A dozen outstanding Quad Citizens will be honored as part of the YWCA Quad Cities 3rd-annual Race Against Racism on May 22, presented by IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union.

YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism Racing on May 22nd

The 3rd-annual YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism will be Saturday, May 22.

A special recognition ceremony will be held at the post-race party at Lindsay Park Yacht Club, Village of East Davenport. The race started in 2019, featuring a 5k run/walk and a 1-mile fun-run; however, the most important part of this event is honoring individuals who are standing firmly and intentionally against racism and doing this through their words, choices and actions, according to a Tuesday YWCA release.

“At YWCA Quad Cities, we are doing the work of justice every day,”

President/CEO Julie Larson said. “We turn on the lights and open the doors to answer the cry for justice – every day, we get up and do the work.”

Unfortunately, in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this event was shifted to virtual and a special recognition ceremony was not possible. The recognition ceremony is open to the public and will be held following the Race Against Racism, at approximately 10:15 a.m.


“As many find a reason to divide over differences, we at YWCA Quad Cities are striving to stand together and support those who need it the most,” the group said in its release. “Race Against Racism is the opportunity for the community to come together and recognize these

YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism Racing on May 22nd

Michael Guster, president of the Davenport NAACP, is one of the 12 Race Against Racism honorees.

exceptional people.

“Nominations have been accepted over the last several months for individuals in the Quad-Cities community who are making an impact against racism in our community,” the nonprofit said.

The 2021 Race Against Racism honorees are:

  • Deacon Michael Guster | Retired from Federal Service (and Davenport NAACP President)
  • Brittany Bellows | VP Financial Reporting Manager, QCR Holdings
  • Holly Sparkman | Director of Communications, Rock Island-Milan School District
  • Aaron Howard | Owner, Howard Health Quarters (Registered Nurse, Film Producer, Yoga Instructor)
  • Leslie Klipsch | Author of Mama Bear’s Manifesto: A Mom’s Group Guide to Saving the World
  • Kristin Allen | Principal, Washington Jr. High School, Rock Island
  • Tracy Singleton | Executive Director, The Lincoln Center and Founder, Well Suited
  • Thurgood Brooks | Family Advocate with the Family Advocacy Center, MLK Center
  • Eric Puryear | Attorney at Law, Puryear Law PC
  • Kimberly Gardner | General Music Teacher, Rock Island Milan School District
  • Tonya Martinez | Assistant Principal, Washington Junior High School, Rock Island
  • Toyosi “Timi” Olutade, Chief Medical Officer | UnityPoint Health-Trinity
YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism Racing on May 22nd

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (center) with YWCA Q-C president/CEO Julie Larson (left) and Deanna Woodall, vice president of development and growth.

The YWCA Quad Cities race is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, with a start time of 9 a.m. There will be a 5k run, a 5k walk and a 1-mile fun-run available and registration is still open. The race course, completely flat and along the bike bath on the Mississippi River, is out and back, starting and finishing at Lindsay Park Yacht Club.

To register, please visit  https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=MTYxMDM5NzYzMTgzMDKbkWT8IySHvPPT, or call Deanna Woodall at 563-340-0310 or email dwoodall@qcywca.org. Day-of registration will be available for all events.

YWCA Quad Cities works to eliminate racism and empower women. “We will get up and do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls and people of color the way we do: EQUAL. POWERFUL. UNSTOPPABLE,” the Tuesday release said.

For more information, visit https://ywcaqc.org/.

YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism Racing on May 22nd
Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.
YWCA Quad Cities Race Against Racism Racing on May 22nd

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