Mountain2Mountain was founded in November 2006 by Shannon Galpin. Shannon took action on her deep conviction that all women and girls deserve the same rights and opportunities as her own daughter. She walked away from her career as an athletic trainer and used her own limited funds to launch M2M and “be the change” she wished to see in the world. Shannon recruited volunteers and donors and developed collaborative partnerships with others working across the globe to create a voice and empower women and girls in conflict zones. After collaborating on two projects in Pakistan and Nepal, Shannon travelled to Afghanistan to develop M2M’s initial projects.
Today, M2M is a burgeoning nonprofit that has touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. M2M has launched projects across Afghansitan to create opportunities that were unimaginable ten years ago. In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan in an effort to challenge perceptions of gender barriers and show a different side of Afghanistan back home. She returned in 2010 with her bike again to ride across the Panjshir Valley. This led to the creation of the annual Panjshir Tour, a series of grassroots rides in the US to benefit Mountain2Mountain’s programs.
After visiting several women’s prisons across Afghanistan, Shannon found herself in the women’s prison of Kandahar contemplating the power of voice. This led to the next evolution of Mountain2Mountain’s programming expanding out Afghanistan with our first domestic program. We believe in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action, and now we are using that founding vision along with the power of voice to spark action at home with young women at risk to create Strength in Numbers, launching spring 2013.
This fall, M2M returns to Afghanistan to bring their groundbreaking photography exhibition, Streets of Afghanistan, to the streets of Kabul as a series of public street art exhibitions. Continuing their founding ethos of connecting communities and cultures and believing that the power of voice has the power to create change.
For more information visit our website at www.mountain2mountain.org