Illinois senator and leader in poverty and development issues will be recognized  November 8 at Chicago fundraiser, “Africa in Motion”

The global nonprofit and social enterprise World Bicycle Relief (WBR) announced U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) as the recipient of its 2018 Trailblazer Award for his lifelong advocacy around poverty and development issues.  He will be recognized by WBR Co-Founder and Chairman F.K. Day and joined by other global changemakers at the organization’s Africa in Motion fundraiser on November 8th in Chicago.

WBR was founded in 2005 to mobilize people through The Power of Bicycles. Since inception, the organization has distributed more than 420,000 life-changing bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in rural regions of developing countries to help them conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive.  

The WBR Trailblazer Award honors an individual who has challenged conventional thinking around the complex issues of poverty, social justice and access while illuminating a new path forward with innovative and bold ideas that have the power to transform millions of lives.

“Given Sen. Durbin’s leadership and advocacy on development issues core to our mission: healthcare, education, and economic empowerment, he is the ideal recipient for this year’s WBR Trailblazer award,” said WBR CEO, Dave Neiswander. “He is a champion of human rights for people in the U.S. and around the world, and a believer in mobility as a development solution for millions of people across rural Africa.”

Throughout his decades-long career in public office, Durbin led and supported legislation on numerous issues related to global poverty.  In 2003, as founder of the Congressional Global AIDS Emergency Task Force, he authored legislation that responded to the AIDS crisis and helped developing nations shape and strengthen the capabilities of their own health systems.  In 2007, he co-sponsored the Global Poverty Act and in 2009, he introduced the bipartisan GROWTH Act, to promote economic and educational opportunities for women in developing countries. In 2016, he also introduced the Education for All Act to expand access to basic education for children worldwide.  

“I am honored to receive this award from such an inspiring organization that I’ve been proud to work with over the years. World Bicycle Relief has developed an innovative strategy to address the need for reliable, affordable transportation in rural areas of developing countries. Their work mobilizes individuals and empowers entire communities,” Durbin said. “I will continue to do all I can at the federal level to help World Bicycle Relief further its mission of helping others achieve independence and thrive.”

Durbin will be one of two special guests at the Africa in Motion fundraiser where World Bicycle Relief’s Zambia Country Director Brian Moonga will lead a powerful conversation about The Power of Bicycles to move Africa forward.  The ticketed event taking place in Chicago’s trendy West Loop will also feature a cocktail reception, delicious African-inspired dishes and drinks, live auction, immersive video experiences, and more. It is open to the public and will be limited to 200 people. More information is available here.

About World Bicycle Relief

Founded in 2005, World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through The Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief accomplishes its mission by distributing specially-designed, high-quality bicycles through philanthropic and social enterprise programs. These purpose-designed bicycles are built to withstand the challenging terrain and conditions in rural, developing areas. Entrepreneurs use the bicycles to increase productivity and profits. Students attend class more regularly and their academic performances improve. And, healthcare workers visit more patients in less time, providing better, more consistent care. World Bicycle Relief also promotes local economies and long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally and training field mechanics to service the bicycles. To date, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 420,000 bicycles and trained more than 1,900 field mechanics in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. World Bicycle Relief is a registered nonprofit in USA, Canada, U.K., Australia and Germany, and has assembly facilities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.


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