Run Richmond 16:19 explores Black history through activity + connection

The race will be the first event of the AFRICA RECONNECT Event Series that the Djimon Hounsou Foundation will roll out in Richmond, Liverpool, UK and Ouidah, Benin.

Runners are seen moving past the Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown's Island.

Runners can choose routes of 6.19 or 16.9K, which pass historic sites across the city.

Photo provided from Hodges Partnership

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Every journey begins with a single step, and through many first steps, Run Richmond 16:19 will lead a journey through 400 years of Black history.

On Sat., Sept. 17, the Djimon Hounsou Foundation will host this cultural running event emphasizing unity in diversity. The routes themselves — 6.19 miles or 16.9K, — reference the year 1619, when the transatlantic slave trade brought the first Africans to the American continent here in Virginia.

The foundation has partnered with several local organizations — such as Sports Backers, the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, and BLK RVA — to make this race happen in Richmond.

It’s not just the River City running though. Hundreds of participants in Liverpool, United Kingdom and Ouidah, Benin will also be lacing up their shoes. These cities are the other two points of the slave trade triangle. In both places, you can find a Slavery Reconciliation Statue identical to the one found here on East Main Street.

The statue’s Liverpool-based designer put an inscription on each saying: “Acknowledge and forgive the past. Embrace the present. Shape a future of reconciliation and justice.”

How you can get involved

Registration is now open for either race distance, available to run or walk on your own. The first races start ~7 a.m. at Kanawha Plaza. Or, sign up for one of these local teams to run with a crew.

If you’re not a runner, learn more about the Djimon Hounsou Foundation + how to support Run Richmond 16:19.