Founder Bio

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Shannon Galpin founded Mountain2Mountain in November 2006. A rape survivor and mother, she realized she couldn’t just stand on the sidelines, watching women and girls routinely raped, oppressed and denied basic human rights. Believing that connecting communities on both sides of the equation was key to combating the apathy that prevents action and that changing perceptions was just as important as tangible projects, she developed events that involved communities and provoked discussion through art, music, and sport.

After four years working in various parts of Afghanistan working with women and girls, Shannon developed long-term strategies that focused on cyclical solutions in conflict zones globally that focused on connecting communities and sparking conversation.   It was in the Kandahar prison, where Shannon was confronted with the power of voice.  Frustrated by the lack of tangible help she would be able to provide, she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of stories from the women.  They were despereate to be heard, to know that their injustice, their struggle, their heartbreak would survive outside of those walls.

An avid mountain biker continually focused on breaking gender barriers, in 2009, she became the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan, a country where the culture does not allow women to ride bikes. In 2010 she became the first person to ride across Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, which gave birth to the Panjshir Tour, a series of community bike rides in the US.  Along the way, she always has a silver barette given to her by one of the women inside the Kandahar prison – a piece of that woman free as Shannon fights for the rights of women and girls around the world.  Shannon writes regularly for Huffington Post and Matador Network, and is currently writing her first book.  She has been featured on Dateline NBCToday ShowNew York Times, NBC Nightly News, and in Outside Magazine.  Her first TEDx talkwas in 2012 on the Power of Voice which best illustrates the thread that links all of her work together.  She is the subject of the documentary film series, MoveShake screening at film festivals throughout 2012 and 2013 and is working as the producer for the upcoming documentary, Afghan Cycles, with filmmaker Sarah Menzies of Let Media about the women’s national cycling team in Afghanistan premiering 2014.

Shannon is currently working on her first book, to release with St. Martin’s Press in fall of 2014.

You can contact Shannon at: sgalpin@mountain2mountain.org

8 thoughts on “Founder Bio

  1. hugh snyder says:

    Well Shannon, I am truly humbled by your efforts.I just noticed a small post from Niner bikes about your ride in Afghanistan .Obviously you are much more than a mtn biker.
    It may interest you to look up TPRF.org it is a small humanitarian organization that helps provide emergency aid around the world but has created food for people programs where they provide self sustaining structures to prepare cook and feed children and adults of need in India ,Nepal and most recently I believe in Ghana Africa.
    The contact person would be Linda Piscato.Perhaps you could find ways to partner with each other.I do not represent them in any way I am just a supporter and student of the founder a man named Prem Rawat
    I hope to share your efforts with friends of mine ,especially women friends who no doubt will be inspired by your efforts.
    Lastly how would one help contribute to your efforts .I see no provision to make a donation on this page.May Peace be with You.Hugh

  2. Shannon Galpin says:

    Hugh, thank you, I’m touched you took the time to reach out. Our website is http://www.mountain2mountain.org and if you felt so inclined, yes, support for our projects would be an amazing help. Thank you as well for sharing TPRF – I’ll check them out! Many many thanks.

  3. robert porte says:

    Fantastic! My name is Robert Porte and I live in Portland , Oregon. I met Anna Brones at Powell’s books where I currently work. I am an artist and have returned recently from Vietnam where I began a photo project similar in intent and nature as yours. In a quick exchange she described what and where she was going and I will be following yours and her project with great enthusiasm. For 25yrs I have been exhibiting in the us and Europe. the commercial/gallery art world has left me feeling pretty vacant. Ai Wei Wei said that (I paraphrase) “theater is where the highest art is…” and having also been involved in the theater and performance art I agree. But the stage is on the streets of the world. Photography and other digital media is one way to bring communion through art and it’s theater to the people. To make the world a smaller place, because really as you must feel, perched on your bike high above some desert, it is.
    All the best Shannon and I will spread your word.
    robert

  4. Wow…You are truly an amazing person. I have so much respect for the work you undertake in providing a voice for the voiceless. Good luck with your work, and I hope to read more entries :)

  5. [...] BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Bike shops in Colorado and Pennsylvania are gathering donated gear for the Afghanistan cycling team. Mountain biker activist Shannon Galpin, the founder of… [...]

  6. [...] Pennsylvania are gathering donated gear for the Afghanistan cycling team. Mountain biker activist Shannon Galpin, the founder of Mountain2Mountain, will bring the gear back to the country this [...]

  7. Cassandra Coghill says:

    Thank you for coming to speak to us at NDSU. You are a truly inspiring person. It’s nice to be confronted with the reality that it really is possible to make a difference and to be reminded that change always starts with something small! Keep up the good work, beautiful woman!! :)

  8. This is the most AMAZING blog I have stumbled upon yet. I look forward to following you guys, supporting where I can and spreading the word. Keep being awesome.

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