GirlTrek, the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. With nearly 100,000 neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities. As women organize walking teams, they mobilize community members to support monthly advocacy efforts and lead a civil rights-inspired health movement.
Beyond walking, GirlTrek’s active members support local and national policy to increase physical activity through walking, improve access to safe places to walk, protect and reclaim green spaces, and improve the walkability and built environments of 50 high-need communities across the United States.
With Partnership for a Healthier America, The Centers for Disease Control, Stanford Prevention Research Center, The American Council on Exercise, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and The Sierra Club, GirlTrek has developed a world-class training for African-American women to serve as health professionals in the areas of fitness, mental health, nutrition, and environmental stewardship. GirlTrek’s mission is to inspire one million African-American women and girls to develop a daily habit of walking.
We are rowdy students with bullhorns on campus. We are prayer warriors in basements of sanctuaries. We are sultry-spoken word artists in Philly. Some of us are celebrities. Some are hustlers. All of us are worthy of lacing up, starting fresh, and making self-care our mission.
We walk for healing - in our neighborhoods, local parks, and on beautiful trails. Joining GirlTrek's service corps is easy as 1-2-3. First step - walk this Saturday and every Saturday. Use #GirlTrek for the 9am roll call. Second step - compete in fun monthly challenges to build a habit of daily exercise and to get others in your life moving by organizing a trek team! Third and final step - tell somebody! We can't get to a million without you.
This is not a fitness organization, this is a campaign for healing. This is not recreation. This is a lifestyle. We walk to heal our bodies, inspire our families, and to reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods. We believe in the discipline and power of walking to transform our lives, enliven our communities, and restore our humanity.
We go hard like Harriet! From Harriet Tubman to the Montgomery Bus boycotters, one thing is certain; when black women walk, things change. GirlTrek is an army of street soldiers who are committed to honoring the sacrifices of the women who came before. We do this by living our healthiest, most fulfilled lives.
82% of us are over a healthy weight. We carry the weight of the world. You already know. We die younger and at higher rates than any other group of women in this country from preventable disease. We can change that. We will change that. We've come too far. This crisis ain't nothing compared to the road we've traveled. Each day we walk away from traumas of chronic stress, generational poverty, addiction, unemployment, failing schools, mass incarceration. Each day we walk in the direction of our healthiest, most fulfilled lives. We are worth it. We love life.
Number of women who have
taken the GirlTrek pledge
Number of women who
we will inspire to take
the GirlTrek pledge by 2018
Takeover Cities by 2018
Number of Teams
of Lives Changed!
(% of Trekkers to Form a Habit of
Daily Physical Activity with
4+ Weeks of Perfect Walking Streaks!)
Trekkers Hitting the Streets
This Past #SuperHeroSaturday
With Chronic Disease
In 2012, Teach for America Awarded GirlTrek The Social Innovation Award. GirlTrek founders have been named among the top 1% of social innovators in the world by industry-leading funders like Echoing Green (2013), Arbor Brothers (2013) Ashoka (2014) and New Profit (2015). GirlTrek is currently supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Vanessa did a recent interview with an amazing urban media outlet called SoulKisses. Her interview answers many of our most frequently asked questions.