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This past Father’s Day marked the 13th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate. With 1,590 runners participating in the 5K, 672 running the 10K, hundreds of children taking part in the youth mile along with hundreds of devoted fans, the race inspired more than 4,300 people.

“People say I’m the inspiration behind this race,” Sherialyn Byrdsong said in her speech. “But inspiration without community, teamwork and the people – it takes all of that … to keep the legacy of love alive.”

Karen Singer, YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO, joined Ms. Byrdsong on stage to help award the
winners of the race.

“This event is what turns a tragedy into a victory,” Ms. Singer said. “[We] are demonstrating our collective commitment toward racial equality and justice.”

“Sometimes I think about how unfair it is, how unfair it is that a father was taken from his innocent family and that a strong leader was taken from his community,” Ricky Byrdsong Jr. said. “But that’s what we have this race for, to remember him. My dad left as a legend.”