National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and global activist, Shannon Galpin, is the founder of women’s rights non-profit, Mountain2Mountain, art-as-activism group Combat Apathy, and co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Endangered Activism. Shannon worked for a decade on women’s rights projects in Afghanistan. In 2009 she became the first person to mountain bike in Afghanistan, where later she eventually met, supported, and trained the first Afghan Women’s National Cycling team and helped build and support the burgeoning right to ride movement in Afghanistan. Shannon is the author of two books, her memoir, Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan, and a photography book Streets of Afghanistan. She has written for the UN Chronicle, National Geographic Adventure, Outside Magazine, and Blindfold Magazine. She is the producer of the documentary film, Afghan Cycles, and has acted as field producer in Afghanistan on two other productions. She is the Executive Director on an upcoming wildlife conservation documentary about art as activism in post production with her daughter, Devon.
The International Olympic Committee awarded Shannon an Honorary Achievement Diploma in 2015 for her work promoting gender equity through sports, and Shannon is a recognized Fellow with the Explorer’s Club. A passionate believer in public art as activism, Shannon created the groundbreaking streetart installation, Streets of Afghanistan in 2011, and recently launched the streetart project #WhatWeLose as a collaboration wiht her daughter and Mexican artist, Diana Garcia in 2018. Shannon continues to present and speak nationally and internationally about social justice issues at venues such as the United Nations, The Harvard Club, The Explorer’s Club, National Geographic Headquarters, the Italian Parliament, multiple TEDx stages, and keynoting corporate conferences. She has been featured in national and international media such as; Outside Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Dateline NBC, BBC Radio, Bicycling, The Sunday Times, Huck Magazine, The New York Times. Three short films have been made about her work, MoveShake, Waking Lions, and a Liv Ambassador video which became a short film festival piece. Shannon is a sexual assault survivor and two-time traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. Her most recent project is a deep dive into an immersive, multi-media gallery exhibition around brain trauma, memory loss, and the search for identity, that she plans to evolve into a series of street art installations and traveling pop up exhibition in medical brain centers. She is also working on her second memoir about the same subject.
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