GirlTrek in the News: 2016 Headlines

Posted by – December 01, 2016

2016 has been a monumental year for GirlTrek!

GirlTrek has doubled in size since February 2016, and is nearly 80,000 Black women strong. That's nearly 80,000 Black women and girls around the nation who walk daily in local parks, trails, and the streets of their neighborhoods--all the while reclaiming community space.

We've been featured in major national news outlets from online to print, including The New York Times, Ebony, Essence, and even Bossip! The GirlTrek story has been told in regional publications from Oakland to Houston, and Baltimore to New Orleans.

Enjoy this 2016 media roundup of the top GirlTrek stories.

The New York Times: Walking Together for Health and Spirit

Posted by – April 05, 2016

In early 2013, the Rev. Theresa S. Thames stumbled upon a Facebook page titled “GirlTrek: Healthy Black Women and Girls.”

“It saved my life,” she said.

Thames, then 33, was dangerously overweight and fighting depression. She sent the site her contact information and received an email from Vanessa Garrison, co-founder of GirlTrek, an organization that inspires black women to change their lives and communities by walking. Garrison learned that Thames was a pastor and invited her to lead a prayer at an event in Washington commemorating the 100th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s death.

“I was out there leading a prayer for this walking event in my 447-pound body and I felt like a fraud,” said Thames, who is the associate dean of religious life and the chapel at Princeton University. But she also found herself stirred by the spirit of the event.

“It wasn’t about looking good or weight loss or fitting into a certain type of clothing,” she recalled. “It wasn’t, ‘Hey, you fat person, you need to do this or you’re going to die.’ It was, ‘I love you and I want you to love yourself enough to invest in 30 minutes a day, to walk yourself to freedom like Harriet Tubman did.’ And that spoke deeply for me because my life work is showing up for other people, but I wasn’t showing up for myself.”

Next City: Watch - What Happens When 1 Million Black Women Start Walking?

Posted by – March 10, 2016

Read the stats about the health of American black women and things look bleak, but look at people, not just numbers, and another picture emerges — specifically the women at GirlTrek, which is trying to change health outcomes with a simple intervention: walking. The three-year-old nonprofit with chapters in cities including Detroit, Atlanta, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., encourages black women to improve their health starting with weekly group walks and moving to 30 minutes of walking per day, five days a week. Over 50,000 women have signed the pledge; GirlTrek is aiming for 1 million by 2018.