Registration has begun for One Common Unity’s Third Annual PEACE RIDE, which will take place Saturday, September 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washington, D.C. The ride will cover 19 scenic miles, starting from the Lincoln Memorial and spreading across the District and Virginia. All are welcome to be a part of this effort to fulfill the mission of the event, which is to Pedal to Promote Compassion – Pedal to Prevent Violence – Pedal for Peace.
The sponsoring organization, One Common Unity, delivers holistic, arts-driven violence prevention programs to more than 5,000 D.C. youth in 14 public high schools and middle schools across all eight wards of the city. Their innovative youth development program, Fly By Light, immerses area youth in a transformative process centered upon social-emotional learning, mindfulness, health and wellness, nature immersion and the arts.
With the support of a professional program evaluation specialist, they recently completed a five-year impact study that illuminates the change that their Fly By Light program had on the 2011 cohort five years later. The study indicates that 84 percent of their students graduated from high school—a rate far higher than the D.C. average. None of their participants served time in juvenile detention, jail or prison and 83 percent report taking on more leadership roles than they did before participating in the program.
“Despite extensive studies that emphasizes the importance of outdoor physical activity for youth as an outlet for stress and anger, new research reveals the average youth is spending seven hours a day behind a digital screen and only seven minutes a day in unstructured time playing outside. To shift this culture, One Common Unity uses a social-emotional learning curriculum model paired with nature immersion to provide violence prevention programs to thousands of D.C. youth,” says Hawah Kasat, co-founder and executive director of One Common Unity.
This annual Peace Ride is a signature community event and fundraiser which brings together riders and supporters from all across the region who are committed to ending youth violence and building a better future through peace education, social-emotional literacy, creative arts and mindfulness programming.
The day’s event kicks off at Base Camp, overlooking the Lincoln Memorial. From this symbolic starting point, riders will cycle along a pre-planned 19-mile loop, offering an opportunity to push themselves and support each other. The course offers opportunities to complete one or multiple loops, and also offers a shorter walk and family-friendly 6-mile route. Participants also have an opportunity participate in yoga classes, as well as wellness and interactive art workshops. There will be live music and poetry performances by students and special guests throughout the day. The Peace Ride is a day of sun, fun, and connection and open to all!
All proceeds from this event support One Common Unity and its ongoing violence prevention programs in D.C. public schools. In D.C., violent crime is still more than five times the national average and youth are four times more likely to die by homicide than by the next closest cause. For the past 18 years, One Common Unity has been working at the front lines in the community to change the lives of District Youth and prepare them for a better future.
The Peace Ride is made possible with support from the Platinum Sponsor: Lululemon, the Bronze Sponsor: AmeriHealth Caritas D.C.; as well as Community Partners: Pleasant Pops, Capital Bikeshare, Washington Sports Club, LimeBikes, MTO Kombucha, DayBreaker, South Block Juicery, TaKorean, Yoga District, Gearin’ Up Bicycles, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co., Metro D.C. Yoga, Flow Yoga Center and Mellow Mushroom.