I like to run. I've learned that it really isn't about where you're going, it's about the getting there - the how, the why, the who with. This blog is just a little repository for my thoughts along the way; the setbacks, the lessons learned, and the occasional triumph.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

26.2 on 6.22 - A Solo Run Supporting Black Charities and The Arts

I'm running a marathon for my birthday, and I’m asking you to donate just $26.20 to the Charity/Activist Organization of your choice. Yes, I’m dangling the twin carrots of “birthday & marathon” as emotional blackmail to get you to make a small donation to charity.  But I’m doing the hard work – I’m running a marathon.  All you have to do is click your mouse. J

When I originally conceived this idea a few months ago, my charitable notions were affected by the pandemic, and I imagined raising money for the Theatre Philadelphia Emergency Relief Fund to support theatre artists affected by the Covid-19 shutdown.  The fight against racial injustice and the desperate need for drastic police reform has correctly supplanted my original focus.  There are many organization pursuing these goals that are worthy of your support.  They are large and small, national and local. 

I have friends across the U.S. and around the globe, so rather than ask for donations to one, specific group, I’m asking you to pick one of your own, near you, and make just a $26.20 donation in honor of my birthday marathon run.  I will start you all off with a combined $262 donation to several different organizations.  If me running a marathon on my birthday helps persuade you, then so be it. Please donate.

A solo, self-supported marathon somewhere in the woods north of Philadelphia. Not everyone realizes this, but a marathon is a distance, not an event.  Like a mile, or a foot, or a lightyear. It is exactly 26.2 miles, or 42.195 kilometers. Many of you will know, this will not be my first marathon.  In fact it will be my 40th (though, yes, some of those events were much longer than a marathon). It will, though, be my first marathon in seven years.  It will also be the first I’ve run without the aid and structure of a race event. Just me, on a trail, hauling my own nutrition until I complete the distance.  I had a number of frustrating set-backs during my training cycle.  I had to re-imagine my build-up strategy more than once as I progressed.  It’s going to be a tough day, and I don’t expect my results to be very glitzy, but I am prepared to keep moving forward until I have completed my task.  (As I once proclaimed on a self-decorated race T-shirt, “I Am Not Talented, But I Am Stubborn.”) The marathon is often used as an apt metaphor.  I think the metaphor still holds.

I’d like to keep an informal tally of donations inspired by this effort.  If you donate, please post a  comment below.

I do not enjoy overt self-promotion, but if any of this convinces a few of you to seek out a charity addressing the needs of our current moment and to make a donation, then this will have been worth it. Much love,

-Black Lives Matter (either national, or local chapters)
-Pennsylvania Prison Society (Or your local organization fighting for prison reform)
-The George Floyd Memorial Fund
-The Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collective
-Campaign Zero, (dedicated to police reform)
-The NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund
-The Loveland Foundation (supporting Black women and girls seeking mental health support)
-The Southern Poverty Law Center

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