We believe in a world in which we can all run free. We aren’t there yet. Racism, misogyny, discrimination and poverty make it so that only some of us can safely run down the street.
Take the 150% rise in Asian American hate crimes in 2020 or the 84% of women runners who reported being harassed while running last year – and you quickly realize scores of Americans fear simply lacing up their running shoes.
A Black man was murdered by two white men in Georgia while jogging down the street.
And if you look deeper, you’ll find more reasons we aren’t all free to run. Gender and racial pay gaps contribute to income inequality, which means only some of us have resources to enter races, buy running shoes or take the time to focus on personal pursuits like running. Climate change threatens the very ground we run on and air we breathe. Food deserts and insecurities prevent access to fresh foods and fuel for a runner’s body.
We don’t fare any better looking back. Historical practices like redlining (denying housing loans based on race or ethnicity) played a role in preventing generations of BIPOC from a fair shot at owning a home in a neighborhood to run in.
Or take the Olympics. In 1928 women were deemed too weak and fragile to run farther than halfway around the track. The ban lasted 32 years, and women were not allowed to run the marathon in the Olympics until 1984 – 88 years after the men.
These issues are all connected because we’re all connected. In running and in life, some of us are running a tougher route. Some of us have a head start.
So what did we do about it? Designed a shirt, of course. A new spin on the running classic - the race shirt. You know the one. Race name on front. Back chock full of sponsor logos.
But this one is different. The front simply reads Race for Equality, while the back is anything but typical. Here, we share important social and racial justice facts and information in the form of eye-catching logos. The front of the shirt shares the goal, the back shares what we need to address to get there.
And we're runners, right? Aren't we up for a good challenge? A tough course? Let's go.
We aren't experts, but we did our very best to fact check and double check the sources we used for information and statistics. You can find some of them here:
The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities and revealed that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7%, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150%. • In a recent Runner’s World survey, 84% of women said they have experienced some kind of harassment while running that left them feeling unsafe. • On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was pursued and fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. • A report by the National Partnership for Women & Families reveals that the median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time job is $47,299 compared to $57,456 for a man who holds a full-time job. The wage gap is larger for most women of color. • One million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with alarming implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released in 2019 and shared by The Washington Post. • Feedingamerica.org research found that the number of people who are food insecure in 2020 could rise to more than 50 million, including 17 million children. • Following false reports of women collapsing after the 800m race in the 1928 Olympics, the IOC banned women from running more than 200m.