Combating Violence By Pedaling 4 Peace
Mounting their bikes, they become a force of solidarity in community. These youth, York’s future, are taking a stand against violence by taking to their bikes through Pedal 4 Peace.
Founded by York resident Brandt Kingsley, Pedal 4 Peace has given the city’s youth an outlet to bring about positive change in the community. “We aim to engage kids in a way that gives them hope,” he says. On the surface, you may only see kids riding bikes on the streets, but Kingsley sees bikes as a metaphor for empowerment. Bikes can bring people together regardless of their race, religion or gender.
“It’s about enabling youth in the community to have a better shot at reaching opportunity,” he says. “I didn’t come from a perfect background, but I did become a solutions engineer. There’s no greater purpose for me than enhancing lives by helping others seek solutions to problems and love the life they’re experiencing.”
Since launching Pedal 4 Peace in 2017, word about its mission has spread across the country and the world. Kingsley has traveled to New York City and Burundi, Africa, to help organizations spread messages of peace and unity through cycling. In 2018, Pedal 4 Peace marked its second ride out in the City of York by remembering Dezmen Jones, a 15-year-old who was killed during an act of violence that occurred in York on September 26, 2018.
When asked how members of the York community can best help support Pedal 4 Peace’s mission, Kingsley says,
“Take 10 minutes out of your week to show solidarity for our community … and whether that’s 10 minutes you spend on your bike or helping out someone in need, that time is your million.”
When we ride together and take a stand against violence and acts of hatred, we make this York community a place of opportunity for all its citizens.
YRK asked several youth participants of Pedal 4 Peace what changes they want to see in their York:
“I want to see more people talking with each other and stopping violence.”
— Tristan Wilson Kingsley
“I’d like to see a lot of people riding bikes in the city — making a bike group.”
— Marvin Ferrer
“We need to stop the crimes because innocent people are dying.”
— Qanyeh Caldwell-Rumph
“Bikes up, guns down. Let’s stop the violence.”
— Zymiir Caldwell-Rumph
What Is a Creator and Maker?
“A maker and creator is a dreamer and innovator. Whatever the mind conceives and believes it can achieve.”
— Brandt Kingsley, founder, Pedal 4 Peace