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Until we all run on equal ground

A group of racially diverse high school runners run together on an indoor track

Our goal is to bring people from all walks of life into the run. No matter your race, gender, sexuality, or ability — running should be for you.

The path to diversity, equity, and inclusion in running and in our business is not an easy one, but we’re committed to putting in the work.

Making a difference

We champion a number of initiatives that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2019, Brooks signed Camber Outdoor’s CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge. With this signing, we committed to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity at an industry level in collaboration with other likeminded, active-outdoor companies. In addition, internal policy changes in that same year led to Brooks receiving a 100 out of 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

One image shows members of a Brooks Booster Club running with a Brooks coach and a second image shows members of a Frontrunners club posing for a selfie.

Other initiatives include our Brooks Booster Club, which provides performance running footwear, apparel, and funding to under-resourced and under-represented cross country and track teams. We also partner with Frontrunners, a running club that promotes inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community by providing grants to chapters across the country.

There are many other examples of how we’re working to make a difference for marginalized communities. These efforts are a big part of who we are, but 2020 brought renewed and vital attention to the work we need to do to make running and our society as a whole inclusive, equitable and just.

Reflection, then action

As the world battled COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, injustice facing Black Americans in the U.S. was thrust into our collective consciousness with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others. These killings inspired protests and difficult conversations about race around the country and pressed us to examine what we were doing to support Black Americans.

One small action we took to recognize the injustice facing Black Americans was to leverage Global Running Day. The annual event, which typically takes place on the first Wednesday in June, is meant to inspire people from around the world to get out and go for a run.

A group of young Black runners smile and pose for the camera.

We pledged $1 for each runner who signed up to run with us on Global Running Day, and this cooperative effort led to Brooks Running donating $250,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative. We chose to partner with the EJI because the organization is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Our partnership with EJI on Global Running Day in 2020 is only one small step to making running a more inclusive sport. If we want to get to a place where we are all running on equal ground, it’s going to take tough conversations and hard work. We will continue to learn, listen, and lead on this journey to make running, and our society, more inclusive.