Slow Roll Chicago president named White House Transportation Champion of Change

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A Chicago man will be recognized at the White House for his efforts in improving the mobility and safety of Chicagoans on Oct. 13.

Olatunji Oboi Reed, president and co-founder of Slow Roll Chicago, will be honored by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change, according to a statement from the American Heart Association.

Reed will also participate in a panel discussion where he will talk about his efforts in advancing bicycle equity and active transportation in South Side and West Side neighborhoods, according to the statement.

Out of 350 submissions, Reed and 10 other transportation innovators from across the country were selected for leading transportation projects and initiatives “that move their communities forward,” according to the statement.

“Being recognized by the White House is truly an honor and a privilege. It inspires me to work even harder to harness the transformative power of bicycles on transforming communities,” Reed said in the statement.

Slow Roll Chicago is an organization that uses bicycles to bring together a diverse group of people wanting to improve the health, safety, economic development and the condition of their community, according to the statement.

In August, Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, granted Slow Roll Chicago funding to engage high school students in the Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods in advocating for safe ways to bike to and from school, according to the statement.

“We consider our organization, our community bike rides as vehicles for social change. We use bicycles and our bike rides as mechanisms to improve the condition of our neighborhoods and to transform lives,” said Reed in the statement.

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