#46forGeorge is an organization based on a movement that started in 2020 in light of the murder of George Floyd. The movement is rooted in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality around the globe, and aims to shed light on these issues through bringing difficult discussions and dialogue into the mainstream.
For 46 days, Matthew Cuesta rode his bike 46km everyday to honour every year of George Floyd’s life. (Mr Floyd was 46 when he was murdered).
The initiative, which Matthew thought a few friends would join him on, quickly spread around Toronto thanks to BlogTo and eventually spawning coast to coast across Canada and ultimately globally thanks to coverage from media outlets such as GCN.
The ride ended on July 14th at the Exhibition grounds in Toronto’s downtown core where 150+ riders joined Matthew to support him on his 46th and final day.
Through Bicycles we want to change lives. #46forGeorge has partnered with Qhubeka Charity to aid in fundraising for underprivileged individuals and families in Africa.
Imagine walking for 4 hours a day just to get an education – what a bike does is cut that commute down to 1 hour. Everything starts with education, if you can get people educated, people can get a job and people can help themselves. The goal is to give children back their childhood, give them time to play and be happy and give them en education – all through what we take for granted, a bicycle.
In addition to fundraising for Qhubeka, #46forGeorge, with help from the community, is also donating bicycles to BIPOC youth within the city. You can donate here.
#46forGeorge achieved what it set out to achieve and that was to start a conversation, an uncomfortable one. In 2020, the initiative got people talking, it got people thinking how they can do better and how their words could have a lasting effect on an individual of colour. Matthew knew he wasn’t going to change racism overnight, but he believed he could spark the thought in at least a few minds to start making a difference from within people’s hearts and minds.
Ultimately. our success is you, the community. This movement could not have grown to what it has grown to without you. In 2021 and beyond, our success will continue with changing lives and sparking uncomfortable conversations through cycling.
In 2021, Matthew plans on riding 460km in one day and starting the hashtag #460in6 to fundraise for Qhubeka Charity. Participants can join in by riding 460km over a 6 day period. More details to follow.
The Exhibition loop and the Princes’ Gates became hallowed ground to me. It’s where I endured and battled my pain, both physically and mentally. It’s where we came together and rode, where we talked and where we reflected. The grounds were shut down to all vehicle traffic on July 14th 2020 for #46forgeorge’s final ride. An estimated 200 cyclists, runners and walkers including CP24, Global News and other media outlets came out in support of injustice and to take a stand against racism.
Matthew Cuesta is the founder of #46forGeorge, a campagin in which he rode his bike 46km everyday for 46 days to honour the life of George Floyd and to create a safe space for uncomfortable discussion on racism and discrimination in communities around the globe.
Matthew correlates cycling with pain thresholds. In order to create any change, whether that be getting fit or healthy, we must go past uncomfortable thresholds and the same applies to our mental space. We have to go past pain in order to change. We must examine our thought process and start to question everything.