As we close out AAPI Heritage Month, we’re proud to celebrate the cultures, contributions and resilience of AAPI communities around the world by highlighting the incredible work of the AAPI staff at the Bicycle Coalition.
Lor Song (he/him) is the Transportation Community Organizer for the Bicycle Coalition, where he connects with local Philadelphia communities about Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia (FSSGP), builds momentum for life-saving changes to our street space, and builds community support for those affected by deadly crashes. He started his work with us in 2020 as a Community Liaison with the Better Bike Share Partnership.
How do you identify?
I identify as a first-generation Hmong male Asian American born and raised in West Philadelphia.
What are you most proud of as an AAPI individual?
It’s hard to say just one thing that I am most proud of as an AAPI but I can give you my top 3. I am proud of where my family has come from—Long Tieng, Laos—as refugees from the Vietnam War. I am proud of being the fourth person in my family to go to college, and I am proud of being able to pursue my passions, from professional breakdancing to bicycle advocacy as the Transportation Community Organizer here at the Bicycle Coalition.
How do you see your AAPI identity transforming cycling in Philly?
My AAPI identity will hopefully get more AAPI youth interested in cycling in Philadelphia but also inspire them to pursue careers that stem from cycling. For example, I fell back in love with cycling 12 years ago when I got rid of my car and started commuting into Center City for work on a bicycle. I was a bike messenger for the next 10 years and now I work in policy in order to make streets safer for all road users. I never thought I would be in policy for changing bicycling in Philadelphia but if I would have known there was an equitable career in this field, I would have pursued Urban Design in college instead of the stereotypical major in Finance, which I am not good at.
It would be great to see an AAPI in the pro cycling teams or in the UCI but it would be great to see AAPI’s doing bike advocacy work as well, just being able to bike safely in our communities.