TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Step Into Justice Virtual 5K is working to raise money for social justice groups. The campaign was created by three college students at schools in California and Oregon. The virtual 5K now has participants across the country including Tucson.
“The idea is to run each and every week in honor of someone who has died of police brutality or a racial hate crime,” said Step Into Justice 5K co-founder Dasha Efremov.
The 5K raised more than $5400 for the NAACP in its first week. The money raised during the second week will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative. Runners use apps such as MapMyRun or Nike Run Club to track their 5K each week. The campaign hopes to motivate participants to learn about social injustice.
“Keep people focused on the importance of educating yourself because this is never going to be something that stops or needs to stop,” said Step Into Justice 5K co-founder Maureen Turnbaugh. “We need to keep going.”
Efremov said the 5K is about more than just running.
"It's about wanting to educate yourself about systemic racism and oppression," she said.
Their goal is to help spread awareness and motivate people to continue learning for themselves.
"We are never ever are going to understand what they have gone through but that doesn't mean that we can't stand with them, that we can't advocate for them or that we can't work together," Turnbaugh said.
Students at the University of Arizona, Arizona State and Northern Arizona University are participating in the 5Ks. The co-founders are considering repeating the virtual campaign each year.
"Making it Step Into June with Step into Justice and making it you know a commitment that our members contribute to fur weeks running a 5K at least once per week," Turnbaugh said.
If you’re interested in participating, you can learn more or sign up through the Step Into Justice Virtual 5K Facebook page.