Cycling for Change

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Jasmine Brogdon ~ Staff Writer

Imagine the freedom of traveling on your own accord with just one primary goal: to listen.

With a bike as her main mode of transportation, Devi Lockwood is on a mission. She strives to collect 1,001 stories on climate change and water. Poet, touring cyclist and storyteller are the facets of her career.

Climate change is one of the defining issues of her generation, she declared, it impacts everything from how we live to how we eat.

She actively searches for stories that shed some light on the human side of climate change.

All alone she peddles. The bike is simply a tool for her to make herself available to people. It allows her to be close to nature, no veil between her and the elements.

Lockwood craves human interaction. She’s not in competition with anyone, so she doesn’t track her distances.

However, she’ll stop cycling to share her stories with the Lynchburg College community. This visit is part of a speaking tour she’s doing on the East Coast.

Lockwood will present a Gender Studies Lecture at 7 p.m. on March 22 in the Memorial Ballroom in Hall Campus Center. The event will be set up as a lecture with question and answer to finish it off.

LC’s Dr. Elizabeth Savage, associate professor of English and director of gender studies, extended the invitation to her because, “she is a recent college graduate who has done bold, daring, independent work.

Lockwood shows by example that young people do not have to harness their passions based on the traditional choices available to them after graduation. Instead they can use their passions and education to forge new, exciting paths for themselves that also meet important needs for our society,” explained Savage.

Lockwood can’t predict the turnout, but she joked that she hopes that there indeed is an audience.

For those that do decide to appear, she wishes that they’ll hear her traveling tales, and those tales will aid them in some way.

Her tales will be a mix of topics, including Australia, coal and human kindness. She’ll also introduce herself and her cause, and she will also display how feminism is embedded into her journey as well.

“Feminism is something that is rooted in my body, something that I do on an everyday basis by picking out, listening to and amplifying voices that need to be heard,” told Lockwood.

People often ask her if she’s afraid, or they’ll tell her how dangerous her wandering is. She expressed some disdain toward these sentiments stating that people wouldn’t bring these topics to a male doing the same as she does.

Lockwood said she doesn’t see the importance of individuals coming to hear her speak. Her story is one of many.

Yet, she does hope someone gains empowerment through her experiences.

She wants everyone to feel as though their voices matter. The project she’s doing deliberately tries to seek out stories that might not otherwise be told. She stresses the importance of going out and really hearing someone.

She feels that empathy is sorely lacking in our world, toward the environment and each other. Listening is one form of activism, she said.

Lockwood once said, “Feminism made me ride my bike around the world.”