UAlbany holds inaugural Race for Equity 5K, honoring past social justice victories and highlighting present challenges

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — UAlbany hosted its first-ever Race for Equity 5K Saturday, highlighting civil rights victories throughout American history, while also raising awareness about current social justice challenges.

Hundreds of walkers and runners took to UAlbany’s Uptown Campus for the school’s inaugural Race for Equity. “I was told that there would only be 50 to 100 to register for a 5K, so I think that speaks volumes to the topic and people’s passion for civil rights and social justice,” said Amelia Barbadoro, the director of the Office of Equity and Compliance.

The event recognizing civil rights accomplishments that have happened throughout history, with organizers hoping to make the race more than just a 5K, “I wanted it to be more than just people running around a circle. I wanted people to run around this circle and learn something,” Barbadoro explained.

30 social justice stations were scattered throughout the course, highlighting some of the key victories, while also raising awareness about present injustices.

Barbadoro hopes the knowledge about some of those historical moments can help to press on against present day issues, “Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the injustices, to get caught up in what’s wrong and what we’re angry about. But there’s also a lot to celebrate, and I don’t want people to feel defeated. Don’t feel like there’s no way to win these fights.”

Each station featuring volunteers, cheering runners on, while also raising awareness about their designated topic.

“We got the abolition table, just speaking about Juneteenth and Freedom Riders and breaking free. It took a lot for colored people to get where we are today, and we’re still fighting,” said freshman Justin Neely.

Proceeds from this event will be dedicated to social justice scholarships for new and continuing UAlbany students. These scholarships will be available for students who show an interest in advancing or advocacy of social justice initiatives.

Organizers hope the success and support of this inaugural event will mean it will continue again next year.

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