We’re thrilled to have Danielle Lundgren, Katelyn Dunst, Brandie Macdonald, Alex Villalba, and Olivia Zoe Williams join us at this year’s summit in Whitefish.
In the one week, the scholarships were open, we received 82 total applications from WTFs who are engaging in incredible community-building work. The planning collective of this Summit has been profoundly moved by the degree and scale of the important work being done by WTFs every single day to support, celebrate, and connect with one another. We are more than thrilled to save a seat at the summit for this year’s five recipients in SJ’s name and looking boldly into the future with the optimism that comes from the shared joy of the bicycle.
Life by bicycle is a life of freedom and exploration and I want to share it with everyone.
During the last few years I have had the amazing opportunity to be engaged in our community and work with many wonderful people. From serving on Idaho Falls Pride Board of Directors and later being crowned Miss Idaho Falls Pride, to testifying to the Idaho Legislative Committee for add the words. My life and transition has been in the public eye since I came out. I chose to give every interview and talk I could in hopes of being able to help anyone dealing with the same struggles as I was. An award winning piece that ran on Mothers Day, 2015 in the Post Register brought to light some of the struggles that I faced by living authentically and by being the only out transgender cop in Idaho. I left law enforcement after experiencing the difficulties first hand that the LGBTQA community faces. It was only then I could truly be free to explore and express myself completely and authentically. My partner and I moved to Boise to pursue a better life and a dream of living a life by bicycle.
Through volunteering and engaging in our local cycling community here, I have met so many wonderful people and I hope they have had a positive experience in getting to know a little about me as well. Boise has a great cycling community and I am thankful to be able to share anything I can with anyone I meet. Especially in regards to our W.T.F. community.
I am so honored to be a part of this wonderful organization. Receiving this scholarship and meeting these amazing people, many of whom are heroes to me and I have followed on social media for some time is a dream come true. I can’t wait to learn all I can and share my knowledge with the next generation of cyclists. I seriously can’t wait to meet you all and fangirl my heart out.
Hey fam! My name is Katelyn Durst. I am a poet, teaching artist and community organizer currently residing in Seattle, WA. I have had the great honor of participating and leading community development projects in Seattle, Detroit, Flint, LA, Denver, Chicago and DC. I am currently working on a trauma-informed poetry project where youth of color will respond to the school-to-prison pipeline, police brutality and victimizations in their communities. I love biking and am stoked to be a part of the Summit where I hope to grow my own skills and awareness in bike packing, physical wellness and connect with all of you!
SAN DIEGO, CA
Halito (Hi)! I am Indigenous, from the Chickasaw Nation and Choctaw Nation. My passion for fighting oppression and smashing patriarchy is woven with my work at a museum. I am on a team that is developing decolonization policies, practices, and pedagogy. I firmly believe this is one pathway where we can create spaces to honor the resiliency and truths of our IPOC ancestors, and dismantle oppressive systems for current and future IPOC and QTIPOC in the field. Interlinking with my passion, is my love of bikes. Bike riding is my self-care, my peanut butter and jam, my reclamation of space. I deeply believe when W/T/F/NB IPOC folks bike ride, we are engaging in acts of resilience and dismantling oppression by unapologetically holding space and building community. I am excited about being able to engage in community and cultivate a family of supportive W/T/F/NB relatives at the 2018 WTF Bikeexplorers Summit. I am looking forward to learning, listening, and sharing alongside such a powerful group of people. I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for this opportunity. Yakoke (thank you).
Two things influenced my decision to work as a bike mechanic. The first one is that, for me, few experiences are more rewarding than successfully repairing something. The second one is that until recently, I didn’t own a car which– living where I live– is agreeing to either ride a bike to get around or stay your ass at home. I’ve always loved the sense of freedom that even the shortest of bike rides give and when I was introduced to mountain biking two years ago, I loved it instantly. On the second year of my campus bike shop job, I was introduced to bikepacking through the power of the internet and since then have been jonesing to pack a tent to my bike and just go off grid for a while.
It’s easier said than done though. I work six to seven days a week and typically juggle two or three jobs at a time. And, until recently, I was managing those jobs as a full time student. In addition to that, the mountain biking scene here is homogenous as hell and if it weren’t for a handful of people I definitely wouldn’t have ventured out as much as I have. All of the trails here are easily accessible by car, but are spread out enough that getting to them can be difficult without one.
That’s why I appreciate the opportunity to work with the WTF Bikexplorers and to bring what I learn there back home to me and mine.
I’m an engineer, an advocate for green transportation in my red state, and am proficient in guessing the right wrench for all kinds of jobs. I’m excited to contribute what I can and to learn about what I don’t yet know.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
My name is Alex Villalba and I am a Mexico City based bike mechanic, teacher and dog daddy. I am a strong advocate for making the (bike) world more accessible to queer, broke, poc folk and offer my skills to create free, bilingual, skill-sharing classes to WTF identifying people here in the city. Nothing makes me happier than seeing other people like me find their own empowerment through self-autonomy and it’s hella rad to see summits like this making the space for us to grow together. I’m super stoked to learn and ride with all you babes this August! See ya in Montana.
The WTF Bikexplorers scholarships are named after SJ Brooks. SJ was the founder of the Seattle chapter of Friends on Bikes, a cycling group that fosters a community for women, trans, femme and non-binary people of color who love riding bikes. SJ was scheduled to speak about Friends on Bikes and be a part of the queer people of color panel at the WTF Bikexplorers Summit. On May 19th, SJ was fatally attacked while biking outside of Seattle. SJ’s death is a huge loss to the cycling community. They were a positive light who worked tirelessly to create change. We send our deepest condolences to SJ’s family and loved ones. Our best wishes go to Izzy as well, who is still recovering.
The incredible generosity of our community at large has gotten the SJ Brooks Scholarships fully funded for this year and the next! SJ’s family wished us to recognize SJ’s love for adventure cycling and commitment to visibilizing and empowering WTFs through these scholarships for years to come. Because we’ve seen such a tremendous outpouring of love and support on the GoFundMe, we are able to honor the wishes of SJ’s beloveds and set aside $3000 for next year’s applicants.
Additionally, we were able to use the supplemental funds to lower ticket prices by about $50 for everyone attending the Summit. Proving the beneficial fecundity of gift giving and making this summit all the more accessible.
Thank you to all those who contributed and continue to put in the work every day to transform their community with love, kindness, and bikes. We will keep this GoFundMe up until the Summit (Aug 16) All additional fundraising will go toward growing the legacy to SJ’s Scholarships for future WTF Bike events.
The WTF Bikexplorers Summit Scholarships are made possible by the generous support of people who work at companies that believe in and support the WTF Bikexplorers’ mission and want YOU to be able to attend the Summit.