CARBONDALE (WSIL)-- It was beautiful Saturday morning for the SIU Unity walk/run. The student led organization on campus sponsored the event to raise awareness for social injustice and systematic racism. All proceeds from the event benefited the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois.
Hosted by the SIU football program participants laced up the sneakers with the option to run or walk a 2.23 mile course around Campus Lake ending in front of Saluki Stadium. We saw several familiar faces out supporting wore masks were required to be worn before and after the run and groups of 50 were separated for social distancing. We spoke with several student athletes about the importance of today's event.
"Social injustice has challenged me in the past and a lot of people in my family," said Saluki Unity Chairman Chucky Sullivan. " I feel like it's a right. It's a duty of mine, to fulfill a job to help my fellow student athletes and community."
"It feels good to start something new, but for me, it's always what can I do more?" said SIU Football cornerback Roderick Campbell. "What can we do more as a community, I never want to get complacent. And I don't want the community getting complacent thinking like oh, you know, we have this, you know, unity run and everything solved. No, we still have more work to do, we still have to have those tough conversations, we still have to keep going against the grain and keep fighting."
"We want to become closer as a community, especially in times like these as there's no more importance to show how united we are as a community," said SIU Punter Jack Colquhoun. "And I think you know, with the football team, and all of athletics in general, we can bring everyone together and really create a positive message in the community."
"You don't want to ever look back and think that you wasted the platform that you've been been given," said SIU Football Head Coach Nick Hill. "For whatever reason I've been blessed to have a platform here in this community. And I believe to use your voice, use a voice for someone that doesn't have the platform have the voice that I have. And my message has been clear from the beginning is to be there and to speak up for people that might not. It's that together and unity and diversity is the way because that's the world that we live in. And it's bit to be kind to one another and to be okay with not understanding everything, but having the willingness to learn and listen."
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