Across India for a Cause
Organized by: Team Black and Wild
March 31, 2016
EVENT DATE Apr 01, 2016
Our story begins a decade ago on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. These three young brothers pulled double-duty as dreamers and academic scholars with aspirations to launch from the breezeway, (where coeds were known to congregate between classes) into diverging career paths, highlighted by advanced degrees and individual accolades. However, we’ve never lost sight of our commitment to “depart to serve,” (the WSSU motto) or our youthful curiosity and desire for personal growth.
Our collegiate involvements were vastly dissimilar: Kevin,the chapter President of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc.; Merid, the Founder and President of a Pan-African organization, Sankofa; and Jeremiah, a President of a black-male civic engagement organization, Black Men for Change. All connected by an insatiable appetite for accomplishment and adventure, never knowing their worlds would re-collide in a three-wheeled rickshaw on the excursion of a lifetime!
In April 2016, we will embark upon a Rickshaw Run across India at neck breaking speeds of up to 40 miles per hour through uncertain terrain, as we race from the Rajasthani desert to the Meghalayan hills. The purpose of this two-week pilgrimage is to: 1) raise awareness and capital for a few charitable causes that have captured our hearts, and 2) live out our dreams of being modern-day Robinson Crusoes plodding across a foreign land.
COOL EARTH The first of these causes is the official charity of the Rickshaw Run, Cool Earth. Cool Earth is a registered US 501 (c) (3) that has been working since 2004 to halt the destruction of the world’s most endangered rainforests. By building better incomes, better schools and better clinics, Cool Earth is able to put the indigenous people of the villages living on the frontlines of deforestation back in control of these precious lands. The same people who have lived in, and cared for our delicate natural resources for countless generations. At least 90% of each donation to Cool Earth goes directly to the projects supporting indigenous people who are preserving our rainforests.
The second cause is BRKTHRU. Inspired by the tragic loss of a close friend of Kevin, BRKTHRU is a registered US 501(c)(3) that works with those affected by and dealing with mental health disorders. Focusing on “mental fitness,” BRKTHRU serves to empower and inspire those affected by mental illness and break the stigma associated with it. To date, BRKTHRU has partnerships with clinicians, set up scholarships funds aimed towards affected college students, organized endurance event teams and road races, and advanced the conversation on mental health by creating a vibrant movement based on strategic solutions. Each donation to BRKTHRU goes 100% to projects supporting young people living with mental illness, and other initiatives that raise awareness for mental illness.
As we trek across the choppy terrain of Hindustan, we will be fueled by both the local delicacies and the gratification of knowing that our travels are supporting institutions making positive impacts both domestically and abroad. While the ride is certain to be treacherous, we will take comfort in the fact that our journey is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors.