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Shannon Galpin
Class of 1992

Shannon Galpin is a 1992 graduate of Bismarck High School. She is the 2013 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Shannon founded the Colorado-based non-profit Mountain2Mountain in 2006 to work with women and girls in conflict zones. 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 projects that involved communities and inspired change through art, music, and sport. Supporting graffiti art projects in Kabul and creating the Streets of Afghanistan photography exhibition, Shannon has focused on projects that empower voice and inspire others to combat apathy.

While visiting the Afghanistan's Kandahar women's prison, Shannon was confronted with the power of voice and the perception of victimhood which became the backbone of her work. 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 barrette given to her by one of the women inside the Kandahar prison - a piece of that woman is free as Shannon fights for the rights of women and girls around the world. In 2013 she produced the short documentary and co-wrote the book, Afghan Cycles to highlight the courage of the young women of the Afghan National Cycling Team.

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