Each year, the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate brings together thousands of people from all over Chicagoland to run and walk in unity against racial hatred and violence. Registration closes at midnight on Monday, June 13. After the 13th, participants can register in person at a packet pick-up event or on Race Day.
About Ricky and the race
Now in its 23rd year, the Race Against Hate was launched to honor the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong and to bring attention to the need to combat hatred in all its forms. The former Northwestern University Basketball Coach, Vice President of Affairs at Aon Corporation and Skokie resident, was murdered by a white supremacist in 1999 while walking in his neighborhood with two of his young children. On the same day, the shooter wounded six Orthodox Jews in Rogers Park. Over the subsequent weekend, he killed a Korean American graduate student in Indiana and wounded an African American minister in Decatur before taking his own life.
Because of Ricky’s lifelong love of sports and his compelling work with young people in the community, the Race Against Hate was launched by his family and friends in 2000 (and entrusted to YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2007) to honor his legacy and bring attention to the need to combat hatred in all its forms.
Comprised of chip-timed 5K and 10K runs, a 5K walk and a fun youth mile, the event also features on-field refreshments, music and fun for the whole family.
Proceeds from the Race Against Hate are used to further the mission of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, in particular their efforts in the areas of racial justice and violence prevention. With this funding, YWCA assists children in our schools and local youth organizations to challenge their own prejudices and foster healthy, violence-free relationships among their peers; supports teenagers in examining their own relationships and practicing constructive ways to handle conflict and differences; and encourages adults to engage in constructive dialogue, interactive activities and meaningful action as related to racial justice.
Sunday, June 19 starting at 7:30 a.m. at Long Field, Sheridan Road and Lincoln Avenue
Submitted by YWCA Evanston/North Shore