From the Coalition: We are very excited to have Nicole Litwiller helping the Coalition this summer and hopefully for some of the fall. Nicole is helping us reimagine and transition our Bikes for Refugee program into a program that reaches more people and recommits itself to helping people ride confidently and safely as part of their everyday life.
Hi! My name is Nicole Litwiller. I am currently a graduate student at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. I completed my undergraduate degree with majors in Global Development and Liberal Arts at Eastern Mennonite University in 2019. Here are some random facts about me:
- I am very passionate about seeking justice and equity. I believe that justice is a key component of peacebuilding and strong communities.
- I am an artist. I can often be found painting in my spare time. Recently I’ve been exploring ways to make low-waste artwork by painting on recycled cardboard! Here is a link to some of the work I have done in the past.
- Harry Potter is my favorite book series. I am re-reading them as a quarantine activity!
- Biking has more meaning for me than just transporting myself from place to place. It’s an action that I take to care for this beautiful planet. Also, biking has familial significance for me. My grandpa opened up his own bike shop in his garage called “Freedom Wheels.” My grandparents continue to bike into their 90s!
- I am a huge fan of dark chocolate. It becomes a problem in our house if we run out of chocolate.
As you may be able to tell based on some of the above random facts, the Bikes for Refugees program (now Bikes for Neighbors) fits my passions quite well. As soon as I heard about the program, I was intrigued by the use of the bicycle as a tool for increasing freedom. I think this program has a lot of potential, and I am excited to join the team during this period of transition!
Some of my tasks thus far have included working on a new webpage for the program, connecting with organizations that may be interested in partnering with us and organizing a meeting with volunteers. Future work will likely involve documenting specific roles we need filled by volunteers, designing a logo for the program, creating a social media presence for the program, exploring how to improve the structure of the bike safety classes, among other things. I am looking forward to making more connections in the biking community through this process and seeing where this program can go! I am grateful for this opportunity!