Marathon of Respect and Equality
|Record #: APC0066||Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017||Last Full Update: 29 Apr 2014|
|Located In||Pictou County|
|Areas Served||Pictou County|
|Description & Services|
|Information||From 1990-2009, we in Pictou County were fortunate to be the location of Henderson Paris’ remarkable Run Against Racism. For those 20 years,
A generation of school children had Hennie as an outstanding role model to teach them how they should treat one another
A generation of adults had an inspiring leader in the fight against racism and discrimination
A generation of people marginalized by racist attitudes or any other form of discrimination had a champion to give them support and hope
Undoubtedly, Henderson’s efforts had a tremendous impact- Pictou County is a beautiful, warm and tolerant community-and Hennie’s role in helping to nurture that is well documented and clear.
When Henderson announced his Run was ending in 2009, there were several common reactions from others:
1.The first was “Thanks for a job well done! Congratulations!” The end of the Run gave everyone an opportunity to thank Hennie, Carol and the Committee for all their hard work.
2.The second reaction was a profound sense of loss- no one wanted Hennie to leave the stage, so to speak. We had all grown accustomed to the Run’s signaling the end of winter and the return of a sense of optimism, hope and goodwill. People liked Hennie personally and recognized they would miss his presence as well as the Run.
3.The last and most frequent reaction was “But there is so much more to do!” While Hennie’s Run had no doubt made a huge difference, everyone recognized that racial intolerance and the marginalization of people for a variety of discriminatory reasons were still present. The fight Hennie had fought so well was not fully won, nor perhaps could it ever be, and his Run’s ending would leave a real void.
This, then, was the impetus for the Marathon of Respect and Equality.
•MORE was required to combat racial discrimination.
•MORE education around racial sensitivity and tolerance for young and old alike was needed.
•MORE support and new reasons for hope for all people marginalized in our society were needed.
So, MORE was created. Like its new logo, it incorporates the old Run Against Racism, which everyone recognizes and which Henderson so graciously allowed the committee to co-opt, with the new acronym M-O-R-E, which encourages us all to jump in and do more for this most worthy cause.
The new Run has been designed to reflect certain key principles, taken from the example set by Hennie over all those 20 years:
1.It will be a continuation of Hennie’s work in his original Run Against Racism. We are not trying to do something startlingly different or novel- we are trying to build on what is a solid foundation, not start a whole new structure.
2.The New Run’s purposes, along with any events or activities associated with it, are to end racial discrimination and to promote respect and equality for whoever is in any way marginalized or disrespected in our society.
3.The Marathon of Respect and Equality will be inclusive and non-competitive- in keeping with Henderson’s slogan, “Together we can make a difference”, the organizing committee will encourage all events and activities associated with MORE to be welcoming, collegial and cooperative in nature.
4.MORE will focus on education- education which is positive, non-judgmental and encouraging. Over 20 years ago, in response to a deeply hurtful event, Hennie and his wife, Carol, made the decision to use his athletic gifts to educate and promote understanding rather than to become bitter or angry or recriminating; it is this example we wish to follow here.
5.Finally, while MORE is obviously going to be a running event in and of itself and (we hope) many people will “run for Hennie”, the organizing committee wants to broaden considerably what it means to be a runner in this case.
|Eligibility||Ages: 5 year(s) and up|
|Dates||Annually in May|
|Tags||Highland Connect ; Recreation Categories|