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EUGENE, Ore. – On Feb. 19, Strides for Social Justice – a PeaceHealth initiative developed in partnership with the Eugene Marathon – officially launched during the NAACP’s Annual Freedom Fund Dinner.
“The senseless death of George Floyd was not the first grave injustice Black, Indigenous and People of Color have suffered in our nation. But the world woke up to this pervasive racism,” said Todd Salnas, interim chief executive, PeaceHealth Oregon network. “PeaceHealth’s Values of Respect, Stewardship, Collaboration and Social Justice ground us in all we do to support our community and one another. Over the course of 2020, these values were critical to guiding our work navigating the COVID-19 pandemic as well as racial injustice.”
Strides for Social Justice is designed to be an inclusive, family-friendly app – available on both iOS and Android app stores – that will engage and educate participants on the contributions, achievements and milestones of Black residents within our community.
“When selecting one of the four routes on this free app, users will be guided to various landmarks in Eugene that collectively create a journey that provides a view into local Black history and the powerful influence of Black residents within our community,” said Ian Dobson, Race Director, Eugene Marathon. “The program also aims to encourage physical activity for people of all abilities and fitness levels while generating financial resources in support of the NAACP and other organizations focused on social justice initiatives.”
“Reflections are a deeply engrained tradition at PeaceHealth, and the Strides for Social Justice experience provides moments for pausing and reflecting on the history and how it moved users personally,” added Salnas.
Dobson also noted that, “Work is in progress to develop a Spanish version of the app, and new routes will be introduced in the coming months.”
A Steering Committee comprised of dynamic community members with varied backgrounds were influential in shaping this program. One of its members, Eric Richardson, executive director, Eugene Springfield NAACP, had this to add: “Only by looking back can we move forward. We hope the members of our community take a moment to download this app as it is only through awareness, understanding and action that we can truly be part of the solution. To quote Nelson Mandela: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Together we can stop the cycle of racism, building a more inclusive culture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond,” said Salnas.
For more information, please visit www.stridesforsocialjustice.org.
About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.