Taking a Stand: Unity Miles Launches
By Marnie Kunz, CEO @ Runstreet
In today’s times of rising fear, hate and propaganda against immigrants and people who are “different,” it is more important than ever to spread love, and especially unity. Which is why we are launching #UnityMiles — to unite runners, and take a stand against hate around the world. The first #UnityMiles initiative is to show our support for immigrants and refugees.
At Runstreet, we are fortunate enough to be able to meet so many interesting, positive runners from around the world, at our events and in our travels. I had the opportunity to go to Mexico for the first time, to run the Riviera Nayarit Half Marathon in picturesque Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, where I met hospitable, welcoming Arturo, the race director, and his daughter. You can check out more on this life-changing experience here. After that, I got to explore Mexico City with Melissa, one of our Runstreet NYC leaders, and we fell in love with the beautiful, art-filled city. I learned more about Mexico from Jose, our Team Runstreet leader and one of my best friends, who is from Mexico. Marques, our Creative Director and head Photographer, also is a global traveler, and he recently went to Dubai and Europe, and is preparing to go to Korea and Japan soon.
My point here is not to humble brag about our trips but to say traveling and learning about cultures, art and people around the world are so vital to keeping us connected and living happy at Runstreet. Diversity is our strength, not a weakness as things like walls, racist rants and dehumanizing detainment centers would have people believe.
What makes our lives, and our runs, so fulfilling is the shared love of art, running, and common respect for people. So it is with a heavy heart that I’ve read the news headlines (I am a former journalist and news junkie) about Trump’s fear mongering, and the far right wing attacks, propaganda and lies that have divided this country and many others with similar trends. As the news became worse than a Black Mirror episode, with immigrants and refugees criminalized and kept in cages, and mass shootings by white supremacists instilling fear across the nation, and encouraged by the President, it has become too much.
But what can we do to help stop the hate and violence? The same thing that always brings us together — running. Unity Miles is a project I am launching to help bring us together as runners and global citizens of the world. We will fight back doing what we know best - running, and cheering each other on. As we run, we will also have an online fundraiser to help support unifying causes. People can dedicate their miles, raise donations for each mile they’ve run, or simply help spread the word by posting their runs with #UnityMiles. This is a global project and runners from around the world are welcome to join.
Our inaugural initiative is to raise funds for Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), an organization that provides legal representation and aid to immigrants and refugees detained at the border. For the first milestone, we will raise at least $1,954 for RAICES, which is the amount of miles between the U.S.-Mexico border.
We will also hold Unity Miles events. For our initial event, Runstreet is teaming up with Drunk Yoga founder Eli Walker to do a fundraising fitness event on Sept. 21 in NYC. Check out the Unity Art Run + Drunk Yoga here, hosted by EVEN Hotel Midtown East. Proceeds will go to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).
This is just the beginning and I am no expert in fundraising or activism, so it will be a team effort. Together we can run our way to a better world. Let’s go.
How to Join Unity Miles:
Follow Unity Miles Instagram for event updates and news
Share our fundraising page and encourage your network to donate in honor of your miles
Post your runs with hashtag #UnityMiles on Instagram, Strava, Facebook and Twitter to get cheered on and help raise awareness
Follow Runstreet’s Strava for event updates and news and post #UnityMiles in your run updates.
Volunteer! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.