The annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, spearheaded by YWCA Evanston/North Shore, is set for June 19 and 20 this year as a “somewhat” virtual event.

While participants are encouraged to walk or run on race weekend, the event won’t have a start/finish line. Instead, participants are encouraged to wear a Race Against Hate shirt and do a 5k or 10k walk or run on their own on the Evanston lakefront or anywhere else they feel comfortable.

Runners and walkers also are encouraged to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #RaceAgainstHate.

Karen Singer, CEO and president of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, said that while the pandemic has changed the details of this year’s Race Against Hate, the event and the need to gather as a community feel as vital as ever.

“It’s important that we continue to come together to send a message that racism and violence of any kind will not be tolerated,” she said.

All proceeds from the Race Against Hate go toward YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s violence prevention and racial equity programs.

To learn more about this year’s Race Against Hate and to register, go to Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for youth 13-under. A commemorative tech t-shirt is included in the registration fee.

Race Against Hate t-shirts also are available at the YWCA Crowded Closet consignment shop at 820 Dempster Street in Evanston, and the YWCA Shop for Good resale shop at 1107 Central Avenue in Wilmette.

The Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate, traditionally held every Father’s Day on the Evanston lakefront, commemorates the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong, former Northwestern University men’s basketball coach, who was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist. The first race was held in 2000 by Byrdsong’s family and friends and was entrusted to YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2007.

For more information about the Race Against Hate and how YWCA Evanston/North Shore is working to end violence and build racial equity, visit

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