On February 23, 2020 (2/23), Ahmaud Arbery was murdered while out for a run in Brunswick, GA. It took 74 days for the men responsible for his murder to be arrested. For months, the community fought to get answers and seek justice for Ahmaud’s murder.
As part of this effort the 2:23 Foundation was created to address Arbery’s murder along with the issues of Black and Brown communities being the most impacted by systemic injustice and the fact that many young people do not have the opportunity or clear paths to attend college and pursue careers in justice-related fields. The Foundation plans to provide scholarships, leadership development programs to raise up future district attorneys and law enforcement personnel and growth opportunities to those looking for ways to advocate.
Two of the 2:23 Foundation ‘s core values are focus and endurance. Its prevailing message explained on its website is always, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Because of the circumstances surrounding Arbery’s death, the effort certainly involves the running community and now, joined in partnership with the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC), the 2:23 Foundation is asking the run specialty business to join with it on February 23 for what it is calling its Finish the Run Virtual run in honor of Maud.
Last year, many runners joined the 2:23 Foundation on Abery’s birthday, May 11, in a global 2.23 mile run. Now the Foundation is asking supporters to again run 2.23 miles and send it their photos to show their support. This year it is using the hashtags #FinishTheRun and #223fdn.
“We want to ensure that something like this never happens again and we believe that an important component of that is to helping to create the next generation of social justice advocates, through scholarships and other programming offerings,” explains RIDC member Alison Mariella Désir.
“We are asking that run retailers help elevate and support the event through posting on social media, in newsletters and arranging to get their local running communities signed up and involved,” says Désir, adding that if they are interested in making a direct donation, that is an option as well.
Two weeks before the event, Strava will launch a supportive challenge to accompany the event.
Additionally, the organizers are planning to arrange a series of IG live stories on February 23 discussing the work of the Foundation and share personal stories of BIPOC runners, from everyday runners to elite athletes.
The entry fee for each runner for the Finish the Run Virtual run in honor of Maud is $23. All proceeds will go directly to a scholarship fund that provides young men and women the opportunity to become lawyers, local leaders, policymakers and social engineers.
Link for registration is: https://events.elitefeats.com/223run
The 2:23 Foundation has a goal of raising $223,000 for their 2021 Capital Campaign - all of the funds will go to their programming. This event is a kickoff to the fundraising efforts. You can find more information on their registration page above.
For more about the 2:23 Foundation: 223foundation.org/