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Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate

Thanks for a great Race!  Nearly 4,500 people braved the cool foggy weather on Sunday, June 16 for the 20th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate. We really appreciate your enthusiasm and support!


Awards were distributed on the field based on preliminary results — as a result, some people may not have received the award (and recognition!) they earned. If you should have received an award and didn’t, please contact us at (847) 864-8445.

Were you among the top 3 finishers in your age group? If so, we have a medal for you! You can pick it up at YWCA Evanston/North Shore, 1215 Church Street in Evanston.


All issues with missing names have been resolved.

If you have reason to believe your time in the official results is incorrect, please email Race Director John Corrigan at jmcpartner@sbcglobal.net.

press coverage

Thanks for racing with us!

Thanks for racing with us!

Why race?

On Father’s Day each June, the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate brings together thousands of people from all over Chicagoland to run and walk in unity against racial hatred and violence. Whether you’re a casual walker or a competitive runner, there’s a place for you!

Save the date!

Please save the date for the 21st annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate on Sunday, June 21, 2020!

One of Ricky’s favorite quotes, that he patterned his life after, and tried to instill in his family, friends and players was, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it." This Race Against Hate is our 90%. We have responded to Ricky’s death in a way that would make him proud.
Sherialyn Byrdsong
Why race?
Race Against Hate, 20 years running
Photo of Karen Singer and Sherialyn Byrdsong
Karen Singer, President/CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore with Sherialyn Byrdsong

History of the Race

The Race Against Hate honors the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong, former Northwestern University Basketball Coach, Vice President of Affairs at Aon Corporation, and Skokie resident who was murdered by a white supremacist in 1999 while walking in his neighborhood with two of his young children. On the same day, the shooter wounded six Orthodox Jews in Rogers Park. Over the subsequent weekend, he killed a Korean American graduate student in Indiana and wounded an African American minister in Decatur before taking his own life.

Because of Ricky’s lifelong love of sports and his compelling work with young people in the community, the Race Against Hate was launched by his family and friends in 2000 (and entrusted to  YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2007) to honor Ricky’s legacy and bring attention to the need to combat hatred in all its forms.

The Race Supports Our Mission

Proceeds from the Race Against Hate are used to further the mission of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, in particular our efforts in the areas of racial justice and violence prevention. With this funding, YWCA assists children in our schools and local youth organizations to challenge their own prejudices and foster healthy, violence-free relationships among their peers; supports teenagers in examining their own relationships and practicing constructive ways to handle conflict and differences; and encourages adults to engage in constructive dialogue, interactive activities and meaningful action as related to racial justice.