This episode is a conversation with Prescott Elementary School Principal Nichole Watson.
I first met Nichole in June 2020, during the height of the racial justice protests and just a few months into the Covid outbreak.
I was on the Black Girls Do Bike Ride and Nichole was one of the co-organizers of the event. When I first met Nichole at that ride we had a great chat and I loved what she said about why it was so important for Black people — and especially Black women and especially "curvy" Black women as she described herself — to get outside and "take up space" on the street.
I've talked to so many bike people over the years and I have sort of a radar for whether or not someone "gets it". Nichole definitely gets it.
That's why I wasn't too surprised when several months after that ride in June 2020 she popped up again as the organizer of Prescott Pedal, a ride and community event she led as principal of Prescott Elementary School.
When Watson and I spoke during that ride, she talked about cultivating a culture around bicycling at Prescott and the nearby Parkrose neighborhood and why she felt having the school community ride bikes together was such a vital part of her work. And that work has become even more relevant given that just over a week ago, violence between white supremacist groups and anti-fascist activists erupted in Parkrose. I asked Nichole about that violence and about why cycling is such a priority to her during a conversation we recorded from her desk at Prescott Elementary School.
Thanks for listening. If you liked what you heard, please leave a review so others can find this podcast more easily. and make sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next one. Thank you to BikePortland subscribers who make this content possible. Until next time, you can find the BikePortland Podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, and wherever else you like to listen.
Nichole is on Instagram at @nyk_watson
PDF of episode transcript available here https://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/ep-05-nichole-watson-pod.pdf