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As we close out Latinx Heritage Month, we’re proud to celebrate the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities around the world by highlighting the incredible work of the Latinx folks at the Bicycle Coalition.

Following the lead of the Human Rights Campaign, we’re using the term Latinx rather than Hispanic or Latino to represent the identities of non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender-expansive people. Latinx also centers the lives of indigenous, Brazilian and other non-Spanish speaking people in this celebration. To read more about Latinx Heritage Month (also known as Hispanic Heritage month), check out Milagros Chirinos’ piece More Than One Word, More Than One Heritage.

Brenda Hernández Torres, Bicycle Coalition Community Engagement Manager

How do you identify?

Me identifico como Undocuqueer Mexicana, Latina.

What are you most proud of as a Latinx individual?

Como mujer migrante mexicana joven, indocumentada, queer, estoy orgullosa de todo el trabajo que he hecho en los últimos años. Comencé mi viaje como organizadora comunitaria a la edad de 18 años y me involucré en el movimiento migrante y por la justicia social. Pasé de ser un líder juvenil a un papel ahora más importante, y eso es por todas las enseñanzas de los demás y también por mí mismo para recordar siempre mis propios valores. Mi trabajo generalmente implica lidiar con el desafío estereotipado del hombre blanco. Hay una gran falta de representación de colores y mujeres líderes con las que pueda relacionarme. Es difícil para una persona joven administrar un papel de participación comunitaria en el transporte y la infraestructura y ayudar a alinear a los tomadores de decisiones con la importancia de trabajar para la comunidad.

As a young, Undocumented, Queer, Mexican Migrant woman, I’m proud of all the work I’ve done over the past years. I started my journey as a community organizer at the age of 18 and got involved in the migrant and social justice movement. My work has evolved from a youth leader into a now bigger role, and that’s from all the teachings of others and also myself to always remember my own values. My work usually involves dealing with the stereotypical white male defiance. There is a great lack of color representation and female leaders that I can relate to. It’s hard for a young person to manage a community engagement role in transportation and infrastructure and help align the decision-makers with the importance of working for the community.

How do you see your Latinx identity transforming cycling in Philly?

Mi identidad latina ha ayudado a transformar y dar forma al ciclismo en Filadelfia a través de la educación y la divulgación. Nuestros programas se han desarrollado sacando a la luz problemas que, a menudo, las organizaciones no ven o no se sienten cómodas hablando y tomando medidas. Nuestros programas ayudan a traer voces que a menudo no se traen a la mesa o que se pasan por alto o no se consideran. Hemos continuado construyendo puentes y conectando comunidades de bajos ingresos, comunidades de color, inmigrantes y comunidades bilingües a través de nuestros programas.

My Latino identity has helped transform and shape cycling in Philadelphia through education and outreach. Our programs have been developed by bringing to light issues that often, organizations aren’t seeing or aren’t comfortable talking about and taking action steps. Our programs help bring voices that often aren’t brought to the table or are being overlooked or not considered. We have continued to build bridges and connect low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, and bilingual communities through our programs.

Amanda Ruffner

Author

As Communications Coordinator for the Bicycle Coalition, Amanda is constantly thinking about all the interesting, gorgeous, varied ways we can share what we're learning and making with each other.Send her the audio/visuals/articles that move you, she promises she will spend time with them.

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