Tara, Joy, and Trimella

Posted by – May 02, 2016

It's working.     

Joy and her daughter finished the 30-Day Jumpstart this Saturday. "We did it! Together. We're getting those golden shoelaces!  I'm so excited!"  

Her victory is proof positive that Vanessa was right.  "Mothers ARE the answer." 

Let me explain.   

Back in 2011, I started a hiking program with the girls in my 5th grade class.  Girl + Trek.   (That's where our name comes from.)  I was literally obsessed with a cRaZY statistic that said that HALF of my students, black girls - born in the year 2000 - would get diabetes if levels of exercise and diet stayed the same. It hit me hard -  like a machete through my classroom.    

The treks were wonderful -  girls smiling, laughing, putting their feet in babbling brooks. All that.  Then it happened.  A difficult conversation.   

Vanessa asked, "Is a hiking program really going to move the dial on the health crisis facing Black women and girls?"  The answer was no. We changed course. 

Today, we ask a bolder question.  A question rooted in Black history and collective action, "What would happen if a million Black women took to the streets of their neighborhoods?"


Everything would change!

Mamathon 411

Posted by – April 29, 2016

It's called a MAMAthon. Stop playing.  I'm seriously about to go hard to honor Carol Jean this year! (That's my mama.) For three years, GirlTrek has led a the biggest national walk dedicated to Black mothers in America. For three years, women like you have changed their Facebook profiles to their mother's photo: 


"My mama is the original superhero! This Mother's Day, 60,000 Black women and girls will take to the streets of their neighborhoods as part of a new tradition called a #MAMAthon! A #MAMAthon is twice the distance of a marathon because our mamas go TWICE as hard! To participate, pledge to walk, run or hike 52.4 miles in the month of May.  You can do it! (50 miles ain't nothing compared to the road she traveled for you!) When you succeed, you will be awarded a victory badge for her to share with her friends on social media!  She'll be so proud + your health is a waaaay better gift than flowers!  You ready?!  We got this! Change your profile picture to a woman you love, copy this message and put your sneakers by the door! Be counted at GirlTrek.org" 


Help spread the word by updating your social media profile today.  Do you think we can make this idea go viral?  #MAMAthon #NewTradition #ForLife #GirlTrek 


Done?  Awesome.   

Now, here is everything you need to know about this year's #MAMAthon:


So Proud of You

Posted by – April 27, 2016


We are so proud of you.  Activism April will officially end this Saturday and it has been BEAUTIFUL to see out there!!  The moment you succeed, I mean as soon as you complete 20 walks, please claim your victory and celebrate with us!

For Our Babies

Posted by – April 22, 2016

Our girls are worth it. 


In the next 9 days you could push to the finish line and complete the 30-day Jumpstart challenge.  We know you can.  In doing so you would qualify for our #ActivismApril drawing and could win $1,000 to invest in a great idea to help make your community healthier. 


That great idea could be a girl. Our girls are worth investing in. 

  • Her cheer squad finally getting uniforms is worth investing in.
  • The park she plays in finally getting cleaned up is worth investing in.
  • The church she attends being able to put on a health fair is worth investing in.
  • The school she attends being able to put on a school play is worth investing in.
  • The neighborhood that she lives in finally getting a community garden is worth investing in. 
  • Her college education is worth investing in. 
  • The rec center where she play everyday after school getting a beautiful new mural is worth investing in. 

But you can't invest in her unless you invest in yourself.  You are THIS close to finishing but your commitment is wavering. Don't let it!


NOT a Monday Motivation

Posted by – April 18, 2016

I was most definitely NOT going to write a Monday Motivation today.  

Word is bond.  ...extra ready to stage my own revolution.  "What do you want? A burrito! When do you want it?  Now!  

Vanessa and I have been swamped for the last three months or so.  No lunch, no breaks, no air.  We've been replying to supporters, writing reports, mailing supplies, attending treks, adjusting strategic plans, dialing into conference calls, advising, policing and eating dried fruit and cashews to get over the humps.  Definitely not glamorous.  Like Moses in the desert kinda weary.  Remember that sad song they used to hum, "whoa-oo-o-ohh."

So, yeah, not today,  

Honestly, I didn't have anything to give.  Nothing to say.

...until this..



Because of You

Posted by – April 15, 2016


That's it. This is the whole Friday Fire.

We are officially 60,000 women strong.


It happened sometime between Monday and Wednesday.


After this joy jump courtesy of Mellonie Richardson and her friends in Sacramento... 


Special Sunday Edition

Posted by – April 10, 2016

We couldn't wait.  We had to send you a Sunday Special Edition for two reasons:

  • It's April 10th, which means that if you haven't started the April Jumpstart - you have to walk today!  There there are exactly 20 days left to succeed!   This is it. The final day you can join.  Forward this email to every woman you love.

  • The second reason, WE DID IT!!!!   The world is recognizing the GirlTrek Takeover!   Did you see the big GirlTrek story in the New York Times!  It features some of you and ranked us as one of the top 10 stories this week!  Wooohoooooo!!!!

... So raise your glasses, crank up some Frankie Beverly and let's go ahead and do what we do best - celebrate sisters across the country who are on the front lines of a new health revolution in our communities!

A Major Moment!

Posted by – April 08, 2016

"We've spent an enormous amount of money on research-based approaches to obesity prevention and treatment, and almost none of them have worked with black women," says Gary G. Bennett, a professor at Duke University and a leading researcher on obesity. "One of the key predictors of positive treatment outcomes is really high levels of engagement. I've been doing work on obesity as it affects medically vulnerable populations for 15 years, and I don't know of anything in the scientific community or any public health campaigns that have been able to produce and sustain engagement around physical activity for black women like GirlTrek does. Not even close."

There are moments that take your breath away. Moments that mark time, where there is a distinct before and an after and you know that the universe has shifted in a way that things will never be the same. 

We might be slightly overdramatic right now, but just stay with us - we are a Sunday morning in the pulpit type of folk and when blessings rain down it's ok to shout hallelujah, to  grab the tambourine and head out into the aisle, to praise dance until the roof of the tabernacle shakes. No need to play it cool!


Fresh & New

Posted by – April 04, 2016

I celebrated the kickoff to GirlTrek's brand new season at the #BlackGirlsRock Awards Show. (For real?  I know, right?!  We came up!  I tried my hardest to represent ya'll and look fancy.  Look at my outfit!  Held it DOWN in the audience.  We weren't on the stage yet, but you wait, I have faith.  This year's show airs tomorrow night.)


Anyway, Rihanna was there.  (I guess she's fancy too!)  She said something that really inspired me.  She said, "The minute you learn to really love yourself, you never want to be any one else.  I'm really good at being me."


I love that.  ...because at 39 years old, I am JUST learning how to be me.  ...and it feels great.  I also love it because she captured one of the things that is SO awesome about this GirlTrek movement.  58,184 Black women are falling head-over-heels in love with life again.  Rocking own rhythms and casting fly-girl shadows on the world. 


It's so beautiful to see. Your faces lit up Instagram this kickoff weekend!  The flood of Realness on Facebook.  Generations walking together for #BlackGirlHealing. THIS was the best season opener in the history of GirlTrek.  



Twirl on Them Haters

Posted by – April 01, 2016

Oh, he tried it. The man who commented "ugly nigger" as we live streamed from the GirlTrek walk in Baltimore on Tuesday.


And he tried it as well. The man who yelled out, "what do those women do, play football?" as we walked the harbor - beaming, chanting, dancing, rejoicing. 


Yeah, they tried it. Everyday someone is trying us. Trying to deny our humanity. Trying to break our spirit. Trying to hold on to the power that they don't even realize they've already lost. Trying to be hurtful by throwing shade...but BABY!!! "What's shade when you're twirling in the sun!!!"  What's hate when your sheer existence is a testament to the love and resilience of generations Black women and men who fought the darkness with nothing but their own light.


They can try us all they want but our time is now! Do you hear us? We are absolutely unbreakable, unshakeable and there is nothing that we cannot do!