On Saturday, Oct. 20, grassroots organizers Diamond Minds and locally based record label Futuristic Music Group are hosting the third annual San Diego Hip-Hop 5K.
Launched in 2015, the 3.1-mile walk/run is an effort to get members of the city's 4th District (which encompasses several southeastern San Diego neighborhoods such as Encanto, Paradise Hills, Rolando Park, Emerald Hills, Skyline, Chollas View, Oak Park and more) active and moving.
Organizers have a goal of signing up at least 1,000 participants. And while it's a race, with medals for first-, second- and third-place finishers, it's also an exercise in community-building with hopes of raising physical and mental health awareness -- particularly for people of color.
The event starts at 7 a.m. at the Educational Cultural Complex (4343 Ocean View Blvd.) and will feature not only the run itself but also a rock-climbing wall, face-painting activities, CPR first aid training, free screenings for hypertension and high cholesterol, and a special performance from Bay Area rap legend Mistah Fab.
It's a day devoted to health and wellness using hip-hop as a vehicle to unite people in a way that -- according to the group's online mission statement -- aims to "provide a fun and entertaining cultural experience designed to inspire San Diego residents of all generations to live a lifestyle of fitness."
With access to resources, especially as it relates to health care, often shuffled to the margins in underserved areas, the San Diego Hip-Hop 5K is a homegrown push to change that.
Entry forms are still available, $25 for adults and $20 for participants 13 to 17 years of age. Register here.
J. Smith, aka 10-19, is a San Diego native, rap fan and San Diego Music Award-winning musician. You can follow him on Instagram at 10-19_the_numberman or on Twitter.