Summer Workshop: Trauma- and Violence- Informed Programming

Author: Jessica Nachman

We are excited to be making connections with BFD organizers and practitioners from around the world through a type of collective space! After the January workshop, we emailed a survey to determine what folks in the transnational BFD space wanted to see in upcoming workshops. Survey results included: building connections with other BFD groups; sharing best practices and resources; strengthening our collective voice; and equitable access to bicycling. With these survey results in mind, the York team hosted a virtual summer workshop for BFD organizations and practitioners to connect and discuss equitable access to BFD programs.

Julia and Tayler, research team members from York University, facilitated a workshop on trauma- and violence- informed practice and programming. Julia and Tayler took us through the current research on trauma- and violence- informed approaches, namely, how to create safer spaces for folks who are vulnerable to trauma and violence, which are often products of systemic inequality. Applying a trauma- and violence- informed approach to BFD is one helpful way to improve equity and access to bicycling.

After the presentation, we split off into small groups to introduce ourselves, our organizations, and discuss how we are addressing access to bicycling within our organizations. We returned to our large group to share our small group discussions. Some important discussion points came up:

  1. Gender dynamics continue to impact access to bicycles and BFD programming. In Uganda for example, women are often expected to take on household responsibilities, which can act as a barrier to bicycle access. At the same time, a BFD organization in Uganda has shown that women are using bicycles for their livelihood, and bicycling can help promote healing from trauma.
  2. There is a need to mobilize evidence and research about access to BFD to influence policymakers and reach key stakeholders. Since this research often sits in academic journals, we need to consider how we can discuss and share about the importance of bicycles with stakeholders such as funders, practitioners, and communities.
  3. Using visual means (such as photos and digital stories) can help BFD participants share their experiences and even promote fundraising for BFD organizations.

As always, we were so grateful for the opportunity to connect with folks doing incredible work in the BFD space. You can also check out the video recap of the event on our Knowledge Translation page.Stay tuned for future workshops!