Howdy! My name is Gen Shimizu. This past summer I pedaled my mountain unicycle 2,755 miles through the Rockies in an effort to bring awareness to modern-day slavery and raise funding for Polaris Project. My journey followed the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Banff, Canada, to the Mexican border, and took 88 days to complete.
I rode my first unicycle when I was 10 years old. When I think back to that time in my childhood, I couldn’t comprehend how people could allow something as horrendous as slavery to happen. Today, I’ve woken up to the reality that slavery still exists. How can we allow people to be bought and sold, abused and exploited? Right now, there are young girls, children, men and women who are slaves; they are sexually exploited, forced to beg, forced to work. It can be hard to know how to help, how to actually make a difference – but we can, and it starts with making people aware of the problem.
As I rode my unicycle this past summer, I stopped to chat with many wonderful people who I met along the way. Thanks to the contributions of people following the trip, we’ve raised over $10,000 to help Polaris Project, a leader in the fight to end slavery. The ride may be over, but you can still help. Take some time to learn about human trafficking and make a contribution to Polaris Project.