Juneteenth Challenge

Jun 23, 2020


Thanks to the nearly 7500 people who participated in our first Juneteenth Challenge on June 19! You helped raise $33,616 for three not-for-profit organizations working to end systemic racism and inequality.

It was great to see the participation level increase throughout the day. The challenge was to complete at least 1900 meters on the RowErg, the SkiErg or 3800m on the BikeErg. For those who completed the challenge, Concept2 donated an additional $2 per person to the $19,000 that had already been committed to be split between the following not-for-profit organizations:

Equal Justice Initiative
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Project Reach

We heard from many athletes about the different ways they completed their meters. Linda Muri, who coaches athletes through Rocket Science Rowing, added the 1900m workout to her daily coached session. “We did the 1900m silently. Usually I’m talking and coaching throughout a workout. It made it very powerful as I reflected on the importance of this day. It's not much in the big picture, but if it creates some dialog and desire for education about race and racism, that's a win in my book.”

Teammate Margie Elsberg, age 77, joined specifically for the Juneteenth Challenge workout. “The Concept2 donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Project Reach are real and wonderful, and the history lesson is even more fascinating.”

Here in Vermont, sculler Kelsey Berkland took to the water for the 1900m. “We paused after the distance to discuss and reflect. We acknowledged the privilege we have as athletes and appreciated this moment to consider the broader context of racism and freedom.”

Racial equality won’t happen in one defining moment, but in many moments over the course of days, weeks and years. For us, this challenge represents just one moment of support, in a continuing effort to stem the tide, and hopefully end the tide, of racial inequality in our world.

We thank you all.

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