Hi friends and family,
I'm running a marathon soon, just on my own around Westborough. It's pretty typical for marathoners to fundraise for a charitable cause, so I thought I'd do the same. Given the moment we are living in, I cannot think of anything more appropriate and urgent than to raise money for and anti-racist cause in the memory of Ahmaud Arbery.
When I learned of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, my grief was shaped in part by the fact that his life was stolen from him while he was doing the exact thing that often makes me feel most alive.
For me, running is solace. I thought this feeling was shared by all runners, but I now know that the freedom I feel while running is due to my white privilege. I am grateful to the Black runners who shared their stories in this piece (https://www.nytimes.com /2020/05/18/sports/running-while-black-ahmaud-arbery.html) for leading me to this awareness.
The fact that Ahamud Arbery's run ended in murder is horrifying. As is the fear that Black Americans feel while running, walking, leading their lives. As is our country's four hundred year history of violent anti-blackness and white supremacy. I cannot imagine the pain and the anger felt by Black Americans throughout our nation's history and at this current moment of reckoning, but I do hope that I can play my own small role in this breaking wave of advocacy and change.
In the memory and honor of Ahmaud Arbery, I'm raising money for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. I know so many people have fundraised for and donated to anti-racist causes over the past week, and I really don't want to make this all about myself or my silly little athletic pursuit. I have donated money personally, and I am hoping to act further through engaging loved ones and peers. If you have thought about making a donation and haven't yet, please consider supporting this cause, or any other organization with a mission rooted in justice and radical equality. Thank you for reading, and thank you to everyone out there fighting for the day that our streets will be free of pain and free of fear.