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.
This work is up to us and it’s time to pick up the pace.
Let’s get running—together.
Harry, Christi Beth, and Kris