NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — A two-day event designed to reduce barriers to participation in trails, cycling and active transportation activities is returning to Northwest Arkansas.

According to a press release, Trailblazers, in partnership with Bike.POC, will present the second annual Critical Mass Summit on November 4-5 at Mount Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville, with Saturday activities taking place throughout the region.

Created in 2021 to “ignite relationships, diversify and grow the cycling and active transportation movement,” the summit was intentionally focused on welcoming BIPOC, women, trans, femme, and nonbinary people who were looking to engage in the trails, cycling, and active transportation movement and how it relates to social change efforts. This year’s event has expanded “to include all gender identities to deliberately bring existing stakeholders and decision-makers to the same room as the marginalized community to remove barriers to participation in the active transportation conversation.”

“Critical Mass Summit’s principal focus continues to be on expanding the bubble by bringing together existing stakeholders with marginalized community members, organizations that serve and are led by BIPOC/Queer/Disabled folks, and otherwise disenfranchised people and groups interested or impacted by trails, cycling, and active transportation,” said Lauren Hildreth, Senior Manager of Community Programs of Trailblazers. “By including all genders, we are bringing together allies, potential allies, existing stakeholders, and those who have seats of power in the region all into one room. We’re redefining who is part of the bubble of decision and influence.”

Attendees can expect a mixture of speakers and outdoor activities. This year’s keynote speaker is Charles T. Brown, CEO of Equitable Cities and award-winning expert in planning and policy. Brown will speak on “Our Built Environment” and be a panelist on “The Future of Trails, Cycling, and Active Transportation in NWA.”

“Critical Mass Summit will intentionally kick off with a session that talks through why our built environment looks like it does today and will provide examples of how it can be better,” said Bea Apple, Co-Founder of Bike.POC. “By speaking to the history of ‘our built environment,’ we will be able to break down the many inequity issues, as well as identify root causes of oppression in our infrastructure and then begin the conversation on how to create an inclusive environment and community.”

Tickets to this year’s event are available at criticalmasssummit.com and range from $25 to $200, depending on virtual or in-person participation. Early-bird pricing is open through September 30.

Discounted tickets and additional financial support such as childcare and transportation coverage are available and can be accessed through an application process on the event website.