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Race Against Hate draws crowds and calls for year-round work to fight racial hatred | #students | #parents

Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, which fell this year on Juneteenth drew thousands to run, walk and support the beloved event that has not been able to be held for two years due to COVID-19.

The race honors the late Ricky Byrdsong, former Northwestern University Basketball Coach and Vice President of Affairs at Aon Corporation.

In 1999, Byrdson, a Skokie resident, was murdered by a white supremacist while walking in his neighborhood with two of his children. 

The same shooter in the same day wounded six people in Rogers Park, who were Orthodox Jews. Before he took his own life, the shooter killed a Korean American graduate student in Indiana and wounded an African American minister in Decatur.

Byrdsong’s wife, Sherialyn Byrdsong and her family launched this event in 2000 and turned it over to the YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2007. Sherialyn was at the event today to speak along with others, who emphasized that the Race Against Hate is not just a once a year event but a lifestyle to fight the forces of racial hatred in our society.

You can read her story about founding the movement in her husband’s honor here.

Please catch our more extensive picture gallery when it is posted later today on our website and in Monday’s Evanston RoundTable newsletter.

Elizabeth Sanderson (left) and Angelina Yambao raise their hands as they cross the finish line of the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate Sunday on Sheridan Road near Lincoln Street. Nearly 4,000 people registered for the event, the first time it has been held in two years due to Covid. Credit: Richard Cahan

Richard Cahan takes photos for the Evanston RoundTable. He also is publisher of CityFiles Press, a small but mighty media company that believes in the power of words and pictures. You can reach him at…
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