(WGHP) — Feb. 23 marked two years since Ahmaud Arbery was chased and gunned down while running through a Georgia neighborhood.

His murder opened a lot of wounds for Black people around the country, including right here in the Piedmont Triad. It also opened up conversations in the running community.

“It shouldn’t even be an issue,” Terrence Floyd said. “I should be able to run by myself in the neighborhood.”

Floyd is part of a workout group we’ve told you about here on FOX8 called F3. Over the last two years, they’ve talked openly about race and ways to create unity.

“We work out in parks, neighborhoods, at schools, and we’re running around,” he said. “So you can see three or four Black men running by your house at 6 in the morning. That shouldn’t cause alarm for you to grab your gun and it turn into a violent situation.”

He participated in “A Mile for Maud,” a walk-run through downtown Greensboro to honor the life of Ahmaud Arbery. It was organized by Fleet Feet Greensboro High Point.

“We wanted to have an event that is a memorial to Ahmaud but also hopefully a message of unity and hope for a brighter future here in Greensboro,” said Fleet Feet General Manager Joe Randene.

This was Fleet Feet’s second year doing this kind of event.

“But all throughout the year with our local run clubs, we actually have little smaller conversations about social injustices that people of color and the LGBTQ community face on a daily basis,” he said.

Randene says they’ve talked about the differences in the experience for runners.

“I don’t even have a thought in my mind of ‘will I be apprehended by a stranger? will a policeman approach me?’ I just go for my run. But people of color have flat out told me they’ve been frisked out on runs. They’re concerned about being highlighted unfairly, unjustly and kind of pulled to the side just based on their color,” Randene said.

“A Mile for Maud” started outside the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and ended at Green Bean Coffee with a goal of everyone sitting down to talk around a cup of coffee. People who took part wore shirts with “Maud 2.23” on the chest.

“We want our shirts to be conversation starters,” explained Tyrone Irby with Together We Stand.

Irby, who is a runner himself, started Together We Stand in Durham in June of 2020.

“2020 was a tough year for a lot of people of color,” he explained. “There was a lot of anger, a lot of words being said, a lot of things being done. The goal of Together We Stand is to involve everybody into one group and have conversations and build unity.”

He partnered with organizations to put on more than 20 events like this all over the state in the week leading up to the anniversary of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. In addition, they do something called Courageous Conversations.

“All that is is getting about 20 people together and having a topic,” Irby said. “For instance, this month’s topic is the language of racism. The thing about conversations is the smaller they are, the better they are because I think people get more vulnerable when they’re small conversations.”

“Any time you can do something that creates conversation, that’s where it starts,” TFloyd added. “It creates conversation. That conversation creates awareness. Especially when those two individuals come together with questions. And then from the questions, you can start to develop answers, and then that conversation can spread out to the conversation at the dinner table with your kids, at the family gathering.”

Randene says the more we talk, however uncomfortable it may be, the more we’ll understand one another.

You can learn more on the Together We Stand website.