GirlTrek is structured to deliver social impact through service and volunteerism.
Deeply inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, our operational structure uses three key levers: a highly-trained and incredibly talented volunteer corps of 1000 local volunteers, a distinguished board of directors, and a small and smart central leadership team. Our national leadership team includes staff, board members, and city captains.
Morgan is a relentless street-organizer who is deeply inspired by her family and the philosophies of women like Ella Baker and Septima Clark.
Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, Morgan was on the front lines of education reform. She served as director of leadership development for Achievement First, the largest charter school networks in New York City where she trained and supported 23 school principals. Before Achievement First, Morgan directed the development and start-up of six public schools in NYC for St. Hope and the Urban Assembly - two organizations funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Morgan began her career with Teach For America as a high school history teacher in Atlanta, GA, and later served as a vice principal in Newark, NJ.
With GirlTrek, Morgan has been a featured on CNN, in The Washington Post, The New York Times and named a "Health Hero" by Essence Magazine. Morgan has received social innovations fellowships from Teach For America (2012), Echoing Green (2013), Ashoka (2014) and the Aspen Institute (2015). Morgan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education Policy and Leadership at Seton Hall and currently serves on the Boards of Trustees for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Teach for Haiti.Co-Founder & COO
Vanessa Garrison is a passionate advocate of social justice issues and has focused her work on improving health outcomes and quality of life for Black women and girls.
Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, Vanessa worked as a Program Coordinator for Our Place DC, a nonprofit organization that provides services to currently and formerly incarcerated women. Vanessa began her career working in digital media with Turner Broadcasting System. Inc. in Atlanta, GA. where she managed digital media projects for some the world’s most recognizable news and entertainment brands, including, CNN, TNT and Sports Illustrated.
With GirlTrek, Vanessa has been a featured on CNN, in The Washington Post, The New York Times and named a "Health Hero" by Essence Magazine. Vanessa has received social innovations fellowships from Teach For America (2012), Echoing Green (2013), and the Aspen Institute (2015). Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Cultures from the University of California, Los Angeles.Director, Social Impact and Strategic Partnerships
Prior to joining GirlTrek, Carmen served over 10 years in the federal government as an Epidemiologist and Health Scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Division of Diabetes Translation, and Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. While at the CDC, Carmen was responsible for assessing the number of adults who meet federal physical activity guidelines and developing innovative strategies and approaches to reduce obesity, prevent diabetes and heart disease, and increase physical activity rates among U.S. adults and youth. Most recently, Carmen served as Manager of Innovation and Partnerships for the non-profit, research arm of America’s Essential Hospitals where she was responsible for cultivating private and public partnerships to improve population health outcomes of America's most vulnerable populations.
Carmen is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. She received her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and her Masters of Public Health in Physical Activity and Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.Chief of Strategic Expansion .Onika will focus on takeover cities and leveraging the power of GirlTrek's nationally trained organizers to grow the movement to 1 million women by 2018. Onika comes to this role after serving for over a year in a volunteer capacity as a GirlTrek City Captain for New Orleans where she successfully engaged city-leaders, provided targeted support to GirlTrek volunteers, organized the takeover of 8 local parks, and registered a record number of women. Onikais the former Associate Director, Graduate Center and University Summer Programs at Xavier University and the former Executive Director of Youth Run NOLA. Onika is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. National Communications Director jewel bush is an award-winning journalist and communications strategist with 16 years experience. She has a diverse background in organizing and advocacy working with health care and women’s rights organizations as well as labor unions. National Field Director Nicole's background as a public health leader, specifically as a research supervisor at Human Performance and Environmental Laboratory, provides a powerful frame for her leadership of GirlTrek's recruitment, participant screening, data-driven support and impact evaluation. Nicole studied Exercise Science at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and earned a Master of Public Health from George Washington University. Director of Administration
Opa Owiye Johnson joined GirlTrek in 2017 after serving as the Church Mobilization Coordinator for International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. Prior to that, Opa spent much of her career in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser working for organizations such as the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.
Today, she manages a wide range of organizational activities including, fund development and donor engagement, the annual budgeting process, stakeholder communications, and executive support systems.
Opa is originally from Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She resides in the D.C. area with her husband, Timothy. And, serves as a volunteer leader with the Junior League of Northern Virginia and the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.Director of Operations
Prior to joining the GirlTrek Team, Edisha worked with in Connecticut and Washington D.C. in collaboration with advocacy organizations and charter schools that focus on closing the achievement gap between low-income minority students and their wealthier peers. She has been committed to improving education outcomes for children in inner cities throughout the Northeastern parts of the United States. Working in Business Operations Administration roles to support this social justice issue, Edisha is committed to seeking radical change, whether education or healthcare, and serves in the organization’s infrastructure as a pledge to change.
Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Edisha received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut.Board Chair - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Tulaine Montgomery is an accomplished social entrepreneur, educator, community organizer and writer. She has played central leadership roles in the launch and expansion of several schools and non-profit organizations domestically and internationally. Tulaine is currently a Managing Partner at New Profit Inc. a national venture philanthropy fund that provides growth capital grants and strategic support to social entrepreneurs and their organizations. Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Dr. Benjamin served as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. She is currently the Chair of Public Health Sciences at Xavier University. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, NAACP Image Award, Kellogg National Fellowship, Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, Rockefeller Next Generation Leader Award and has served on the boards of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Morehouse School. Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Dr. Bennett is a professor at Duke University and directs Duke's Global Digital Health Science Center and Obesity Prevention Program - where he designs, tests, and disseminates industry-leading obesity treatments for the primary care setting and digital health. He has authored more than 100 papers on the social determinants of obesity & the effectiveness of intervention strategies. Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Chaula is VP of Program Investments at The Chicago Public Education Fund. She was founding Managing Director of Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at Teach For America; launched a new Social Innovation Award for early-stage seed investments, created design-thinking trainings for educators, and coached alumni entrepreneurs to raise more than $10 million collectively to launch new social ventures. Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees
Rita Johnson-Greene leads the US Commercial Operations team at Spark Therapeutics. She is a successful business leader with 15 years of progressive finance, resource allocation, sales and strategic business planning experience with several world class organizations.
Rita began her career in strategic consulting within Accenture ‘s pharmaceutical practice and developed business cases and financial models for new business ventures. She went on to manage the finances of AstraZeneca’s six billion dollar Nexium brand and served as a member of the Commercial Operations Leadership team.
Rita earned her MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Rita acquired her undergraduate degree in Electrical Computer engineering from Drexel University, where she met her husband of 14 years. They live in Drexel Hill, PA with their two daughters, Leah and Maya..Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Qiana began her career in music in 1999 at Epic Records in Promotions/A&R while contributing to album projects by Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and B2K. In 2011, Qiana founded Cue the Creatives where she began Music Supervising on projects such as Nickelodeon’s How To Rock, Lifetime’s holiday feature Seasons of Love starring Taraji P. Henson, Gladys Knight & Method Man. Currently, Qiana is producing/directing “The Untitled TLC Documentary,” which follows the journey back to the music for the iconic pop girl group, after a 20-year lapse, as they take on the challenges of making their final album. Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees Hinda is a former Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate, representing the Chittenden senate district. Hinda is also known for her part in the invention of the sports bra. Hinda is owner and president of DeForest Concepts, a business consulting firm. She is also on the Board of Directors of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a for-profit coffee company.