Local Advocate Receives National Award from America Walks

Local Advocate Receives National Award from America Walks
Maria Sipin to participate in “Walkable Communities” training program

Maria Sipin awarded America Walks 2016 Walking College fellowship

Maria Sipin, advisory board member for Multicultural Communities for Mobility, awarded America Walks 2016 Walking College fellowship

Los Angeles, CAAmerica Walks, a national advocacy organization that promotes walking and walkable communities, announced today that Maria Sipin of Multicultural Communities for Mobility has been awarded a Walking College Fellowship.

The Fellowship will enable Sipin and 24 other advocates from around the country to participate in a four-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable. “We are delighted to welcome Maria Sipin as a member of our 2016 Walking College class,” said Ian Thomas, State and Local Program Director with America Walks, “This program was developed in response to our findings that access to technical assistance and a national peer network are among the most pressing needs for advocates working at the local level.”

Maria Sipin will complete a six-module distance-education training program this summer and participate in the international Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place conference in Vancouver, British Columbia in September.

“I’m looking forward to applying what I gain from the Walking College to address the high number of injuries and deaths affecting people walking in Los Angeles, especially in low-income neighborhoods and areas where people walk or bike as their primary mode of transportation. In these communities, people are walking in large numbers so it’s not just a matter of getting more people to walk; it’s about making places safer and better for walking.”

Maria Sipin is a community advocate who is passionate about transportation in Los Angeles and is an experienced bike safety instructor who works with children and adults. She volunteers for Multicultural Communities for Mobility and serves as an advisory board member to prioritize equitable policies and programs to address the needs of people who walk, bike and use public transportation in Los Angeles. She participates in the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance and serves as a Metro council member for the Westside Central service area.

“There are local initiatives such as the Mobility Plan and Vision Zero and existing organizations doing this work, and I would like to complement what’s happening now, focus on one or two districts, collaborate, and generate support and funding to create safer streets, sidewalks, and places. There’s a role for everyone to play in creating more walkable communities.”

The Walking College curriculum has been designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community change agents. Topics include the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with stakeholders and decision makers. At the conclusion of the Walking College, Fellows will develop a task-oriented Strategic Plan for improving walkability in their communities.

Donate to Maria’s GoFundMe campaign to support her project: https://www.gofundme.com/walking_fellowship

See More: www.americawalks.org/news

About The Walking College: The Walking College is supported with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative. Mentoring will be provided by national leaders in the field, including representatives of WalkBoston, Circulate San Diego, the PedNet Coalition, and Walk2Connect. More info. at www.americawalks.org/walkingcollege2016/.

About America Walks: America Walks is the only national organization devoted exclusively to making America a great place to walk. America Walks consists of a network of more than 700 partner and allied organizations, working to increase walking and create more safe, accessible and inclusive places to walk. Programs include on-line technical assistance, community-based workshops, convenings such as the National Walking Summit, federal advocacy initiatives, and increasing financial resources for local action. America Walks also maintains the Every Body Walk! Collaborative, a national partnership focused on increasing the visibility of walking and cultivating consumer demand for more walkable places. More info. at www.americawalks.org.

About Multicultural Communities for Mobility:

Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM), a project of Community Partners, organizes for safe and accessible transportation for low-income communities of color in Los Angeles. MCM has nearly 10 years experience in community empowerment and movement-building to serve people who walk, bike, and use public transit as their primary transportation. MCM has a colorful history of teaching bicycle safety to people of all ages, leading walking and biking tours connecting neighbors with art and history, and leading the charge for social justice-driven active transportation work. Today, MCM is a growing organization that is dedicated to bridging grassroots needs and public processes.

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Women Bike, Women Lead

Women Bike, Women Lead: A social conference for women transforming their communities through bikes

By the end of the event series and pilot program, participants completed two bike rides and were given the opportunity to attend local summit for a group of 30 to discuss issues related to biking in Los Angeles and the projects, leadership, funding, collaboration, and people-power needed to make the city better for people who bike.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM) and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) reached those who are new to biking and bicycle advocacy. With the support of a large group, women navigated their very first ride on the streets with ease. The Los Angeles ride was also featured in a music video from Las Cafeteras. At the summit, many were engaged in their first in-depth discussion about bicycling and gender, equity, policy, and media through the panelists and small group activities. See the Storify recap by LACBC here.

The organizers thank the League of American Bicyclists Women Bike Program for launching this program. Other contributions include event space from Community Partners, food from Chipotle and KIND Snacks, gear from Timbuk2, and donations from community members. Women Bike, Women Lead is exploring options and directions for this program. Stay tuned!

Photo by David Koo.

Los Angeles Ride featured in Las Cafeteras “Mujer Soy” Music Video. Photo by David Koo.

Photo by David Koo.

La Verne Ride. Photo by David Koo.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) and Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM) are partnering on a women-led series of bike rides and workshops from January to April 2015 designed to encourage women to build their networks and grow their capacity for transforming their communities through active transportation, namely biking.

The Women Bike, Women Lead series is also dedicated to empowering women to expand personal and professional goals related to active transportation, especially for those who are new to advocacy and community mobilization.

The bike rides and workshops are provided at no cost and reserved for women-identified participants.

Presenters at the Women Bike, Women Lead Summit

Presenters at the Women Bike, Women Lead Summit

Women Bike, Women Lead Summit Agenda

  • 9:30 am Registration and Morning Snacks
  • 10:00 am Opening Introductions by organizers Daniella Alcedo and Maria Sipin
  • 10:30 am Activity
  • 11:00 am Panel: Community health and equity with Tamika Butler, LACBC; Vanessa Gray, CICLE; Rio Contreras, MCM
  • 12:00 pm Panel: Local policy and planning with Rubina Ghazarian, LA City, and Avital Shavit, Metro
  • 12:45 pm Lunch and Exhibits
  • 1:30 pm Media and Marketing with Melissa Balmer and Kellie Morris, Pedal Love
  • 2:30 pm Activity
  • 3:00 pm Closing
  • 3:30 pm Social bike ride with Daniella Alcedo, Women Talk Bikes

The Women Bike, Women Lead series is funded by the League of American Bicyclist’s Women Bike Mini-Grant Program with support from LACBC and MCM. Thank you to Community Partners for the venue and Timbuk2 Venice Store for your sponsorship.

Events:

  • Saturday, January 24, 2015 @ 11am – 2pm – Pomona Valley Ride: La Verne to Bonelli Park, San Dimas (free)
  • Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10am – 2pm – Los Angeles Ride: Downtown LA to South LA (free)
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015 @ 9:30am – 3:30pm – Community Partners at California Endowment Building, Los Angeles

Donations and drawings:

Donate to be entered in a drawing for this custom design by MCM

Donate to be entered in a drawing for this custom design by MCM

Bags sponsored by Timbuk2 Venice Store.

Bike ride in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 21st. Meeting place: Downtown Los Angeles between City Hall and Grand Park on Spring Street.

Bike ride in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 21st. Meeting place: Downtown Los Angeles between City Hall and Grand Park on Spring Street.

Women Bike, Women Lead

1.24.15 – The first bike ride in the Women Bike, Women Lead series of events hosted by MCM and LACBC. Art by Yessica M. Avila.

This series is organized by Daniella Alcedo, founder of Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and Maria Sipin, advisory board member (MCM)– two women who have spent the past few years engaged in active transportation-related work and believe in the value of making educational opportunities and mentorship accessible to women and young professionals.

For more information regarding this media release, please contact Maria Sipin, maria (at) multicultimobility (dot) org.

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CicLAvia: Start Your Day at Glendale/Temple With Us!

MCM volunteer, Maria Sipin, signing up to be a Crossing Angel

MCM volunteer, Maria Sipin, signing up to be a Crossing Angel

The MCM team is adopting an intersection for CicLAvia. We’ll be hanging out at the Glendale Blvd./Temple St. intersection with our volunteers as Crossing Angels to help make crossing safer for people.

We’ll be waving our foam fingers as a way to signal CicLAvia traffic to slow down and stop at intersections. You can bring your own creativity to the job as a volunteer, and we’ll pair you up with someone as awesome as you.

CicLAvia and MCM will provide the t-shirt, props, and snacks. Sign up to volunteer for a shift, and be on your way to enjoy the rest of CicLAvia. Tell a friend!

Available shifts:

  • 8-9 am
  • 8:30-9:30 am
  • 9-10 am
  • 9:30-10:30 am
  • 10-11 am
  • 10:30-11:30 am
CicLAvia Crossing Angels (2011)

CicLAvia Crossing Angels (2011)

CicLAvia Volunteer Coordinator, Henny, conducts a training for volunteers

CicLAvia Volunteer Coordinator, Henny, conducts a training for volunteers

CicLAvia Route Map - October 5, 2014

CicLAvia Route Map – October 5, 2014