Many Black Southern Belles enjoy walking through their neighborhood to get a breath of fresh air or to exercise and keep themselves in shape. Some may travel through a hiking trail to enjoy the scenery while others catch up on their missed podcast during their stroll through the neighborhood. Either way, walking has become an activity one can do with friends or alone and still reap positive benefits. An organization that has quickly understood the power of walking and improving health and self-care is GirlTrek.
Co-Founded by T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison
Ms. T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison are friends from college, active members of the community, and self-care junkies who came together to create a place where health and self care were valued and encouraged. Thought of in 1996 by two friends in Los Angeles, CA, these African American “Health Heros” hit the ground running in 2010 where the GirlTrek Movement was born. As active educators, career women, and advocates for social injustices they are actively using GirlTrek’s platform to convey their message of walking as a healing tradition while spreading information on African American culture and heritage.
One of the largest health movements and nonprofit for Black women and girls
As an organization that walks for healing, many women have become attracted to GirlTrek causes and have joined the movement. With 870,000 members and counting, GirlTrek is close to meeting their goal of pledging and inspiring one million women to walk in the direction of a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle. GirlTrek has gained so many followers and stands out among many other nonprofit organizations that support walking because of their Black History Bootcamp.
GirlTrek Black History Bootcamp
With 21 days dedicated to walking, mediation, and Black History, GirlTrek Prayer Edition Black History Bootcamp has been the healing many needed for the month of October. Since October 1st, GirlTrek members and women who wanted to gain assistance in overcoming triumphs and challenges have come together to participate. Co-lead by various faith leaders and celebrities like Oprah Winfery, Reverend Reginald Bachus, and Dr. Chirstina Edmondson, members were provided with uplifting affirmations, dedicated prayers, and inspirational words. Members from all ages, race, and gender were able to join across the world for this virtual walk and talk that were held every weekday at noon. As the third and final part of GirlTrek’s most popular walking campaign to date, the walk is expected to be pivotal. With celebration of black culture and influential Black Women such as Nina Simon, Maya Angelou, and Shirley Chisholm, the GirlTrek members are gaining more than a fun filled walk during this Prayers Trek; they are learning, growning, and becoming.
GirlTrek is gaining momentum in the African American community and is providing Southern Belles like ourselves the opportunity to be involved and goal-oriented in our healthy lifestyle change. GirlTrek encourages us to “lace up our sneakers and walk each day as a declaration of self-care, heal our bodies, inspire our daughters, and reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods, and reestablish walking as a healing tradition in Black communities as tribute to those who walked before us.”