Women In Training, Inc. (WIT), a nonprofit organization that distributes WITKITS of menstrual, hygiene and dental products to underserved girls and nonbinary youth, is holding the Women In Training, Inc. 2nd Annual 5K Race to End Poverty. Period!, which will offer participants a visual tour of several historic sites in downtown Montgomery, including the church where Martin Luther King Jr. led the organizing meeting that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the spot where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus, energizing the civil rights movement.
You may walk or run wherever you are! The in-person race will begin on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at 7:00 a.m. at the Court Square Fountain on historic Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.
Participants will walk or run on a hilly course along the streets of downtown Montgomery, beginning at Court Square Fountain, the site of a former slave auction block that now hosts a Black Lives Matter mural. Before the Civil War, the same location was the site of Montgomery’s slave markets. Enslaved Africans of all ages were auctioned at the fountain, along with land and livestock.
In 1861, LeRoy Pope Walker, the Confederate secretary of war, sent a telegram from the Winter Building across from the fountain to General P.G.T. Beauregard, ordering him to fire on Fort Sumter, thus starting the Civil War. Nearly 100 years later, Rosa Parks boarded a bus across from the fountain and famously refused to give up her seat to a white man, in defiance of segregation laws.
The race course will also take participants past the Rosa Parks statue and Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where King preached from 1954 to 1960.
The theme of this year’s race is “Running for Justice.” It highlights the audacity of twin Black girls, Breanna and Brooke Bennett – the descendants of enslaved Africans – who founded Women In Training two years ago to fight the lingering effects of slavery, including period poverty.
“Our ancestors marched for freedom, justice and equality in our society, and today we are still running for justice, still trying to make sure that the dream Martin Luther King Jr. described becomes a reality,” said Dr. LaToya Clark, M.D., the president and chairwoman of Women In Training, Inc. “That’s why Women In Training is organizing this race, not only to end period poverty but also to honor those who gave up their lives and made other sacrifices so we could enjoy the liberties we have today. When participants in our race see the historic sites along this course, they will be reminded that while we have come a long way in the struggle for justice, we still have a long way to go and we must keep on running.”Lori Stinson Burks is the WIT 5K Race chairwoman.
“I am pleased to support Women In Training in this race through historic downtown Montgomery to enhance both the minds and bodies of Black girls and women,” said Burks, an avid runner. “‘Running for justice’ is not only about tackling period poverty and other social justice issues, but also about motivating Black girls and women to enjoy more physical activity for a healthier lifestyle that will give them more power to control their own destinies.”Vergil Chames, a Montgomery resident who coordinates 5K races across the state, is the race organizer.
“The Women In Training 5K race in this location that once served as the source of so many issues within our history can now be the spark for good, encouraging people from all walks of life to join by the thousands in the quest for change,” Chames said. “That change is ending poverty ... period!”
The race is a fundraiser for WIT’s signature WITKITS Campaign to provide menstrual products and hygiene items to young, low-income people who menstruate. Because of the economic fallout from the pandemic, the number of girls and women who cannot afford period products has increased from one in five to one in four, causing them to miss school, class, work or similar obligations because they do not have the products they need. Many girls who struggle to afford period products resort to using paper towels, rags, socks and other items that place their health in jeopardy.
Since its founding in July 2019, WIT has distributed more than 9,000 WITKITS to girls and women in need across Alabama.
Bracket/Division Details & Fees:
Activity Starts: - Activity Ends:Registration opens :Activity type:Requires Date of BirthRequires phone numberGiveaway(s): T-Shirt
Activity Starts: - Activity Ends:Registration opens :Activity type:Requires Date of BirthRequires phone number