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Eugene Marathon and PeaceHealth host Strides for Social Justice guided tours on the University of Oregon campus

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Participants begin a guided Strides for Social Justice tour in February 2022

All are welcome at this free Black History Month event

EUGENE, Ore. – In recognition of Black History Month, Eugene Marathon and PeaceHealth will host two guided Strides for Social Justice tours on the University of Oregon (UO) campus.

The free event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Hayward Field tower (1580 E. 15th Ave.)

Free coffee and Strides for Social Justice T-shirts will be available while supplies last.

 Denise Thomas, UO alumna and founder of Healthy Moves, will lead the group in stretches. Then participants will choose their route and activity level:

  • Walk the UO Academics and Student Life route (2 miles)
  • Run the UO Athletics route (roughly a 5K)

Each route in the free Strides for Social Justice app is focused on firsts by Black UO students, coaches, faculty and staff. Participants will explore the UO campus to learn about these extraordinary individuals who fought for justice, broke barriers and opened doors for so many others.

The athletics route, which starts at Hayward Field, introduces generations of students, from Bobby Robinson and Charles Williams, UO’s first Black athletes in 1927, to Sydney Lawrence, who became the university’s first Black women’s lacrosse player in 2019.

The academic and student life route begins and ends at the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center, which bears the name of a civil rights activist, UO alumna and former UO student advisor.

Participants will meet a range of trailblazers, including Wiley Griffon, the university’s first Black employee, who worked as a janitor at Friendly Hall in the late 1890s; Mabel Byrd, the first Black person to enroll at UO in 1917; and Nellie Louise Franklin, the first Black woman to graduate from the university in 1932.

In a reflection at the end of each route in the Strides for Social Justice app, Yvette Alex-Assensoh, UO vice president for equity and inclusion, prompts participants to contemplate the steps we can take in our own lives to advance social justice.

PeaceHealth launched Strides for Social Justice two years ago in collaboration with Eugene Marathon and a community steering committee, which includes Thomas, Alex-Assensoh and other local Black leaders and educators.

For more information, please visit the Strides for Social Justice website.

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