EUGENE – Strides for Social Justice, an app developed by PeaceHealth and the Eugene Marathon that features tours through local Black history, has added a fifth route, one that shines a light on a painful and little-known chapter in the history of Eugene and Oregon.

The three-mile-round-trip Skinner Butte begins in downtown Eugene, at 10th Avenue and Oak Street, then heads north to the top of 682-foot-tall Skinner Butte.

Along the way, participants learn about exclusion laws that prohibited Blacks from owning property, residing in or even entering Oregon until 1926; the proliferation of Ku Klux Klan chapters here; and a 1924 Klan parade through downtown Eugene culminating in fireworks and a cross burning atop Skinner Butte that “cast a reddish glow over the town,” according to the daily newspaper report at the time.

“The Skinner Butte route tackles a really difficult topic, but it’s only through awareness, understanding and action that we can build a more inclusive community,” said Eric Richardson, executive director of the NAACP.

The app is a PeaceHealth initiative created in partnership with the Eugene Marathon in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. It is available at both Apple and Google Play app stores.

It also encourages physical activity for people of all abilities and fitness levels while generating financial support of the NAACP and other organizations focused on social justice initiatives. The other four routes are Westmoreland Park, West Eugene, Downtown Eugene and South Eugene. Future routes will include the University of Oregon.

A Spanish version of the app is in development.