May 20, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
A number of Queens-based running groups will be coming together in Sunnyside Saturday to host a 3-mile run to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The run will begins at noon at Bliss Plaza (46th Street/Queens Boulevard) and will end at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights. The participants will run along 39th and 34th Avenues– both “Open Streets”—to avoid vehicular traffic. There will also be a walk that attendees can join.
The event is being put together by the Queens Running Collective, an organization that represents six different running groups. The collective aims to raise funds and awareness for different causes.
The collective was formed last year as a means to provide relief to those impacted by the pandemic.
However, it has since evolved to promote social justice and equality issues. The collective includes members from the Queens Distance Runners, We Run Hollis, Run Hustle Run, Team WEPA NYC, World’s Fair Run Crew and Woodside-Sunnyside Runners.
Jason Molina, an organizer and member of the Woodside-Sunnyside Runners, said the collective will stand together Saturday to denounce the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. However, he said, the run also aims to be celebrate Asian heritage.
“We’re not necessarily coming together as a protest per se, we’re coming together to celebrate [AAPI Heritage Month],” said Molina.
The sign-up fee is $12, and registration comes with a pair of Queens Running Collective sunglasses.
The event proceeds will benefit a number of Jackson Heights business owners whose storefronts were damaged in a fire March 4. The blaze, which started at 37-54 74th St., tore through six stores. There were no injuries.
The funds will be added to what has been raised on a GoFundMe page created March 14, which has brought in $14,500. That page has raised $14,427 towards its $50,000 goal.
After the run, there will be a discussion on AAPI history and activism in the community.
Among the confirmed speakers are Julie Won, a candidate for city council in District 26, Paz Tanjuaquio, a co-founding director of the performance arts non-profit TOPAZ ARTS as well as Jose Miranda Jr.
Those interested in participating can sign up at qrcaapimonth.eventbrite.com.