FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mary Stonor Saunders, Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
CHICAGO (April 21, 2021) -- Alderman Ariel E. Reboyras will introduce a resolution to the City Council in support of the Strides for Peace’s 8th Annual Race Against Gun Violence (RAGV), September 23, 2021. Now in its eighth year, RAGV is much more than a single event but rather the culmination of months of collaboration and capacity building provided free of charge to nonprofits in Chicago who share the common goal of ending gun violence and saving lives.
Launched in 2014, RAGV has grown every year in every level. Even at the height of the pandemic, nearly 2,000 runners and walkers from 362 different zip codes and 30 states supported nonprofits by raising more than $150,0000. This demonstrated Strides for Peace’s unique capability to harness the power of community organizations and provide new pathways for people who care to get involved.
Strides for Peace and its nonprofit partners are planning a community launch in June to coincide with National Gun Violence Awareness Month and call attention to the urgent need to prevent gun violence especially during the summer months. Community-based peace walks will be hosted throughout the summer to amplify the “good news” stories, often unseen, taking place every day, as well as boost morale of those working on the front lines.
Following 2020 during which Chicago experienced more than 719 lives lost to gun violence - a more than 50-percent increase - the city continues to face skyrocketing homicide rates, with someone being shot less than every three hours and killed every fourteen.
“More than ever, community organizations need support to build peace and stop the violence. At the heart of the race is closing the gap between people, communities and organizations and offering something positive to do in the face of devastating headlines.” said Executive Director Mary Stonor Saunders.
Also central to the race is the goal of increasing capacity and promoting collaboration. More than 75 community and civic organizations are expected to participate in this year, ranging from gang intervention and youth development organizations like New Life Centers to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, from legacy institutions like Chicago CRED to grassroots initiatives like Kids Off the Block.
“The collective effort from participating organizations and the diversity of the race participants shows the world that Chicago can come together to solve the problem of gun violence and save lives. We ALL have a stake in ending gun violence” Stonor Saunders stated.
To that end, Strides makes sure there is a race for every level of fitness and age, including USATF-certified 8k and 5k races along the lakefront, and a 2k walk and a Tots for Peace Sprint. Building on last year’s successful virtual event, participants can choose to complete the race virtually at a time and place of their choosing.
For more detailed information about Strides for Peace and the Race Against Gun Violence, go to stridesforpeace.org
About Strides for Peace
Founded in 2014, Strides for Peace is a registered 501(3)(c) that envisions a Chicago where all can thrive and live free of the fear of gun violence. Our mission is to increase the collective impact of community organizations working to end gun violence, save lives and build a stronger Chicago.
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