Sports Backers Blog

'Run Richmond 16.19,' in Partnership with Djimon Hounsou Foundation, Set for Sept. 17 in Richmond

Newly-created cultural running event is partnership between Djimon Hounsou Foundation, Sports Backers, and multiple local organizations

Richmond, VA – The DJIMON HOUNSOU FOUNDATION invites you to participate in RUN RICHMOND 16.19 on September 17, 2022. Hosted in Richmond, Virginia, this cultural running event commemorates the achievements and sacrifices our African American brothers and sisters have made for our nation and celebrates Unity in Diversity through symbolic courses of 16.19 kilometers, and 6.19 miles. Registration for the event is open and available at

This event will take participants and spectators on a meaningful journey encompassing over 400 years of Black History. According to Dr. Monroe Harris, Jr., Chairman of the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, “Virginia, and more specifically, Richmond, completely exemplifies American history and Black history from the very beginning with the arrival of the first Africans in 1619 to the recent events such as the Black Lives Matter movement and removal of the Confederate monuments.”

Djimon Hounsou poses for a photo wearing a race bib for Run Richmond 16.19

Djimon Hounsou, actor and humanitarian

Local Organizations Partner with Djimon Hounsou Foundation

Run Richmond 16.19 is organized by the Djimon Hounsou Foundation, the charity of the two-time Academy Award-nominated actor and humanitarian of the same name, in close collaboration with Richmond-based events management nonprofit Sports Backers, the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, which is celebrating its 40-year anniversary, Visit Richmond, VA, BLK RVA and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Djimon Hounsou, who famously starred in the socially-conscious movies Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, and Ed Zwick’s Blood Diamond, explains what compelled him to set up his own nonprofit (in 2019):  “I felt this compelling need, this inherent obligation to give back to my continent, to my people, and to champion the idea of reconciliation and reconnection.”

First Event in the Africa Reconnect Event Series

In this spirit, RUN RICHMOND 16.19 will become the first event of the AFRICA RECONNECT Event Series that the Djimon Hounsou Foundation plans to roll out in Richmond (Virginia), Liverpool (UK) and Ouidah (West Africa) from this year onwards.

Each of these three cities played a major role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and is home to an identical copy of the Reconciliation Statue, a 12-foot tall bronze sculpture by Liverpool-based artist Stephen Broadbent which represents an apology for the horrors of slavery and a powerful symbol for solidarity. When connected through straight lines these monuments not only form the Transatlantic Slave Triangle but also the Triangle of Hope. Their inscription perfectly sums up the intentions for our event: “Acknowledge and forgive the past. Embrace the present. Shape a future of reconciliation and justice.”

A group of people running in front of Richmond's Emancipation and Freedom Monument

Richmond’s Emancipation and Freedom Monument

Run Richmond 16.19 is endorsed by the City of Richmond. Mayor Levar Stoney, who plans to participate in the event together with Djimon Hounsou, states, “I’ll look forward to running 6.19 miles to support this great and meaningful effort and welcome everyone to join me.”

Jon Lugbill, Executive Director of Sports Backers, the local event nonprofit with 30 years of experience organizing large-scale running events in the Richmond area, adds: “We are thrilled to partner with Run Richmond 16.19 and celebrate Black History together. This is just a great opportunity for us to do what we do best and that’s to come together as a community.”

This event is supported by a growing list of local and regional grassroots organizations including the following groups:

Registration for Run Richmond 16.19 is open and available at the event website, Event details, course maps, and schedules can also be found on the event website.


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