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On July 1, the African American YMCA CEO Group hosted a virtual town hall to help people unlearn systemic racism with hopes the conversation would continue on. Since then, many YMCAs have implemented programs and trainings at their facilities.

The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, with multiple locations throughout New Jersey, is taking a unique approach to raise awareness about racism through their first Break the Silence Virtual 5K.

The event, taking place August 21 to 24, allows participants to run or walk the race at any location they choose. While the recommended distance is a 5K, the Y said what is important is for members to run or walk whatever distance they are comfortable doing.

The Break the Silence 5K is being put on by the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges’ African American Resource Network Employee Resource Group. This group works to support the needs of African American employees within the Y movement, through career and professional development, training, and mentoring, so all voices can be represented in their organization.

This free virtual 5K encourages members to engage the community while also saying safe and practicing social distancing. For those who choose to make a donation for the race, every dollar raised will help fund future endeavors the Metro YMCA’s African American Resource Network Employee Resource Group brings to the Y and the community. Efforts may include staff training, community outreach, panel discussions, workshops, staff development and more.

Those wishing to participate can register here, and will record their race times online once they complete the 5K.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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