As much as we may wish it to be, racism is not dead. Minorities continue to be discriminated against, in ways as overt as verbal slurs and as subtle as receiving less favourable media coverage. From American politicians making hateful comments and surging in popularity to racist chants being heard at sporting events, there are painful reminders every day of the work that needs to be done.
Nevertheless, progress has been made, and initiatives such as the Peel Police’s Annual Race Against Racism strive to further promote equality in our society.
This year was the 15th edition of the event, and was again held at Mississauga Valley Park. Attendees could participate in a five kilometer race/walk, enjoy the cultural food and music showcased, or even check out the Peel Police recruitment drive.
Over 700 people came out, from competitive runners to casual walkers and everywhere in between. With free t-shirts and prizes up for grabs, there was more than just bragging rights at stake. With delicious food given out from various cultures, as well as multiple artistic performances, there was plenty to do when the race was done. Families from a whole myriad of backgrounds came together to learn, socialize, and if nothing else enjoy the beautiful summer weather and get some exercise.
Money raised from the marathon will be put right back into the community through a “diversity scholarship”. Each October, the fund is awarded to three students who have overcome adversity and challenges in the past.
Although small, initiatives like these do help to combat racism. If we are to overcome hatred and bigotry, it must be by uniting in support of one another. What better way to do that than over food, music, and a five kilometer run?