Alex Shames, Community Organizer
Alex Shames (he/him) is a queer community organizer who has previously worked in both public education and grassroots organizing. After graduating college, Alex moved to Qingdao, China, where he experienced the joy of living in a city designed for pedestrians and cyclists, not cars. Alex has previously organized nationwide phonebanks with other youth activists in the Sunrise Movement to elect Green New Deal Champions like Jamaal Bowman and Cori Bush to federal office. After working as a public school educator in his hometown of Newton, he became active in local politics as an organizer with Defund Newton PD, then served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Madeline Ranalli's youth driven campaign for Newton City Council while also teaching 10th grade chemistry. When he's not riding around town on a Bluebike (blasting music of course), Alex enjoys watching reality TV, checking out local art, and spending time with his friends and family.
Grey Black, Director of Organizing
Grey is joining the BCU as a new Bostonian but a long time biker. He first fell in love with the freedom and fun of biking at age 8 and rekindled that joy during the pandemic. His organizing background is seeded in politics at the local and national level as well as in educational, gaming and art groups. His drive to join the BCU team stems from the great good biking provides for the economy, our planet and as a means to grow autonomy and community for everyone involved.
When he’s not racing down Beacon St. you can find Grey playing board games with friends, jamming in his basement or checking out the local music scene.
Jeff Gang, Interim Executive Director
Jeff (he/him) started as the Interim ED of the Boston Cyclists Union in October 2022. A longtime believer in the joy and freedom of urban bicycling, he sees bicycling as a key part of building mobility justice, solving the climate crisis, and empowering people to shape their communities. His expertise is in organizing, communications, fundraising, facilitation, and strategy. Most recently, Jeff worked as a strategy and communications consultant with nonprofits, including Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), Right To The City Boston, Amnesty International, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. His organizing training began in the youth climate movement and Green Corps.
Outside this role, Jeff loves language, jazz, and the outdoors. He is an outspoken celiac-disease patient, a saxophone player, a part-time farmer, an Eagle Scout, and a devoted husband and uncle.
Malaysia Fuller-Staten, Community Organizer
Malaysia comes to the BCU as a Roxbury-born community organizer in Boston. She began her work as a Youth Organizer for The Center For Teen Empowerment at the age of 17 and never stopped, eventually holding roles such as Program Coordinator and Lead Organizer at a number of Boston based organizations. Though a lot of her past work has focused around criminal justice reform and youth advocacy, Malaysia recognizes how infrastructure and transportation intersect with all other societal issues. As resident of Roxbury, she is committed to making streets safe for not only cyclists and pedestrians, but for all who use them across the region, and uplifting the voices of those often left out of important conversations.
If you don't meet Malaysia on a bike or at a community meeting, you may find her spouting her own poetry, listening to 90s rap music, scribbling in a sketchpad, or doing cooking experiments (no measuring cups allowed!) with her best friends.
Mandy Wilkens, Communications Coordinator
Mandy (they/them) started at the BCU coming from years of organizing in dozens of grassroots community campaigns across the Boston area. From their home neighborhood of Allston to Roxbury, they’ve helped organize struggles around a huge variety of issues, from reproductive justice to combating the Allston rat infestation. In 2019, Mandy lead the organizing effort to plan and facilitate the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event, which highlights the lives of those lost in the intersection of transphobia and racism across the world. Mandy has also been a frequent volunteer at the Boston Liberation Center in Roxbury since their opening in 2021.
If you haven’t run into Mandy doing outreach, at a rally, or at the BLC, it’s pretty likely you’ve seen them darting around on their bike. In the rare moments when Mandy isn’t organizing they’re either at band practice, working on project bikes or at a local metal or punk show.