I cannot believe I’ve already been at Toole Design for a whole month! During this month people reached out wondering what my new job titles mean, sending congrats, and sharing surprise that I’ve moved from the nonprofit space to a private consulting firm.

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is, “How can you keep passionately caring at a consulting firm?” People are wondering if I’m still going to be outspoken. If I’ll still talk about things like equity and race. I get why people think something might change. Some things will. Like everyone, I’m constantly learning and growing and gaining new skills. I’m a mom now, I’m another year older, and the world around me continues to dynamically change. All of this would be true no matter where I worked.

But as to whether I can continue to care as a consultant–I have to! For me, consulting, like any profession, is made up of people. It’s not enough to throw up our hands and blame a system when fighting things like institutional racism. People make up these systems. And as people, we have a responsibility to take ownership for our actions. When choosing a firm to join as a consultant, I landed in a place made up of people who care. I’m not under any illusions– this is an imperfect business. But, how you do business matters.

Read more at Toole Design.

Tamika Butler

By June, I was completely exhausted, but also completely in love with my job. The month gave me a chance to connect and spend time with so many of our members and people in our larger bicycle community. It was also an important reminder of how much promise our movement has — and how much we are still falling short. To truly make transformational change for all people who bike, we have to go beyond a month. We also have to get beyond the narrative that the only people who bike, and are therefore worthy of our advocacy and celebration, are those who (too often self-righteously) make a lifestyle decision to do so. We have to get past a narrative that centers cisgender white maleness. We have to get past a narrative of exclusion. Once as a bicycle community we are able to get past these things, we will finally be to the heart of celebrating what Bike Month should truly be about. That’s what celebrating every single day on a bike should be about.

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Tamika Butler
What’s Next?

With a special election coming up in my community on Tuesday and another death of a black man close to home in Sacramento, I’m thinking back to how I was feeling after the presidential election and still wondering…what’s next?

Read more on Medium. 

Tamika Butler
Why Does Black Scare You?

Cell phones. Skittles. Books. Hoodies. Wallets. Bike riding. Walking. Entering our home. Checking our mail. Being in our yard. Hanging with friends. Breathing. Doing nothing at all. You keeping track? When black is feared it’s hard for me to exist. #BlackLivesMatter

The death of Stephon Clark is just another reminder that black lives are not valued. This is something that weighs heavy on my mind each and every day. White kids are worried about getting shot at school and as black people, we’re worried about getting shot everywhere we are — even at home. As reports come out about cops fearing for their lives, but Clark being shot in the back, with nothing more than a cell phone, while standing in his own back yard, I’m reminded of something I wrote 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I feel it just as strongly today.

Read on at Medium. 

Safe Roads for All?

Vision Zero was invented in a European country far more homogeneous than the United States. When bringing this concept to the U.S., it is important to acknowledge, examine, and understand how the history of this country — marked with the scars of killing off the native peoples of this land, enslaving the native peoples of another, and the ongoing oppression of people of color — will influence our ability to save lives. Vision Zero cannot succeed in a vacuum devoid of context.


Read my full post on Medium.