I first heard about this event and the organizer, Native Women Running, when I heard founder Verna Volker on the BibRave Podcast. I have always been moved, and outraged, by the dark history of treatment (and current treatment) of our Native population and wanted to find ways to be better informed, and help amplify the voices of the population. I learned a lot listening to the podcast and also learned about the MMIW National Day of Awareness. The event was created to show support/solidarity for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, 2-Spirits, and their families. For example, the CDC reports that murder is the third leading cause of death among Native American women. The virtual run is actually a virtual event to raise awareness using ANY form of fitness/activity. Myself and several other BibRave Pros chose to run at least 10 miles (I incorporated it into my 16 mile training run) to raise awareness that Native Women are murdered at 10x the rate of the national average. The event this year raised over $30,000 for organizations that focus on supporting awareness, support, and campaigns to end this epidemic of violence.
Some other great aspects of the National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run:
- Great social media interaction from the race organizer and supporting organizations meant that I heard from so many new voices and stories, and learned more every day about this issue. I feel like I now have more language and tools to continue to make sure this issue is not silenced.
- Swag just included an amazing, soft, red t-shirt, with very little other waste, meaning funds raised are allocated to more areas of need, rather than wasted on too much random product.
I will plan to take part in this event in future years and highly recommend it for others, even just for the aspect of learning more, and having more people informed about this issue.