CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Since 2017 the YWCA has held its ‘race to end racism’ event. In years past they’ve had up to 900 participants.

Now, for a second time the race is being held virtually but organizers say they rely on this race for critical funds.

Shannon Lester, Marketing Director for Charleston YWCA says, “We still need to raise as much funds, and awareness as possible for our racial justice program so we decided to just keep it going.”

The YWCA uses this race to help fund their racial justice program, something that brings awarness to social injustices around the state. “I think the biggest key thing is if that we don’t talk about it we can’t do anything about it.” said Deedra Keys-Switzer, director of the racial justice program.

Keys-Switzer says without the money raised by this race it leaves the community with missed opportunities. “Create for people to really discuss and investigate and unpack how they feel about race, and without the race against racism we would not have the opportunity to do so.”

But now, you can participate on your own time and at your own pace, by participating virtually through their app., something that the YWCA hopes many people will do this year.

“It’s such a community event each year held on Charleston’s West End and it’s such a joyful celebration and we’re still trying to encapture that this year, even though it’s virtual, but you can still see each other and interact with each other virtually.”

Shannon Lester, Marketing Director YWCA Charleston

We want to remind everyone that organizations like YWCA are a resource. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, and we have links and numbers on the ‘Raise Up Your Voice’ tab.