By Albert Vasquez
The YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region hosted its 7th Annual Race Against Racism this year, as it has every race, on Martin Luther King Day at the Mary Ann Dodson Camp in the Upper Valley. The YWCA encourages runners, and non-runners, to promote equality by taking part in the annual race.
The morning air was cool, crisp and perfect for a morning run. This year, 385 individuals registered to participate in the race, a 200 person increase from last year. The race included a 5k run, 10k run, and a 1 mile Family Fun Walk. People of all ages and backgrounds took part in the cause. Children, the elderly and even a few canines could be seen particpating in the race.
The YWCA made sure it promoted part of its mission of “eliminating racism” by placing poster boards with quotes about human equality and statistics on racism along the path for runners to see. Though the number of people who participated in the race may seem small, it has slowly increased over the last seven years. This is encouraging for the YWCA because it shows that people are concerned about racism in our community and country as a whole.
Layra Marivani, the marketing manager for the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region, also participated in the race. “[Racism] is something that we need to address…the only way we can improve is by educating people by giving them the opportunity to learn and the opportunity to gain a new perspective on the realities people face,” expressed Marivani. “In the end we hope this race is more than just a race, we hope it can inspire change and it can make a difference in El Paso,” added Marivani.
The YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. While the real and ultimate “race” against racism in our world may seem like a long one, the YWCA will continue to simply put one foot in front of the other and stay in it until the finish.