There are, however, people in our communities who don't feel this connection.  Together, we need to break down these barriers and welcome everyone to the  running community.

This is the mission of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC)​.

Brought together by our love of running and desire to better understand one  another, the RIDC is the catalyst of change in our industry. And we need you. The  RIDC provides a space dedicated to educating, empowering, and peeling away the  ignorance many of us knowingly (or unknowingly) have. We understand that  discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion can seem intimidating, scary, and  potentially embarrassing but, this is how we grow. This is how we learn from our  mistakes and move forward personally and professionally. 

The three of us are current members of the RIDC and wanted to take this  opportunity to share our experiences thus far: 

Harry Chandler, Charlotte Running Company

Do not allow the fear or distraction of  disapproval to prevent your playing a role in  the growth of our community. You have a  perspective, and you have a point of view;  someone needs to hear it.

I, for the longest, would silence my thoughts and outlaw my feelings on the importance of  diversity as to not “rock the boat”. It led to my own anxiety and the downward spiral of my mental health. It was not until I started speaking with my peers, friends and family that I understood the importance of my voice and how it was not just therapy for myself, but also those around me.

I am charging you now, join the RIDC and become a part of something that is bigger than yourself. It is never too late but the time is NOW! Help us change the face of our industry. Help us tear down myths and walls that our respective societies have created. Help us reshape our world.

Christi Beth Adams, Fleet Feet Nashville

I say it all the time, but there is no other  industry I’d rather be in community with than  run specialty. I’ve never met so many kind,  happy and welcoming people in one space  and when shit hit the fan in 2020 — closing our doors, furloughing employees, virtual  schooling 2 young kids and having my eyes  open to the lack of diversity in our running  community — the folks I leaned heavily on  were other shop owners.

For me, this is a safe  space. I can admit, the urgency I felt around  diversity, equity and inclusion efforts has  softened and I deeply want (and need) the  accountability of this group. One of my  favorite quotes is, “Things which matter most  must never be at the mercy of things which  matter least”. I believe building a more  inclusive run community “matters most” and I’m excited to do this work with you!

We all  have To Do lists that never end but I encourage you to move this to the top. If you  can carve out 10 minutes today, visit the  website and join the coalition so we can do  this meaningful work together.  

Kris Hartner, Naperville Running Company

You’re a white male store owner? Me too.

Discussions about diversity, equity and  inclusion push you out of your comfort zone? Me too.  

Knowing that whole segments of your  community may not be comfortable coming  into your store disturbs you? Me too.

If there was a running industry organization that was formed to directly address these  issues, wouldn’t you join? We did.  

And it was quite possibly the best decision  we’ve ever made. We’re hoping you’ll join us in  this incredibly important movement.  

Being a part of this work is far from simple, but you don’t have to start off at PR pace. Here are the commitment expectations for being a member of the ​RIDC​:

ENGAGE: Attend RIDC conversations, training, and education sessions. 
SHARE: Share current diversity measures of your business.  
COMMIT: Commit to the RIDC goals, and share your progress annually. 

Improve the authentic representation of black, indigenous and people of color in  your branding and communications.  

The RIDC encourages you to share official RIDC communications on your business  platforms, with employees and your running communities. 

For more information and way to get involved, visit the RIDC website or email [email protected].

This ​work​ is up to us and it’s time to pick up the pace.

Let’s get runningtogether.

Harry, Christi Beth, and Kris