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At The Helm

photo by Consuelo Ruybal
Oraia Reid
Founder and Executive Director, RightRides for Women’s Safety

Following a series of assaults on women walking home alone late at night in her New York City community, Oraia Reid founded RightRides for Women’s Safety—a network providing safe, free rides to women and LGBTQ individuals on late weekend nights. RightRides started out in 2004 in three neighborhoods with one car and two volunteer drivers; under Reid’s tenure as executive director, the organization has grown to serve 45 neighborhoods across four boroughs, with more than 200 volunteers and with vehicles donated through a partnership with Zipcar. “We're fostering community dialogue to discuss the intersections of gender-based violence, access to safe transportation and financial means. We're challenging deep-rooted social norms that dictate gender-based violence is to be accepted, especially for traditionally marginalized communities,” Reid says. “One in three riders becomes a RightRides volunteer, making our work truly community-led and community-driven. Ensuring that folks can receive safe passage home and working to make the city safer overall is an incredible feeling.”

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