July 22, 6pm.
On July 22, Melody Hoffmann and Steve Whitlow will come together to discuss Melody’s dissertation chapter on the Riverwest 24 titled “‘The Goal is to Strengthen Our Neighborhood’: The role of an urban 24-hour bicycle race in community building.” Melody crafted her research through interviews with RW24 organizers and participants. She was mainly interested in answering two broad questions: How does the RW24 build community? And how does the bicycle allow or assist in building such a community? Through her interviews, Melody noted that those involved in the RW24 collectively argued that the race builds community through visibility, self-empowerment of the participants, and the forced interaction among the racers, race volunteers, and the Riverwest community. Melody also explored various outcomes of the RW24 including: the race’s success with “non-bike” people, the interrelated issues of the race’s lack of ethnic diversity and the neighborhood’s place in urban gentrification, and the race’s impact on other forms of neighborhood activism. Please join Melody and Steve to kick off Riverwest’s favorite holiday.