When our founder Thaddeus Miles began his running journey in 2014, he noticed that there were no 5K races in Roxbury. He decided to change that.
Roxbury is the heart of Black culture in Boston, and the Road to Wellness is proud to honor this history as we celebrate our community.
The route of the Road to Wellness 5K was drawn specifically to highlight important historical landmarks in the neighborhood. Below are some of the key historical landmarks around the route.
Malcolm X—Ella Little-Collins House
The Malcolm X—Ella Little-Collins House is a historic house at 72 Dale street in Roxbury. Built in 1874, it was for many years home to Ella Little-Collins, a prominent local civil rights activist, and was home to her younger brother Malcolm X during his later teenage years.
National Center of Afro-American Artists
The National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAA) is located at 300 Walnut Street.
Housed since 1980 in the historic Abbotsford Estate in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, NCAAA has provided a continual platform for established, new, and underrepresented artists of the African diaspora, harnessing the power of art to bring people together, catalyze movements and address issues of social justice race and power.
In addition to presenting critically acclaimed exhibitions and serving as a cultural and academic repository, NCAAA houses a collection of over 3,000 objects and its music division produces and performs its distinctive Black Nativity as written by Langston Hughes. Over fifty years, Black Nativity has become a cherished Boston tradition.
John A. Shelburne Rec. Center
The John A. Shelburne Center is located at 2700 Washington Street.
John A. Shelburne worked as a boys’ social worker in the community for thirty years at the Robert Gould Shaw House, a local settlement house and community center named after the commanding officer of the all-Black Civil War regiment. The recreation center was named in his honor late in his prolific career.
Melnea A. Cass Rec Complex
The Melnea A. Cass Recreation Complex is located at 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Melnea Agnes Jones Cass, the “First Lady of Roxbury,” was a nationally known African American community leader, civil rights activist and advocate, problem-solver, wife, mother, and grandmother. In 1920, following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, she organized a group of African American women in the community to register and cast their first votes.
From 1962 to 1964, she served as President of the NAACP’s Boston branch and protested the Boston Public School Committee’s policy of segregation.
Her life motto was: “If we cannot do great things, we can do small things in a great way.”
The Dimock Center
Founded in 1862 by Dr. Marie Zakrzewska as the New England Hospital for Women and Children, The Dimock Center sits on 9 acres at 55 Dimock Street. At the time of its founding, it was the second hospital in the country built by women, for women. All of the physicians on staff were women.
The New England Hospital was also home to the country’s first nursing school. In 1873, Linda Richards became the first nurse professionally trained in the U.S., and in 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney became the first African American nurse to be professionally trained in the U.S.
The Dimock Center now serves 19,000 residents in Roxbury and beyond, providing high-quality, affordable health care, early education, substance use recovery services, and more.
Fort Hill Tower
The Fort Hill Tower is an iconic feature of the Fort Hill neighborhood of Roxbury. Located at the top of of the historic Highland Park, the location of a strategic fort during the American Revolution, it provides a stunning view of Roxbury.