Age 43 , Illinois
Ricky Byrdsong was murdered as he was jogging near his Skokie, Illinois home during a hate-filled shooting spree by a neo-Nazi who was a member of the white supremacist group Creativity Movement. Ricky’s daughter, Kelley, was only 10 years old when she lost her father.
Kelley Byrdsong says that while many people focus on race relations and access to guns, she thinks about something her mom said: this wasn’t a gun problem, it was a heart problem. Kelley feels that we’ve come a long way and that people have learned and grown by understanding her dad’s legacy. To see thousands of people at The Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate each year demonstrates that what we stand for, and the ways in which we’re alike, outweigh our differences.