When we launched the Unity Jersey in 2017, our goal was to drive our own cycling culture to be more inclusive, more welcoming and more global. Cycling can be a closed network, a collection of secret handshakes. Feeling the unity in pedaling together, we launched the Unity Jersey with an eye towards causes we believed in. 100% of the proceeds on the 2017 Unity Jersey went to the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, Amnesty International, and World Bicycle Relief.
The type of connection that is made through a shared ride has long term effects off of the saddle. Our staff is small but it contains both parents of young children and immigrants. The family separations at the border this year feel painful and close. Mostly, it feels avoidable, with the right path forward.
For us, cycling has been a bellwether for what’s possible rather than limitation. Cycling is, almost without exception, where we turn when we need to define a decision, chart a path or find our community. To that end, we’ve reached within that community to cyclist and designer, Lisa Congdon. Her design in this year’s Unity Jersey represents the journey undertaken by those at our southern border, the dangers fraught with that path, the promise of movement and possibility and the darkness that it aims to overcome.
“When it gets dark enough you can see the stars. Sunlight always hides the depths of the heavens; you cannot see the Milky Way in daytime, but the darkness of the night unveils the North Star by which we chart our course.”
We’d been fans of Lisa Congdon's work long before we reached out regarding this year’s Unity Project. An illustrator, an artist anda committed road cyclist, Congdon continually shines messages of inclusivity, tolerance and love through her work. We love the elegant clarity in her design aesthetic and thought it a perfect compliment to the message we were hoping to convey through this collaboration.
“For me, this project is a melding of some of the most important things in my life: the creative process, riding a bike on the open road, and promoting unity, diversity, and inclusion. I was so honored to create the Unity jersey for Velocio.”
100% of the profits from this year’s Unity Jersey will go to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (or RAICES). A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas, RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. The money raised will be specifically earmarked to aid in the reunification of families separated at the border.
The Unity Jersey is available for pre-order until August 26th, 2018 at the reduced pre-order price. Jerseys will ship at the end of September. A small selection of jerseys will be available for purchase at that time at the full price, however we strongly recommend that you pre-order today to ensure you receive a jersey as we expect these to go quickly.