DENVER--(Mountain2Mountain (M2M) today announced that actor Matthew Modine and David Holbrooke will serve as co-chairs of the Panjshir Tour. The nationwide bike event will be held on October 8, 2011, in cities across the Unites States, with a final celebration ride in Denver on October 15. Proceeds will be used to support M2M programs in Afghanistan.)--Colorado-based nonprofit
“The simple fact is women aren’t allowed to ride bicycles in Afghanistan. As a foreign woman I can push on those cultural barriers in ways Afghan women cannot, at least not yet”
In addition to being an internationally renowned actor, Modine is an active bike advocate, a passionate environmentalist and the founder of Bicycle For A Day. The bicycle has been his primary form of transportation since he moved to New York City in 1980. A Golden Globe winner, Modine has worked with some of the best-known directors in the film industry on projects including Birdy, Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob, Pacific Heights, and Showtime’s Weeds.
Holbrooke is an award-winning filmmaker, festival director of Mountainfilm in Telluride, and the son of the late diplomat, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was serving as the President’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan at the time of his death in December 2010.
Mountain2Mountain is a nonprofit organization working to help empower the people of Afghanistan, with a focus on women and girls and gender equity. M2M advances its mission through education, training, job creation and efforts to save the lives of Afghan women in childbirth and their babies. Current projects are focused on girls’ education, rural midwifery imprisoned women and children, the Afghan youth movement and the deaf community.
“The women and girls of Afghanistan deserve our attention and support,“ said Modine. “This is not a women’s issue or an Afghanistan issue. It is a human rights issue. I want to encourage everyone with a bike to use it as a vehicle for social change by coming out and riding with us on October 8th and showing your support for gender equity and opportunity for women and girls all over the world.”
“My father cared deeply about bringing peace, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan,” Holbrooke said. “I am proud to honor his legacy by working with my good friend Matthew Modine to support the efforts of Mountain2Mountain. We believe in doing all we can to empower of the women and girls of Afghanistan.”
Panjshir Tour rides are scheduled in Washington, D.C.; New York City; Los Angeles; Denver; Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; Santa Rosa, California; and Saratoga Springs, New York. Additional locations will be announced later this year. The Panjshir Tour is sponsored by Goal Zero and Osprey Packs.
In 2009, M2M Founder Shannon Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan, a country where women are unable to ride bikes. The Panjshir Tour was created to commemorate that groundbreaking ride and support M2M programs. Last Fall, Galpin rode through the Panjshir Valley for a second time.
Galpin’s rides through Panjshir are the subject of "The Ride of Her Life", a feature story by reporter Nick Heil that appears in the March issue of Outside magazine. Heil spent three weeks with Galpin in Afghanistan last fall and rode with her through Panjshir province. Galpin’s rides and Mountain2Mountain are also the subject of Waking Lions: Bombs, Burquas and Bikes, a documentary film that will premiere in Denver on March 12, 2011, in association with the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.
“The simple fact is women aren’t allowed to ride bicycles in Afghanistan. As a foreign woman I can push on those cultural barriers in ways Afghan women cannot, at least not yet,” said Galpin.
Mountain2Mountain is a nonprofit organization working to help empower the people of Afghanistan, with a focus on women and girls and gender equity. M2M advances its mission through education, training, job creation and efforts to save the lives of Afghan women in childbirth and their babies. Mountain2Mountain is committed to long-term, sustainable solutions that are created in-country from the ground up, in partnership with other NGOs and the Afghan people. Current projects are focused on girls’ education, rural midwifery, imprisoned women and children, the Afghan youth movement and the deaf community. For more information, visit www.mountain2mountain.org and www.panjshirtour.org.
About Matthew Modine
In addition to being an internationally renowned actor, Matthew Modine has been a dedicated environmentalist and human rights activist for more than three decades. He is the founder of Bicycle for a Day (BFAD), whose mission is to encourage bicycling as a way toward better health and environmental sustainability. BFAD's first event attracted some 14,000 bicyclists to lower Manhattan. He currently serves on the board of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives, Madison Square Garden's "Garden of Dreams" Foundation, and is the Director of Humanitarian Activities for Twisted Sun, Inc.
Modine has worked with many of the film industry’s most acclaimed directors and has been nominated for multiple Emmy awards. He is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award and is the author of the award-winning book, Full Metal Jacket Diary. Modine recently completed a revival of The Miracle Worker on Broadway with Abigail Breslin. Last year he played Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. The actor is currently filming the upcoming comedy film Family Weekend with Kristin Chenoweth. He is also casting The Rocking Horsemen, a feature film he wrote and will direct. Visit www.bicycleforaday.org and www.matthewmodine.com for more.
About David Holbrooke
David Holbrooke is a filmmaker and festival director of Mountainfilm in Telluride. Mountainfilm celebrates achievement in adventure and activism, culture and environment. The festival accepts and screens films on a broad range of subjects, from work that focuses on mountains, mountain culture and mountaineering to films about people who are dedicated to changing the world. This year’s event will be held May 27-30 in Telluride, Colorado. Hard As Nails, Holbrooke’s most recent film, was a Mountainfilm 2007 award winner. Holbrooke’s other documentary credits include Freaks Like Me, Time for a New God and A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn. Recent projects include The Soul of Healing with Deepak Chopra and The Trials of Henry Kissinger. Holbrooke has produced pieces for the Today Show, CBS News and CNN, and was a contributing editor at GQ. His production company, Giraffe Partners, develops narrative features and documentaries. Visit giraffepartners.com for more information.