James Ravenell is a technologist, entrepreneur, and endurance athlete originally from Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY. A natural Connector, he builds community through fitness and sport. He is the creator and cofounder of Black Runners Connection; a non-profit organization with a mission to increase the number of everyday Black athletes in distance running and the endurance world through education and access.
Black Runners Connection grew from a small Facebook group in 2014 into nearly 9000 members worldwide. The grassroots culture provides support, education, inspiration, and daily motivation of runners at all skill levels. In 2022 Black Runners Connection entered a partnership with IRONMAN Foundation’s Race for Change to help diversify Triathlon. In the first year the program will send 30 endurance athletes to IRONMAN races to participate and Swim, Bike and Run relay teams.
As an agent for change, James has been sought to participate in stories on the Black experience while running in The New York Times, NPR, The Undefeated and Vox. He also lends his opinion to podcasts on all things running.
James is a 12-time marathoner including completing 4 World Major Marathons: NYC Marathon x4, Chicago Marathon x3, London Marathon x1, and Berlin Marathon x1. He travels all over the United States and beyond spreading the importance of movement, and health benefits of running to Black people who are underrepresented in the sport.
In his personal life James is a father to two amazing children: Ryan and Madison. He’s been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc since 1995 via Eta Chapter and Alpha Gamma Lambda Chapter. He has been a Freemason since 2009; currently serving his second tenure as Master of Antioch Lodge #66, Prince Hall NY. He enjoys mentoring young men and women and has served as a Public Speaking and Oratorical Contest coach to his Alpha Chapter’s Young Achievers Program for more than 15 years. A lifelong learner and lover of the Arts, James is also a Spoken Word artist and professional photographer, having been a concert and events photographer for nearly 20 years. He is learning Bass Guitar and has a budding music group with children called “Really Bad Band!”
James is dedicated to self-improvement for himself, family, and friends. He always does his best to support others needing to start their journeys to become better versions of themselves and extends this to the communities he serves.