Zwift is launching the Black Celebration Series (BCS), a year-long initiative starting in February to celebrate the history, athletes, heritage, and joy the Black community brings to Zwift from around the world.
Zwifters will be invited to join special guests including Nelson Vails, Ama Nsek, Rahsaan Bahati and Aisha Praught-Leer, as well as community leaders from the Black Cyclists Network and Level Up Movement.
All BCS events will be held in New York, the city where Black cyclists including Major Taylor and Nelson Vails got their start. Ride leaders will keep between 1.5 – 2w/kg along the Mighty Metropolitan route in New York with the event lasting for one hour. Runs will be along the Grand Central Circuit and will cover a distance of 6.8km/4.2m.
In addition to the social rides, Zwift has chosen the LA Bicycle Academy as the BCS’ charity partner. The LA Bicycle Academy is an organisation committed to supporting and sponsoring youth athletes who may not have had the resources to continue their cycling career. LABA was formed by the former co-founder of Major Motion, Damon Turner, who helped mentor athletes including Justin Williams, Cory Williams, Rahsaan Bahati and Coryn Rivera.
LABA’s mission centres on supporting communities without exposure and access to cycling. Zwift hopes to expand LABA’s impact through a donation as well as provide the young cyclists with mentoring opportunities that will carry them beyond a professional career.
“I’m delighted to begin our year-long Black Celebration Series this February and celebrate the achievements of the Black athletic community worldwide,” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder. “This is the first externally focused initiative spearheaded by our new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) department who will also be running internal training and education programmes on Racial Justice.
“It’s important to come together as one community and we will continue to provide further opportunities for all as part of our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. All BCS events will be taking place in Zwift’s recreation home city, New York, and I look forward to joining many of you in these over the year to come.”
Lisa Bourne, senior director, diversity, inclusion and social impact at Zwift, added: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead DEIB initiatives related to our inaugural Black Celebration Series.
“We’ve designed these initiatives to celebrate Black athletes and community leaders while, at the same time, taking the opportunity to educate both our external community and our internal employees on the struggles and systemic racism which the Black community has faced in sport and in society at large.
“In addition, we are committed to driving meaningful impact in our local community and to that end are beyond excited to begin a partnership with the LA Bicycle Academy. I’m proud to say that we are building a strong foundation for DEIB at Zwift and are empowering the organization to champion DEIB in their day-to-day work – fully recognising that the DEIB journey is a marathon and not a sprint.”
Read the January issue of BikeBiz below: