Last November, the Boston Athletic Association named its first woman of color to serve on its board of directors. But as you can imagine, Adrienne R. Benton has been involved in the marathon for years.
“One of my goals is to become a better equipped ambassador for the sport of running and to support the elimination of racial disparities and many other disparities within the sport,” said the new member of the Council of governors. said in a press release. “I am very happy to be part of the work that the BAA does.”
Benton started running after a brother completed a 5K in 2014, according to the BAA. Back then, she couldn’t run a mile. Now Benton has completed six marathons, including four Abbott World Marathon Majors, as well as many other shorter races. She was also the finish line announcer for the Boston Marathon, according to the statement.
“I hope that through the Boston Running Collaborative, the BAA can become a catalyst in addressing disparities in Boston’s running community through outreach and collaboration,” she said in the press release. “Specifically, the Boston Running Collaborative seeks to create year-round access to fitness facilities, provide more health and wellness opportunities that benefit the community, and foster the exposure and access to career development in athletics in Boston.”
Benton is also a member of Black Girls Run – Boston and the National Black Marathoners Association, according to the release. She works on health issues affecting black people. Additionally, she serves on the BAA Boston Running Collaborative, which seeks to create a more diverse running community by making the sport more accessible in Boston, especially for communities of color.
Benton founded Onyx Spectrum Technology, which was recognized in 2020 by Competitive Inner City’s Downtown 100, according to the press release.
The company focuses on IT solutions and works with organizations such as Fenway Health, according to Bay State Banner.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Benton was a hospital administrator and took a position at Boston Medical Center. It was a shocking decision for Benton, who had lived in more diverse or predominantly black cities.
“It was very visibly separated. The higher you climbed, the fewer colored people you saw. I’m talking in terms of income,” she told the newspaper.
The Boston Medical Center would become one of its clients at Onyx. The company now has a factory in Lawrence with an assembly area.
Despite the adversity she faces as a black woman, Benton remains positive, according to Color magazine.
“I work for my team members (I don’t like to say employees) and their families who they support,” she told the publication. “I work for our clients. It’s my job to develop an environment where all the parts involved can function at a high level. I like to check in with my team and make them believe I won’t step on their toes.
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