(Note: We are currently evaluating the possibility of an alternative date for the Race. We’ll post updates here or you can subscribe to our e-news to get updates delivered to your inbox. Stay well!)
Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate
June 21, 2020
Starting at 7:30 am
Floyd Long Field, Evanston, IL
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!
Register today and you’ll get our early bird pricing. Registration fee goes up $5 for each walk/run on March 15.
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.
Press coverage from 2019 Race Against Hate
- Chicago Area Runners Association: Race Against Hate Recap
- Chicago Tribune: 20 years after Ricky Byrdsong was murdered, the Race Against Hate continues in Evanston: ‘It’s a living demonstration of the power of love over hate’
- FOX32 Chicago: Ricky Byrdsong’s death at the hands of a white supremacist still prevalent 20 years later
- CBS2 Chicago: Hundreds Race Against Hate In Memory Of Northwestern Basketball Coach Ricky Byrdsong
- Chicago Tribune: Race Against Hate looks to bring community together: ‘We refuse to be stymied’
- ABC7 Chicago: The Race Against Hate continues in Evanston 20 years after Ricky Byrdsong’s murder