Nedra Deadwyler is the Founder and CEO of Civil Bikes a social impact business focused on heritage preservation, transportation advocacy, and community activism. Civil Bikes is based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University, a Licensed Master of Social Work from New York University, and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She is a published writer and held a residency with Art of the BeltLine.
What excites you most about your work?
Working to a point of feeling grounded in this third year of the pandemic has taken time. The complexity of this period offered me several points of reflection and ways to evolve and change. I'm excited for the opportunity to implement those changes in my practice. The big difference is that I view preservation as a form of community care. This brings new meaning to why I do my practice and provides me new methods in how I do the work.
What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?
The ideas are always rich and there will be more layers which make my work feel more abundant.
Who do you dedicate your work to?
I dedicate this work to my family. They gave me the resources a long time ago, meaning the spirit and meaning of family and the love of family's history. My family in story after story gave me another version of myself that what was offered in other areas. ie school, the media, pop culture, etc.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I'm inspired by people, art, nature. I recently saw an exhibition of Thornton Dial's work. I am reading "Unf*ck Your Grief" Dr. Faith G Harper, LPC-S, ACS, ACN, "Ella Baker & the Black Freedom Movement" Barbara Ransby, and "Decolonizing Non-violent Communication" meenadchi. And recently got another pair of hiking boots!! I love my friends, had recent visits and love time with my nephew. These are what's keeping me going.
What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?
The term "self-care" has been circulating for a while and it usually is given the lighter treatment. The "self-care" activities discusses are around fun splurges for beautification. All important and good. And in the past wellness meant physical activity and healthy eating or moderation for food/ beverage splurges. However the type of "self-care" and wellness that extends one's capacity for more must take into count the fullness and complete beingness. It means that my wellness activity that provide me care, sustenance, nurturance, and helps me be resilient must engage my spirit, mind, body (the exterior and interior systems), psychology.
What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?
I mostly cook at home and eat organically. I've added supplements to improve my health. I was really sick with COVID 19 and my body was slow to recuperate. Taking daily walks or bike riding (when energy is high). Taking time to be with people I love and who love me. Stepping away from work in the evening (they have been filled with meeting and classes but these are activities with others in virtual spaces). And incorporating what i love back into my life art (seeing and making), nature, reading and wonder.
How can people reading this support the work you are doing?
We are trying to build a movement! Money helps us to offer programming and sustains me. I want people to come, experience, learn, heal, grow, take ownership of and more and that means providing low cost or free programming which has taken a personal toll. Money and Human Resources (team or staff) are needed.
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