Wanda Cooper-Jones is the founder of the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation, as well as the mother of three young adults. She continues to advocate in the wake of her son’s death which occurred on Feb. 23, 2020, due to a racially motivated hate crime while Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in Satilla Shores of Glynn County, Georgia.
The dedicated mom recently partnered with the Atlanta Track Club and adidas to put on the “Run with Maud 5K” event that was held at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. The run-walk race was held on May 6, 2023, and enjoyed a large turnout of people from all over the world.
Cooper-Jones talked about the Atlanta Track Club’s and adidas’ immense support for the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation.
Why did you collaborate with the Atlanta Track Club?
I had a meeting with the president of the Atlanta Track Club back during the early part of the year. I shared with her that I wanted to do something in the city of Atlanta, being that I had just moved here. She picked up my idea, got back to her CEO, and she came back with a date. She said we will announce it on February 23, which I think was a good date because that was the date that Ahmaud was killed. The Atlanta Track Club partnered with us and they didn’t want anything in return. All the monies that were raised came directly to the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation and we also got a partnership with adidas as well, which was very helpful.
How has adidas helped bring awareness to the cause?
We will start back in 2021. The first birthday of Ahmaud, [since his passing], we did a birthday bash for him and we met with some of the leadership team. They sent over like a U-Haul, full of bookbags and water bottles. The support was just huge. Then last year in 2022, they invited me as the founder of the foundation to come in and do a cohort called [adidas] Cultivate & B.L.O.O.M., where we took certain agendas each month on a Zoom call and we provide training to Black entrepreneurs like myself. At the end of the cohort, they flew us out to Portland, [Oregon] and we graduated. They had our pictures up on the big screen there in New York and also in Portland. As I said, not just the things that they’ve given us, but they also offered me training that I can take back to my board of directors as well. Adidas has been a major part of my growth and I appreciate them.