(Javier jogs to the finish of his first trail 25k)
Running is an act of courage and resistance for our young neighbors. When they run, they express who they are, face their fears, and claim the right to explore and experience the place they live. This Christmas season, it is also a gift they give to a neighborhood they love.
Along Buford Highway, running brings up fears about being arrested or detained until after unjustly. Of being questioned about status while you're going from one place to another. Of being harassed or catcalled. Of discrimination and violence.
When we run, we say that our lives and the life of our neighborhood are not defined by these challenges, but by our grace, courage, determination, and community.
This December, we are joining five young leaders from our neighborhood to run a relay of 100 miles on remote trails in 24 hours to highlight and empower our immigrant neighbors along Buford Highway.
(Vanesa celebrates her first run of the notoriously difficult Coosa loop in North Georgia.)
Would you join us to raise $100 for each mile that we run? This gift will support three high-school-aged neighborhood leaders to tutor, mentor, and feed 15 elementary-aged students three days each week for one school year.
Hiring these leaders provides them with job experience, community, character development, and an opportunity to care for the next generation. Our elemenatary-aged students grow through consistent relationship and support from mentors with similar backgrounds and experiences.
Running 100 miles for the neighborhood is about saying that we love our neighborhood more than we fear its challenges. It's about saying that the hope of our neighborhood is in its people, and inviting our friends to join us in fostering this hope.
(Jesus poses for a picture with the race director of his first trail half marathon)
You can read, share, and donate to our Facebook fundraising campaign here.
You can also make a secure donation on our website at PresenciaATL.org.
Check for update during and after the race on Instagram @presencia_atl !
Here is a little pre-race video.