A Preview for the Race Against Gun Violence
By Lukas Hoffman
For the past five years, the non-profit organization Strides for Peace has hosted the Race Against Gun Violence, which consists of a walk as well as 5K and 8K runs meant to promote awareness for community groups working to stop unnecessary death in Chicago. This year, Northside’s Students United for Change partnered with the organization to assist in putting on the event and encourage student participation. Following the shooting death of Northside junior Emanuel Gallegos, his family gave permission for the school to create a team in his honor. The race, will take place on June 6, 2019.
The races each begin in Grant Park, and then split down the Lakefront Trail, with the walk and 5K doing a northward loop and the 8K doing a southward loop, finishing at the start. Each race will begin within ten minutes of the one before, starting with the 8K after the 7 PM performance of the national anthem. Strides for Peace expects the races to take up most of the hour. Then, at 8 PM, there will be live music performed by Guitars Over Guns Haven Studio’s Evn Stevn, with Fable, before the awards ceremony. The night will finish with a party, complete with a DJ.
Students United for Change President Mohammad Abunimeh, Adv. 004, said, “We’re excited to be forming a team for this race, despite the circumstances. We hope to take away from this event the proof that you can stand for what you believe in and support causes important to you.” While SUFC is a relatively new group at Northside, they have already had much success in organizing and partnering with the school and other community organizations. Their mission follows one simple goal: to promote activism and change in Chicago. “Gun violence is a tragic issue which is so often on the news we forget about it. We want to inspire action against an ever-rising gun violence rate in Chicago, and help make things better for the future,” said Abunimeh. He added that SUFC hopes to assist with more events like this one in the future, and get involved again with the Race Against Gun Violence next year.
So far this year, 187 people have died in Chicago gun-related homicides this year, with 956 total shootings occurring within the city limits in 2019. Most of the incidents are concentrated in a few neighborhoods and areas of the city, places where the community organizations involved in this race are located. Strides for Peace hopes that by hosting this event, these groups will receive not only recognition and greater visibility throughout the city, but more support too. The fundraising also done by the event will go towards this same goal of increasing both the effectiveness and awareness of anti-gun-violence groups throughout the city.
Any students interested in the event can contact Abunimeh directly by email, or reach out to any member of the Students United for Change. The Northside team is quickly growing and is looking to be one of the largest organized groups in the race. Each registration is 40 dollars, except for day-of registration, when the cost is raised to 45 dollars. For anyone looking to get some exercise and support what they believe in, register as soon as you can for the Race Against Gun Violence.