Lifestyle, Obsessions, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Wellness

Riding Out Revolutionary Potential: Marz Lovejoy’s “And Still We Ride” Returns to NYC

Bintou Diarra, A.B | Medical Anthropology, Brown University | September 15, 2023

Four years ago, model, author, producer, and editor-in-chief Marz Lovejoy found a niche way to celebrate Black women. She organized a community ride out in the streets of New York City, where people from all walks of life collaborated to join her in embracing her unconventional act of resistance. With approximately 400 people in attendance and 30 miles biked, the bike ride would not only be a huge success, but it would also be the ultimate show of community. Working alongside Nike Women, Marz raised $5000 for organizations committed to supporting Black women and femmes. 

This would mark the start of a beautiful unfolding. In September of 2021, Marz brought the ride out back to the streets of New York City, with new dimensions. She partnered with organizations like Awake New York to design a custom tee for riders, and collaborated with Black-owned bike shops such as Dah Shop. As with the first year, her support for the community went beyond pouring into local businesses. She raised $7000 for Black Women’s Blueprint and Dah Shop, and provided food, snacks, and drinks for riders. Among the riders were SZA, Sage Adams, and Matthew Mazur. The second annual bike ride earned Lovejoy a feature on Vogue magazine, which aptly named the bike ride New York City’s most meaningful and stylish. 

Two years later, and Lovejoy is spearheading the fourth annual rideout, and she plans on honoring the roots more than ever. She invites riders of all skill levels at 11 AM for an empowering 10-15 mile ride. This year’s ride features a special community event featuring food from select vendors, music from DJs Dylan Ali and Stretch Armstrong, and wellness offerings such as on-site acupuncture and community-building workshops. As always, the event will raise funds to support organizations working to uplift Black women and femmes around the world, including our very own, Mama Glow.

We spoke with Marz about her motivations for this year’s walk. To Marz, the mere act of congregating to bike in support of Black women and femmes is inherently revolutionary. “Whenever Black people, especially women and femmes are biking, it is an act of resistance,” she says. “Most of our elders and ancestors were not afforded the privilege to ride bikes at their leisure.” The bike ride is an act of resistance in that it grants participants the opportunity to live boldly, and take up space in the vibrant streets of one of the major cities of the world. 

Marz emphasized the importance of treating acts of resistance as channels. Gathering and riding out is support, and leaning on each other in a way that supports each other’s personal ventures is equally as significant. This year, it looked like hiring Black DJs, acupuncturists, body workers, and other vendors. “When we take all of the money raised and donate it to Black-led organizations & organizations that support Black women, that’s support.”

At the core of these modes of support is intentionality, which Marz weaves into the design of the event. “When I’m planning my ride out with Black and Brown women, that’s support.” And it is not limited to the event alone. Support is what allows the show to be established, let alone go on. “Support is my Black Mother and Grandmother watching my kids while I have my 4th Annual And Still We Ride NYC Ride Out. It’s all very intentional and full of love. I couldn’t have done it without my people, and I am forever grateful. Many hands make light work and that’s how we’re moving.” 

When asked what she would want to leave participants and spectators with, Marz spoke a truth that captured the very essence of And Still We Ride. “We are so powerful. Yes, on our own, but more so when we unite and move as one.”

 

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Marz Lovejoy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, raised in San Diego and Santa Monica, California and became the woman she is now after many years of grinding in New York. She now lives between the Midwest and New York with her 3 children. From professional modeling and acting, writing and producing music, and creating published works in the literary field, Marz continues to evolve in creativity while centering community and social responsibility. Some of her projects include: Her annual “…And Still We Ride…” bike ride out, celebrating Black women, the live streaming of her son’s birth that raised awareness and funds for Black Maternal Health organizations and working as the curator-at-large for Alvaro Barrington’s studio where she brings community and ethics into a traditionally profit-over-people artworld. With a far-reaching audience and a lens for equity, justice, and focus on Black plight, Marz’s message that small acts matter packs a profound ripple effect that can be measured by the success of her campaigns.

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