Why is "Pilgrim" Crossed Out?

2021: The Last Pilgrim Run

The Pilgrim Run is changing. This year, we are crossing out the word "Pilgrim" in the name of our 5K fun run. Why?

We wanted to let you know that this is the last year our annual fundraising 5K on Thanksgiving Day will be called the “Pilgrim Run”.

Why have we decided to change it?

The word “pilgrim” has a rich history, meaning an individual who is on a journey toward spiritual enlightenment, one that often takes the form of a physical journey to a holy place. When the Pilgrim Center was incorporated in 1997, one of its founding purposes was to provide the Pilgrim Chapel as a public sanctuary for people of all beliefs or non-beliefs on their journeys toward peace. And so it took its name from the chapel. At the Pilgrim Center, we work to be inclusive, and one of our goals is to advocate for racial and social equity for all persons.

And so, as an organization with a history and mission of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, we no longer feel it is appropriate to produce a “Pilgrim” Run on Thanksgiving Day. Although it was never our intention to do so, we recognize and accept ownership that when we celebrate “pilgrims” on Thanksgiving, we are perpetuating a holiday mythology that is disrespectful of and ignorant to the suffering caused by America’s systemic oppression of indigenous people. It is important to us to acknowledge this as well as take action toward changing the name of the event.

 

So what is the new name?

Over the next few months, we look forward to inviting you, representatives of our local tribes, and the rest of our community, to engage in conversations about how we came to this decision and what the new name will be!