Progress Toward the Goal!


of the $15,000 goal (and more) raised as of January 2018

clipart of bike rider

Sponsor the Ride

To sponsor #ride4blacksolidarity, enter your information here:

The Ride

Tobin Miller Shearer with sign reading #ride4blacksolidarity #500forthe50th

From July 29-August 4, I will ride 500 miles in a week to raise
money for the 50th anniversary and the next 50 years of UM's
African-American Studies Program and Black Student Union.
Join me by riding or sponsoring the event.

You can follow daily updates of my progress at this Facebook page.

Ten Things You Can Do To Support the Ride

  1. Contribute per mile using the above form.
  2. Attend the send off at 8 am on Saturday, July 29, on the UM oval.
  3. Join me for a leg (or all!) of the 500 miles.
  4. Offer a meal or bed space for a night. I'll be spending the night in these communities: Sula, Dillon, La Hood, Townsend, Silver City, and Lincoln
  5. Share this page with your friends and family: http://hs.umt.edu/aas/news-pages/solidarity-ride-page.php
  6. Invite your business or organization to sponsor the ride.
  7. Frequent one of our corporate sponsors (and let them know we sent you).
  8. Join me for an evening meal (bring your own food!) and a discussion of black history in Montana. Just text me at 406-662-8227 for a link to locations.
  9. Did I mention you can contribute using the above form?
  10. Tell someone about the ride and how they can support it by doing any of these top ten things.

Why I am Riding

Riding 500 miles in the mountains of Montana in the course of seven days won’t solve racism. But in a year in which I’ve watched my African-American students deal with increasing racial harassment, seen Black Lives Matter posters repeatedly torn down by my office door, watched white supremacists ramp up their rhetoric in the state I now call home, and been put on a national watchlist for speaking out against racism and white privilege, it seems like the time to do something positive, something that offers some movement forward. Something hopeful.

So, from July 29 to August 4, I’m going to ride 500 miles in the mountains of Montana over the course of seven days (like it says up there in the first sentence) to raise money for the 50th anniversary of the African-American Studies (AAS) Program and the Black Student Union (BSU) at the University of Montana – and for our next 50 years. There is a long history of biking and black history in Montana, including an incredible recreation of the original 25th Infantry’s 1897 Missoula to St. Louis ride by BSU members in 1974. While I won’t be reprising any of the historic routes, I am honoring that tradition by choosing a bike ride to raise funds.

My students are amazing. They are planning a Black Solidarity Summit as part of our 2018 50th Anniversary of Black Studies at UM (the country’s third oldest program by the way). But there is very little money right now in our university system to support them in their efforts. So, I’m setting out to raise $15,000 to support them, celebrate our 50th anniversary, and bring amazing speakers like Darlene Clark Hine, one of the country’s pre-eminent scholars of African-American history, so my students and our community can learn from her.

All of this activity offers energy, hope, and possibility for a better future in our city, state, and country. Like I said, my bike ride won’t solve racism. It – and all of you who join me by sponsoring – will, however, be part of demonstrating that we want this place to be better than it already is. Rather than be known as a breeding ground for racism, this bike ride will be one way of establishing a base to make Montana a place that fosters and equips our young people to lead the way forward past the racism that so often holds us back from what we could become.

Join me. My life partner and I (thanks Cheryl, my love) are covering all the costs of my ride. All the money you pledge will go directly to support the BSU and AAS students and the program that supports them.

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook (#ride4blacksolidarity and #500forthe50th). You can donate using the above form. My specific route is available by request at ride4blacksolidarity@gmail.com. You’re welcome to swing by and join me for a segment if you want, but you do need to know that this ride is entirely self-support. There is no sag wagon. We’re keeping it lean, clean, and free of overhead.

And, please let your family know. Share this with your friends. Pass it on. I am aware that I’ll be riding in remote areas in a state where white supremacists are not unknown and bikers have been subject to harassment. But I’m looking to this ride as a way to invite us all to do better. To do something good together. The more public the ride becomes, the safer I’ll be in the end.

Our Sponsors

The following organizations have graciously agreed to sponsor #ride4blacksolidarity. Many thanks to you all! Please frequent them as you are able.

Our corporate sponsorships levels are each named after an African-American Civil Rights leader:

The Septima Clark ($100 - $249)

Open Road Bike Store logo

University of Montana Printing and Graphic Services

Silver Dollar Bar Logo

The Ella Baker ($250 - $499)

The Pauli Murray ($500 - $749)

The Quote to Cash Consulting Experts

The Fannie Lou Hamer ($750 or above)

Our Julian Bond publicity partners are:

And the following individuals have given logistical, publicity, and equipment support:

  • Valerie Coulter
  • Ray Fredette
  • Mark and Kara Hanson
  • Teresa Henry
  • Liz Song Mandell and Samuel Mandell
  • Cheryl Miller Shearer
  • Dylan Shearer
  • Norman Singley

The Start - Join Me

I'll be starting the first day of my bike ride on Saturday, July 29, at 8:00 a.m, at the Grizzly Statue on the UM oval. Join me for part or all of the easy ride on bike paths from Missoula to Hamilton. I'd love the company. Do note that the ride is entirely self-supported so you'll need to provide your own hydration, snacks, meals, repair equipment, etc.

The Route - Join Me

I'll be riding through the mountains of western Montana. If you'd like to join me for a portion (or all!) of the ride, contact me at ride4blacksolidarity@gmail.com. I'll let you know where I'll be starting each day.

The Conversation - Join me

If you'd like to hang out for an evening of conversation about black history in Montana and the country, contact me at ride4blacksolidarity@gmail.com and I'll let you'll know where I'll be each evening. You'll need to bring your own food to eat, but I can promise an engaging conversation.

Following the Ride

I'll be posting regular updates on the ride and funding levels at:

Twitter using the hashtag #ride4blacksolidarity and #500forthe50th.

My Facebook page for the event is: www.facebook.com/ride4blacksolidarity/

You can text me at 406-662-8227 or email me at ride4blacksolidarity@gmail.com