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#GoodTrouble: Running the Selma to Montgomery Relay

ROI Solutions | Good Trouble: Running the Selma to Montgomery Relay

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair.  Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.  Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” 

Rep. John Lewis, from a tweet in June 2018

ROI Solutions is always looking for ways to get into ‘Good Trouble,” to use the term coined by the late Rep. John Lewis, a civil and voting rights icon.  With the Selma to Montgomery Relay on March 16, which traces a 51-mile route between the two cities in Alabama, Gina VanderLoop, Wendy Fox, Nonie Meyer, a few friends of ROI Solutions, and I have found the perfect opportunity.

The relay starts in Selma, Alabama, with a crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge (named after a Confederate Brigadier General; there are ongoing efforts to re-name it), the site of the brutal Bloody Sunday beatings of civil rights marchers during the march for voting rights on March 7, 1965.  The relay route essentially retraces the marchers’ path in the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Each team member will run a leg of 3-8.6 miles each, with the rest of the team following in a van to meet the runner at the next exchange point.

“See the route on Map My Run by going to Selma-Montgomery.”

This is a nostalgic trip for me. Rep. John Lewis has been one of my heroes since childhood.  I’ve always been deeply interested in the civil rights movement. I had the pleasure of interviewing Rep. Lewis in 1996 (see picture) and traveled to Selma and Montgomery in 1997 as a part of my undergraduate studies in voting rights. After Lewis died in 2020, I was inspired to get my “Good Trouble” tattoos (see picture). I’m honored to be the first runner from our team on the relay, which means I’ll cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  

For Nonie Meyer, Senior Technical Project Manager, “This is an opportunity to run through an area filled with history, where Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders and activists walked. I grew up in the Midwest, where everything about slavery and civil rights was taught as if all of those events took place long ago in some place far away. The reality is that it was only a couple of decades and states away. I learned so much researching this event and why this particular area is so important.”

As we celebrate ROI Solutions’ 25th anniversary, the entire relay team is excited to combine our love of running, teamwork, and powerful civil rights history with the chance to celebrate the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of our world-changing clients.  The relay serves as a way to honor the work of the brave foot soldiers from 1965, those still involved in the fight, and a reminder that we must be vigilant against ongoing threats to the right to vote. 

To learn more about the relay and route,

To learn more about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s work,

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