MACON, Ga. — The U Create Macon nonprofit organization helps students with their school work and in life through STEM lessons, entrepreneurship opportunities, and biking -- one of their favorite activities.
Founder Charise Stephens says the group recently finished a 100-mile bike trek from Georgia to Alabama.
She says biking teaches kids about both physical fitness and mental toughness, and helps them explore their community and areas they may have never been able to travel.
Now, she's hoping to combine their love of biking with an opportunity to start important conversations in the community.
This month, the group is starting Macon's Black History Bike Tours to take people to areas in Macon that hold a lot of significance in the city's history.
"One of our stops is actually where they sold slaves here in Macon. We're going to go by the colored waiting room sign," says Stephens.
Other stops include the Douglass Theater and Tubman Museum.
Stephens says she hopes the tours spark important conversations that help people better understand Macon's history and each other's perspectives.
"The spirit of people wanting to engage with someone out of their comfort zone, I've seen it. So, we want to seize on that opportunity to continue the healing, get them to know a little bit more about contributions of really awesome people," she says.
The first bike tour is July 18, starting at the Tubman Museum. There will be rental bikes available.
It is free to join in, but Stephens says people do need to register so they can limit group sizes.
U Create Macon is also hosting an outdoor art show at their building on Third Avenue on Friday, July 10. Stephens says local artists are creating murals to represent the people and history of the Pleasant Hill community.