Letter to BNB Community: Celebrating 40 Years

Dear Bikes Not Bombs Community,

As we marked our 40th Anniversary on July 4th, it is with immense pride and gratitude that I reflect on the remarkable journey we have shared together. Since our founding, when we sent our first shipment of 18 bicycles to Nicaragua to benefit teachers and community health workers, Bikes Not Bombs has remained steadfast in our mission to promote racial equity, youth empowerment, local and global solidarity, and environmental sustainability. We’re rolling out these four core value statements about what they mean to us and how they inform our work. You can read about our commitment to racial equity here. These values have been our guiding light, inspiring our community and driving us towards a more just and sustainable future.

I want to take this moment to express my deepest gratitude to the heart and soul of Bikes Not Bombs - our dedicated youth, alumni, staff, volunteers, advisors, donors, partners, founders and Board of Directors. Your unwavering dedication, passion, and hard work have been instrumental in making our organization what it is today. It is your collective effort and commitment that have enabled us to create meaningful change and impact the lives of countless individuals, both locally and globally.

Elijah with CoFounders in 2004 for WCVB

To our incredible community, I extend my heartfelt thanks for your decades of unwavering support. Your belief in our mission, your generosity, and your solidarity have been the pillars on which we have built our success. Together, we have achieved significant milestones:

  • We reaffirmed our commitment to racial equity, ensuring that Black and Brown youth and families have access to resources to thrive. 
  • We have empowered over 5,000 youth through our innovative leadership development programs, preparing them for 21st century success in the bike industry and beyond. 
  • We have codified our core program by formalizing a three-year Youth Pathways model
  • We have shipped over 83,000 bicycles to 13 countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean 
  • We have expanded the number of partners in countries we support overseas and are using that ongoing engagement as a framework for training youth as fieldworkers in the sustainable international development field. 

These achievements underscore the power of community engagement and the profound impact we can make when we unite for a common cause.To continue driving this impact, we need your support. Please consider making a donation to help us expand our reach and further our mission. 

Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalized people in Boston and the Global South.

As we look forward to the next forty years, we are filled with excitement and determination as we set our sights on a future filled with even greater impact and transformation. Our strategic planning for 2026-2030 is focused on working with people and communities most impacted by centuries-long inequities,  expanding our reach and influence through strategic partnerships both locally and globally, strengthening our cycling and bike mechanic training programs, enhancing our capacity to support youth as whole individuals, and increasing access to bikes and bike infrastructure in underserved communities all around the Globe.

A small group of cyclists stand in front of the "Embrace" sculpture in Boston Common.

In the spirit of our mission of advancing economic mobility using the bicycle, I invite each of you to join us in celebrating our 40th Anniversary. Mark your calendars for a commemorative ride on July 6th and a fundraiser party on November 7th. These events are not just a celebration of our past achievements but also a rallying call for our future endeavors. Your participation and support are crucial as we continue to pedal towards a brighter, more equitable, and sustainable future for all. ​​If you are unable to attend, please consider supporting us through a donation. Every contribution helps us move closer to our goals.

As we embark on this journey, let us remember the words of the renowned author and activist leader, Alice Walker, who said, "Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet." Let us embody these words of Alice Walker and recognize that our work at Bikes Not Bombs is not just a choice, but a responsibility we must uphold. 


Thank you once again for your unwavering support, dedication, and belief in the mission of Bikes Not Bombs. Together, let us continue to pedal forward, fueled by our collective commitment to justice, empowerment, and sustainability, as we shape a world where every revolution starts with a turn of the wheel. 


With gratitude and determination,


CEO, Bikes Not Bombs