September 13, 2016
In the day you’re reminded you're getting older, I was reminiscing that Fourteen years ago, I decided to try out for Farragut’s H.S. Cross Country team. I joined for many reasons, but mainly to survive in an education environment where folks didn’t have much hope for you, it had a 50% dropout rate, “violence” issues and it lacked all kinds of resources. I remember that it was through my running, that I was not only exposed to the fucked up CPS system, the lack of after school program funding, but also to the fact that I had nowhere to run in my home, and home to me was Little Village. And despite of how much I struggle to find green spaces to run, I kept running no matter what. The years would pass and I would continue to challenge myself and sign-up for races. Until, 18 months ago, I suffered a knee injury that forced me to stop! With no health insurance, I had to try traditional healing in order to recuperate and be able to hit the streets again. But today, I’m happy to be back on my feet, more relaxed, stronger and ready to keep running. I’m training for my 5th Chicago Half-Marathon and my 3rd Chicago Marathon! But I'm not doing it alone, I am part of a running group called Equipo Colibri - a team of like-minded individuals devoted to heightening awareness and spreading the word about the work Little Village Environmental Justice Org is doing to achieve Environmental Justice in Little Village, my home.
Ya’ll know LVEJO has done groundbreaking and paradigm-shifting work in LV. In the last 5 years LVEJO has accomplished things many didn’t think possible; the shutdown of Crawford Coal Power Plant, Semillas de Justicia Garden, the reinstatement of the 31st Street bus route and even the opening of La Villita Park, A green space open to youth looking for a place to practice their favorite sport, like me when I was at Farragut. Just a few weeks ago, LVEJO reached another historic agreement with Unilever, one of the largest manufacturers of consumers goods, to use Natural gas fleet instead of Diesel fuel fleet on their planned Little Village Mayonnaise Factory expansion.
So if you're down for youth justice, open space, urban farming, public transit, clean air, and safe drinking water, and if you are against police brutality, xenophobia, homophobia, environmental racism, and climate change. I'm asking you join me and help me raise money for Environmental Justice! Your monetary encouragement will make the experience that much better. I'm running a combine total of 39.1 miles (Orale!), with pace goal of 9:45 minutes/mile (double Orale!!), all in the name of mother earth. So if you find pennies and loose change or skip a couple of drinks rounds at Caminos -- send those $39 (or any amount really) our way. It would be a cool Birthday Present too! :P Follow the link below if you’re up for it.
Also, Keep the afternoon of Sept 18 open. Details TBA!
#EquipoColibri #LVEJO2020 #EJ4LV