a progressive motorcycle enthusiast organization
After several weeks of what we thought were constructive talks, we were advised by Marketing and Promotions Director Amy E Jacobson that Ride for CHANGE Ride for HOPE(tm) was not welcomed at Harley-Davidson of Greensboro on Saturday, November 5th as a staging location for the North Carolina Ride for CHANGE Ride for HOPE(tm) benefiting Ride for CHANGE-Ride for HOPE Foundation's efforts to provide scholarships, increase enrollment and expand the spring bus tour of historically black colleges and universities. It was the first time a Harley dealership asked for $200.00 to stage a ride from their location. Our calls have gone unanswered every since we received the notice via email.
What to do?
Why is it when we organize to support initiatives that benefit the black community we are ostracized by commercial interest? Dr. King's said that wherever black dollars are spent there should be community reinvestment. It was through this argument and widespread protest that resulted in boycotts of national chain stores and opportunities you enjoy today were made available.
Upon Dr. King's death this work did not cease. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was passed as a result of national pressure to address the deteriorating conditions of American cities—particularly lower-income and minority neighborhoods. Community activists, such as Gale Cincotta of National People's Action in Chicago, had led the national fight to pass, and later to enforce the Act.
Don't get me wrong. I am not throwing up the race card. This is a respect issue.
There seems to be unfair and unequal treatment of the minority consumer as it relates to bringing forth initiatives important to them. After all, Ride for CHANGE-Ride for HOPE(tm) seeks not only to raise awareness of educational deficiencies within the minority segment but provide some programmatic solutions by creating access to opportunity through expanding the HBCU Tour of historically black colleges and universities and funding scholarships.
It would seem to me, under the circumstances that Harley-Davidson of Greensboro would embrace our project seeing that North Carolina has more HBCU's than and other state in the union.
We know the root cause of forced stagnation and hope that we can overcome those obstacles and achieve mutual interest. We all have a dream. We just ask that our dreams and ambitions not be denied.
In the past few months, we have raised awareness on the fact that in some areas graduation rates are in the 30%-40% range among black males. Image where we will be as a nation if these numbers persist. This is not a black or white issue but an American issue which we can all become engaged to help reverse the trend. To help facilitate the project's movement, Ride for CHANGE-Ride for HOPE has sought to build broad-based coalitions of supporters in local communities consisting of all types of motorcycle organizations working together to achieve a community goal. This includes motorcycle clubs, associations, independent riders as well as commercial interest such as dealership. We have always been welcomed at various Harley-Davidson dealerships.
I am reminded of a situation with a dealership in suburban Chicago, Oak Lawn Harley-Davidson. The reputation of the dealership was horrific as it relates to its treatment of black consumers. I spoke with the owners about this matter. They were not happy about being approached but listened. We were welcomed to set up a booth for our fundraising efforts, raising monies for Dr. King memorial in Washington, DC. At the end of the day I was surprised to hear their response to my suggestion that they display the promotional banner in their showroom. Fundraising at Oak Lawn Harley Davidson
With communication, we were able to work through the appearance of racism at the dealership. Little did anyone know that the owner of the dealership, Neal Holbert was a big supporter of HBCU's as I watched him hand Tom Joyner a check in the amount of $10,000 at 5:30 in the morning. He later donated a leather jacket for our first Ride for CHANGE-Ride for HOPE in Chicago that I later gave to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. during a presentation preceding the event.
To keep this movement moving has been an interesting battle that requires your continued support.
We need all hands on deck!...to bring about any real CHANGE and HOPE in OUR COMMUNITIES and if that means reaching out to folks that have resisted us we must do it as we are all affected in the end. Somethings must come about by demand. Not asking for your support...telling them you must provide support because it is the right thing to do.
Ride for CHANGE-Ride for HOPE.
Harley-Davidson of Greensboro
Harley-Davidson of Greensboro...POLITICS determine WHO gets WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY! Read about it here...