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—  wHAT IS THIS?  —

 
 

Do you feel as if political partisanship is dividing your country and your community? Maybe even your own family? During the summer of 2019, starting in Los Angeles, CA., a team of explorers will embark on a 4,000 mile bicycle trek across America that will end in Washington D.C.. The team aims to hold 100 conversations with Americans across the political spectrum.

American Renaissance Project

 
 
 
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—  the encounter  —

 

religious, political, racial and everything in between.

The explorers are on a quest for common ground. They want a fair and balanced exploration of America so they’ll divide their time evenly between coastal and inland, urban and rural—linking communities to the power of the bike. They have found bicycles uniquely qualified for a quest of this nature because bicycle travel has the special ability to break the conversational ice and be vulnerable with folks right from the start.

 If you want to build bridges, come with and help us tell the story. The American Renaissance is here.

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Social media skews left so local media will cover our progress as well.

Coming 2019

 

 

 

 


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—  OUR STORY  —

 

I met J near Big Sur in 2016. I was riding my bicycle to Argentina; she was completing a 3,000 mile ride to Mexico City. As you can imagine, it’s not everyday that you bump into another bike traveler. Within a few hours of meeting, we decided to ride together—two months from California to Mexico City.

J and I are both politically passionate people but there is one hiccup: I am significantly to the right of her political views. But although we don’t agree on everything, we’re still best friends.

Since 2016, I’ve cycled over 20,000 miles on three continents. I’ve visited with Israeli proselytizers in Chile and catholic priests in Mexico; I’ve shared stories with local politicians in Guatemala and pitched tents alongside Bulgarians in Patagonia. 

I’ve come to understand that everyone has blind spots. Likewise, I know that different sides of any argument can be served by listening to each other and trying to understand the other’s point of view. A willingness to identify with a different opinion doesn’t signal that you’re a sellout; rather, it’s the foundation for mutual respect and understanding. 
 

 
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The team

 
 
 
 

Do you feel like political partisanship is dividing your country? Maybe even your own family? We want to go on a quest for common ground—riding bicycles from California to Washington D.C.—to listen to our fellow Americans.

The key to getting traction here is to move in solidarity. In order to get people to listen to our message, we need to represent America as it truly is—left, right, center, black, white, latino.

We believe in free speech, that everyone regardless of their ethnic, religious, or gender background has a right to be a part of the conversation. Because shutting someone down doesn’t actually help your side win, it pushes that person online where their views become more extreme.

An effort to empathize with an opinion you don’t agree with is not betrayal. It’s simply the foundation of a healthy democracy. We’re going to listen first without judgment or blame because we think that’s the way forward.

I’m naive enough to think we can decrease the tribalistic warfare at the highest levels of our government before the 2020 election. Are you?