President Elect Barack Obama’s message of HOPE and PROGRESS has inspired one American to take on a monumental task of Biking across the country to further Inspire the entire nation to be the CHANGE they have desperately sought after forever.
The Biker: Ryan Bowen
I am going to ride across the USA from my home in Los Angeles, CA to the nation’s capital Washington DC to witness Barack Obama’s inaugaration.
I need support from folks like you, anyone and everyone. I need to raise not only funds, but build connections across the country in order to make this trip happen on my small budget!
If you could sponsor me or wanna ride along with me, please let me know ASAP, and we’ll build a movement together!
***Folks can join us from their cities across the country*** Whether it be riding along for a segment, or the entire way!
I’ve entitled this journey the Highway of Hope because every border that i cross and every piece of land that i touch has been affected by this monumental election. So on this journey I seek to expose the hope that Barack Obama has imposed upon every region of this country.
Ryan Bowen was born to a Native American mother and an African American father in Oregon in 1986. Struggling to support him and his siblings, Ryan’s mother put him up for adoption. At two-days-old, Bowen was adopted by Phil and Lois Bowen, a white couple from Portland, Oregon. Growing up as a mixed race adoptee in a predominately white community made understanding his own ethnic identity difficult. He was, however, able to excel in both athletics and academics at Wilson High School. In fact, it was the combination of these elements (and the better weather) that led Ryan to enroll at Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2004.
While in college, he participated in NCAA athletics as well as organized educational programs focused on issues racial identity and social justice. Many of his experiences and outlook on life are shaped by his experiences outside of the USA. His passion for connecting with others as well as serving underprivileged communities is what led him all the way to Timbuktu, Mali to promote solar panels as a renewable energy source. Ryan has also photographed and volunteered in social justice projects in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.
In his senior year at Occidental, Ryan was inspired by Barack Obama to run his own presidential campaign. Elected the second Black Student Body president in Oxy’s history, he spent his time serving to produce an official document that chronicled the history of multiculturalism at Occidental College.
Given his unique life experiences, Ryan has come to trust in the transformational power of education and honest dialogue. This is what propelled him to undertake the task of documenting American’s experiences as he crosses the nation on his bike. “While the answers to complicated questions such as ‘how to eradicate oppression and work towards a more just society’ are not simple”, he says, “without learning how to honestly speak to one another, we’ll never get there.”
It is evident that Ryan is determined and motivated to accomplishing the goal he has set forth with integrity and dignity. As the journey unfolds day by day and as you follow up on Ryan’s progress, I hope that you too will be inspired to follow your dreams no matter how crazy or impossible they may seem. I hope you will be inspired to push yourself and be the CHANGE you’ve desperately sought after. Keep in mind that change doesn’t have to come only through political means. There are other areas of life that can sure use some change if we just take the time to do a little self examination.
We the website team wish Ryan the very best and we can’t wait to follow up on his progress as we read of his exciting stories on the “highway of hope.”
Ride Ryan Ride!