black Student Alliance.
Allen is an exceptional young man who was selected as a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar.
“In crucial times like these, leaders in the minority community are in high demand,” Allen wrote us by email. “I am certain that there are many incoming and returning students that are full of ideas on how to heal our community and move forward in progressive way in light of the recent events in Charlottesville. Any donation will allow the Leadership and Development Committee to effectively create retreats that encourage dialogue on race and politics, which will ideally reveal the leaders that we need in our community.”
Please consider giving a donation directly to the Black Student Alliance here. Please make your gift in honor of Allen Williams.