Soundview Park to Host Race for Re-Entry

Soundview Park will be home to the Race for Re-Entry on Sunday, April 23.
Photo Courtesy of Race for Re-Entry

Soundview Park will be home to both community service and fitness on Sunday, April 23.

The Race for Re-Entry, which will take start in the park at 10 a.m., will raise awareness for former prisoners looking to reintegrate into society and promote a healthier lifestyle.

The 5K walk/run/bike will begin at the intersection of Lafayette and Morrison avenues, at the northern end of the park, and end at the FDNY/EMS station at 1689 Story Avenue.

The Race for Re-Entry, which is coordinated by a non-profit group of the same name, culminates a week’s worth of events geared towards making it easier for former prisoners to reintegrate back into their neighborhoods.

According to a press release from the non-profit, Race for Re-Entry is praising the recent attention surrounding the Raise the Age legislation, the Netflix series on Kalief Browder and Mayor de Blasio’s decision to close Rikers island.

However they believe “there is still ample opportunity to affect change in our communities.”

The week of events, which began on Monday, April 17, included a program called Community Conversations in which local NYPD officers sit and talk with recently-released prisoners.

Officers heard the difficulties citizens face when reentering the community and those citizens were able to hear the difficulties officers face in understanding and policing their neighborhoods.

Community Conversations also took place on Wednesday, April 19.

The week also included small fitness camps fromMonday, April 17 to Thursday, April 20.

On Friday, April 21 from 3 to 8 p.m., Race for Re-Entry will host a program called the Hangout.

There, youth ages 10 to 17 – who have either been in the juvenile justice system or have a parent who is incarcerated – will be exposed to resources and entertainment that can help them better deal with their situation.

Officers from the 43rd Precinct and members of the Soundview community will participate in a community basketball game on Saturday, April 22.

“The Race for Re-Entry is so important because it serves as the nexus of families and individuals impacted by incarceration in communities where health and social disparities exist,” said Jen Lackard, executive director for the Race for Re-entry.

William Rivera, district manager of Community Board 9, said he was happy the board could team up with Race for Re-Entry on the event.

“We’re excited to partner up with Jen and have this in our district,” said Rivera. “We feel that more resources and attention need to be given to people who did their time and want to get acclimated back into society – whether it’s job training or knowing their rights, whatever it may be.”

On Sunday after the race – which takes place from 10 a.m. to noon – the Story Avenue FDNY/EMS Station will host a mobile training academy for anyone interested in becoming a firefighter.

Finally, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the YMCA on Castle Hill Avenue there will be a Re-Entry Resource Fair.

There, re-entering community members will have access to information on potential employment, housing, health resources and financial resources.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at

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