How Races for Peace Came to Be

The night of June 17, 2015 I along with countless others were absolutely shocked at the news of the massacre that killed nine innocent worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Now, I’d been shocked at mass shootings before; but somehow this one was different.  This one sunk in deep.  And although I had no direct connections to anyone who lost their lives; I found myself in mourning for what events like this are doing to families, communities, our country, and our world.  I wondered how someone so young had learned to hate so much so that he thought killing was the right choice to make.  I came to the conclusion that his life was lost as well.

If you were like me, you felt this too.  Only this time, I was not content just to be sad for the victims.  This time, I HAD TO DO SOMETHING!  And that is when the idea to start Races for Peace came to me.  I, along with trusted friends, started a nonprofit dedicated to promoting peace as a way to connect with you and others like us who still believe that peace is more powerful than hate.

What Races for Peace is About
Races for Peace offers a way we can send a counter message to the teachings of hate.  It gives all of us who have mourned the loss of innocent lives and have been shocked at the hatred and violence that regularly makes headlines a way to make a difference.  It provides opportunities to come together in community race events to demonstrate our collective desire for peace.  It raises funds to support programs and services that promote peace, teach tolerance, and assist victims of violence and hate crimes.  It is a way for you and I and everyone to do something more than mourn.

You can DO SOMETHING right now! 

Here’s What You Can Do To Help Now
YOU CAN DONATE – We need money for our mission to reach as many people as possible and to make a difference.  Races for Peace is an official 501c3 charitable nonprofit organization.  All donations are fully tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.   Any amount you provide will have a purpose and will be used to promote peace.  Here are some ways you can help today:

  • Can you live without one cup of gourmet coffee each month?  Consider a $5 donation that recurs monthly.
  • Can’t join us for an event?  Consider making a one-time donation of $25-$50 and support a student racer.
  • Want to help fund an educational presentation?  Consider a donation of $100 to spread the message of peace.
  • Want to sponsor an event?  Consider a donation of $250 or more and have your name, team, or organization recognized at our events and online.

YOU CAN VOLUNTEER – Have you ever thought of yourself as a peacemaker?  If so, volunteer as a member of our Peace Squad!  You can help us organize and conduct race events, rally community support and sponsorship, lead a race team, or support us in other ways.  Join the Peace Squad today! 

YOU CAN SHOP – Races for Peace has an online shop where every purchase makes a difference in supporting our charitable giving, race events and operations.  You’ll find several great products for you or the favorite peacemakers in your life.  Items like t-shirts, water bottles, coffee mugs, and even golf balls are all available!  Start shopping for great gifts today!

YOU CAN SPREAD THE WORD – Let the world know you are committed to promoting peace and respecting others.  Help us get the word out about our work and how people like you are helping us make a difference.  Follow us and spread the word!  

YOU CAN RACE– Stay connected to learn about our races and join us!  If you can’t join us at one of our events, create your own Races for Peace team and raise money for our organization by participating in a local race event!  For information about establishing your Races for Peace team for your favorite local race, contact us by email at

The Bottom Line 

The bottom line is we cannot do any of this work without you!  We think peace is a conscious choice.  Every man, woman, and child can choose peace regardless of race, religion, self-identity, or gender.  We ALL benefit from the power of peace and we need your support to get our message out.

 Thank you for taking the time to read about Races for Peace, why I thought it was so important to start it, what the organization plans to do, and how you can help.  I choose peace.  Will you?

Peace to You Now and Always,

Leigh Giles-Brown

President and Founder

Races for Peace, Inc.


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