The IRONMAN Group and IRONMAN Foundation Rolls Out Community Engagement Efforts for Its “Race for Change” Diversity Initiative at Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship in Tulsa
May 22, 2021
TULSA, Okla. (May 21, 2021) – As part of race week activities for the 2021 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN® North American Championship, The IRONMAN Foundation and The IRONMAN Group held an event today at the W.L. Hutcherson Family YMCA in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to kick off the community engagement portion of its global diversity campaign, Race for Change®.
The Race for Change initiative was launched in 2020 to address barriers that might prevent Black athletes and other diverse groups from participating in triathlons. Through this platform, an initial pledge of $1 million to support programming that will help ensure equity for athletes in the sport of triathlon.
“Since its inception, IRONMAN has represented breaking barriers and redefining what is possible,” said Shane Facteau, COO of The IRONMAN Group and President of the IRONMAN Foundation. “We are inspired by the strength and mission of the Race for Change initiative following our first local event and look forward to empowering the current generation and future generations of Black leaders and athletes in our industry.”
Celebrating the partnerships with the W.L. Hutcherson YMCA as well as with the local Tulsa Boys & Girls Club, representatives from the respective organizations were presented donations in the amount $10,000 USD, free swim lessons and safety curriculum for children attending the local elementary school near the Greenwood District. Additionally, bicycles, helmets as well as bike safety curriculum were donated to Boys & Girls Club of Metro Tulsa for children within the inner-city Tulsa community.
Speakers during the event included Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, representatives from The IRONMAN Group, the IRONMAN Foundation, Black Moon Collective, the local YMCA and Tulsa Boys & Girls Club and professional triathlete and coach Matt Russell.
The groups also participated in efforts to recognize the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre which took place between May 31 and June 1 in 1921. To preserve and inspire achievements while restoring community culture lost, a mural was commissioned through the Race for Change initiative with the theme of “Anything Is Possible!®“. The painting of the mural was created by sisters Elizabeth and Christina Henley along with fellow artist, Melody Allen. All are from Tulsa’s Black Moon Collective. The Collective, composed of local black artists, utilized a wall inside the W.L. Hutcherson branch of the YMCA as their canvas.
In addition, the first one-hundred-yards of the 2021 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship Tulsa run course will adorn inspirational messages that acknowledged the past and pointed to a brighter future together. The stretch of the run course goes through the historic area of Black Wall Street, the heart of where the Tulsa Race Massacre took place in 1921.
The inaugural Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN® North American Championship Tulsa triathlon will take place on Sunday, May 23. For more information on the event, visit www.ironman.com/im-tulsa.For more information about Race for Change visit, www.ironmanfoundation.org/raceforchange/. For more information on the IRONMAN Foundation, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org. For more information on The IRONMAN Group, its brands and global event series, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group. Media related inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the IRONMAN Foundation
The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through giveback programs led by the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 9,500 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series participants are powerfully linked to the community and together help leave a positive legacy behind in race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including Team IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town®, Your Journey Your Cause, Race for Change and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.