Faye Hammonds, the AWER Program Leader for May, presented Ms. Tes Sobomehin Marshall, Founder, Runningnerds, & RACE Director, as our speaker. Tes began The Race because she loves running and exercise, but also as a way to promote black successes, responsibility, healthier living and greater investment in the black community. The Race first began just 2 years ago in 2018 and was a great success as a national event, drawing participants from 34 states. In 2019 The Race grew significantly. The ½ marathon was sold out at $100 per participant with many organizations benefiting from giving programs sponsored by The Race. The Race linked to Kickstarter for funding. There are 25 Team Members working frenetically on The Race, all are volunteers, though some do get stipends. 2020 is to be the biggest year for The Race –with all hoping it can be done in the fall - now tentatively October 1-4, 2020 … depending on the status of COVID-19. The city of Atlanta is not yet accepting applications for events. There’s – of course! – discussion of The–Virtual–Race. The Race represents a huge community mobilization and empowerment event – it has service and impact objectives. A big boost to The Race occurred when late in 2017, Tes attended the Westside Summit, a semi-monthly event sponsored by the Westside Future Fund at The Gathering Spot. She met Faye Hammonds there and from that grew an engagement and sponsorships of the Scouts by The Race. This shows a key part of the success of The Race – getting as many people as possible to participate and in the process benefit. The Race is a for-profit company that uses much of the funds raised to support a wide range of community activities, especially on the Westside, including the Scouts. Actually, hearing Tes is like embracing a movement committed to everyone involved feeling better, being thankful for all others and supporting change enthusiastically. All upside, all growing, learning, giving, benefitting, having fun. Anyone can participate: walking, fast walking, jogging, running and really seriously running – but all must keep moving and gaining from the mass number of people exercising, building community, professional runners, amateurs, all ages.