AC JosepH Media

WILLINGBORO — The Willingboro & Vicinity NAACP announced it will forgo its annual Freedom Fund banquet in exchange for its inaugural Freedom Run Virtual 5K.

In a statement, President Samantha Whitfield said the move was made in response to the death of young African American runner Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, the coronavirus pandemic and the “constant threat to our lives and our health.”

“After the heinous murder of Ahmaud Arbery, our freedom to run in our own neighborhoods was highlighted as a privilege that only some could enjoy,” said Whitfield, who is serving her first term on Willingboro council. “Our very existence walking or running as a Black person could cost us our lives. #EnoughIsEnough.”

“This event challenges each of us to take literal steps for our health, for our lives and to do our part in forwarding the NAACP mission to ensure the health and well-being of all persons. We encourage you to join us as we Walk, Run, Jog, or a combination of the three towards a more just and equitable future,” she said.

The virtual 5K will run until the end of September.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has hit people of color the hardest, is a serious matter that needs to be addressed as a major concern.

“Walking and running have so many health benefits and is an easy activity for anyone to start,” Whitfield said. “Now in the time of COVID-19, when health is at the forefront of all of our minds and the effects of the virus disproportionately affecting Black, Brown and indigenous communities as well as those with comorbidities, the benefits of physical activity become even more important: it lowers blood pressure and risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes, improves mental health, reduces the risk of upper respiratory infections and influenza, and improves antibody response and helps to improve sleep.”

For more information, go to:

Race Frequently Asked Questions:

NAACP Freedom Run — Virtual Strides

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