By Staff Writer
Photos by Marlisa Henning
Local nonprofit Fit, Black, and Educated, Inc. (FBE), recently made Juneteenth here in San Diego an historic and health conscious affair. What started off as an idea between FBE co-founder, Mars Herring, and Ervin Summers, FBE’s Civic Engagement Chair, became a reality last Saturday afternoon when the organization held a Juneteenth Celebration Flag Relay throughout the City of San Diego. The relay was held from June 14th to June 19th and culminated at San Diego City Hall, where a representation of the Juneteenth flag was hoisted at San Diego’s City Hall.
“The Juneteenth flag is being raised at San Diego City Hall for the first time. We had a great team to make this happen, including co-founder Stanley Williams, Kendria Houseworth, and Brittany Wright,” Herring said.
Before reaching City Hall, FBE Juneteenth Celebration participants carried the Juneteenth flag throughout the city to historically important places and monuments in San Diego Black History. Sites of special significance to the city’s Black community included the Jackie Robinson YMCA, Malcolm X Library, WorldBeat Cultural Center, African Museum Casa Del Rey Moro, and the “Breaking the Chains” monument.
The event was in keeping with FBE’s stated mission to ‘empower the African Diaspora to be active in creating a healthier future – physically, mentally, and financially.’ Using a combination of bootcamps and educational workshops, the organization partners with fitness professionals, nutritionists, and educators to provide wellness, career, civic, and cultural programs to teach and promote healthy choices and active lifestyles.
Community organizations across San Diego had a presence at the Juneteenth event.
“We are grateful to GirlTrek, Black Men Run San Diego, San Diego Urban League YP, Apex Athletics Academy, Sirius Fitness, Black Gods Lift, I Am, and all military personnel for their fellowship and motivation,” Herring continued.
Numerous City of San Diego officials took FBE’s phone calls and emails, allowing them to bring the event to fruition. San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and her staff championed their push to raise the Juneteenth flag at San Diego City Hall, she said.
“Most importantly, we’d like to extend our gratitude to the San Diego community for supporting our efforts to bring more awareness about Juneteenth to the forefront. We have more work to do, but together we can accomplish anything,” Herring said.
FBE plans to keep the momentum going. They’ve created a run/walk series dedicated to Black History. Their first event of the series is the FBE Juneteenth Celebration Virtual 5K, designed to celebrate Black history, culture, and triumphs. The virtual 5K allows participants to run or walk wherever they choose through August 17th, 2020.
Proceeds will directly support FBE’s efforts to create more programming and events focused on fitness, health and wellness, financial literacy, civic engagement, and Black history for military and civilian families in the San Diego community. For more information about Fit, Black, and Educated, Inc., visit www.fitblackandeducated.org or register online at https://bit.ly/Juneteenth5k.