Our Team - GirlTrek

Our Team

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 local volunteers, a distinguished board of directors, and a small and smart central leadership team. Our national leadership team includes national staff and the board of directors.

Our Team

National Staff

T. Morgan Dixon

T. Morgan Dixon
Co-founder & CEO

T. Morgan Dixon is the co-founder and CEO of GirlTrek, the largest health movement for Black women in America.

Through national campaigns, community leadership, and health advocacy, Morgan and cofounder Vanessa Garrison mobilize Black women to be changemakers in their lives and communities – simply by walking. GirlTrek aims to rally 1 million Black women to walk for better health by 2020. In doing so, they will reclaim the streets of 50 of the highest-need communities in America.

Prior to GirlTrek, Dixon was on the front lines of education reform. She served as Director of Leadership Development for one of the largest charter school networks in the country, Achievement First, and directed the start-up of six public schools in New York City for St. Hope and the Urban Assembly, two organizations funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has served as a trustee for boards of The National Outdoor Leadership School, Teach for Haiti and The Underground Railroad Historic Byway, a $50 million tourism and preservation project in Maryland.

As the co-leader of GirlTrek, Dixon received fellowships from Teach for America (2012), Echoing Green (2013), Ashoka (2014), and The Aspen Institute (2015). She has been featured in the New York Times and CNN, was named a "health hero" by Essence Magazine and has appeared on the cover of Outside Magazine's recent "Icons" edition. She got a standing ovation during her TED Talk in 2017 with over 1 million views and earned The Audacious Prize, the newest iteration of the TED Prize, a selective cohort of global organizations to receive 8-figure investments. GirlTrek is currently the largest health movement for Black women in America.

Vanessa Garrison

Vanessa Garrison
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.

Onika Jervis

Onika Jervis
National Field Director

Onika will focus on leveraging the support of our community partners along with the power of GirlTrek's nationally trained organizers to grow the movement to 1 million women by 2020. Onika comes to this role after serving a year in a volunteer capacity as GirlTrek’s 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 rallied a record number of women to join the movement.

Onika is the former Associate Director of the 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, Incorporated, and a two-time marathoner.

Jewel Bush

Jewel Bush
Chief of External Affairs

jewel bush is an award-winning journalist and communications strategist with 20 years of experience. She has a diverse background in organizing, advocacy and communications working for some of the nation’s top healthcare organizations (American Cancer Society), women’s rights organizations (Planned Parenthood), and labor unions (Service Employees International Union, SEIU). As the Chief of External Affairs, jewel manages GirlTrek’s national media presence, relationships with the press, and high-profile partners all while working to position GirlTrek as a thought leader in the field of Black women’s health and wellness.

Opa Johnson

Opa Johnson
Chief of Staff

Opa Owiye Johnson serves as Chief of Staff of GirlTrek. She joined GirlTrek in 2017 as the Director of Administration 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 is responsible for providing leadership and overall management direction for a wide range of organizational activities including, strategic planning and administrative, financial, and operational activities that support an effective, high-functioning national staff and board.

Opa is originally from Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She resides in the Louisville, KY area with her husband, Timothy.

Victoria Payne

Victoria Payne
Chief Finance Officer

Victoria Payne is a finance and operations executive and a passionate advocate for empowering women professionals and improving racial/ gender equality. Victoria is a strategic thinker with a passion for mission-based organizations and will help lead an organization thru strategic processes with financial discipline and strategic data-driven decision making. She brings more than 20 years of experience in leadership across business strategy, M&A, governance and compliance, and financial planning and analysis.

Most recently, Victoria lead a team at Lowe’s as a senior manager in supply chain and merchandising finance. Prior to joining Lowe’s, Victoria served as CFO and Vice President for Mountain Khakis where she was responsible for the strategic and operational activities across finance, technology, project management, facilities, and supply chain. Victoria has a can-do attitude and a soup to nuts understanding of all aspects of the business. Her approach is grounded in the use of leading technologies to improve operational efficiency, and to actualize more innovative business processes.

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Victoria earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from The University of North Carlina – Charlotte and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Victoria enjoys traveling and will vacation anywhere with a sandy beach. She and her family now reside in Charlotte, NC.

Chyna Johnson

Chyna Johnson
Director of Impact and Innovation

Chyna- Lloyd Nicole Johnson serves as Director of Impact and Innovation at GirlTrek. She joined GirlTrek in 2017 as the 2017 Summer Fellow while completing her graduate degree at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In her role as a summer fellow, Chyna worked on the planning and execution of GirlTrek’s annual national church walking challenge PrayerTrek.

Today, she is responsible for the overall management of GirlTrek internal systems, information management, and administrative program support that supports an effective and high-functioning national staff.

Chyna is originally from Columbus, Ohio. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry and African & African American Studies from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky and earned her Master of Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She now resides in the DC area.

Carla E. Harris

Carla E. Harris
Community Care Director

Carla is from the Buckeye state of Ohio, but now calls Atlanta her home. Before joining our team, she served in a volunteer role as City Captain in Atlanta where she helped inspire and lead the growth of the entire state of Georgia. Carla quickly developed a deep passion and love for charitable work through organizing with GirlTrek and collaborating with volunteers across the state to inspire Black women to reclaim their streets and neighborhoods while walking in the direction of their healthiest lives.

Carla joined the GirlTrek national team in 2017 as National Director of Volunteer Support and now serves as the Director of Community Care where she leads a team of beautiful sisters from all walks of life who are committed to the mental wellness of sisters in our community. They are the Care Crusader’s, and their mission is to show up in love and grace, giving caring support to those who need a sister to talk to and who are facing difficult times and need to know that they are not alone and have support to help them navigate such times.

Carla is committed to the mission and believes that community care is a priority, especially in the times we are in. She is responsible for making sure we, as the most inspiring movement for Black women’s health, are providing support, world-class customer service, and community care to our valued members, volunteers, community, allies, partners, and friends.

Carla brings with her over 25 years of customer service experience which has equipped her with the highest level of customer excellence, care, and customer service experience that is needed in this role to elevate our org-wide culture as a leader in community care and customer service.

 

Ebony Andrews

Ebony Andrews
Director of Strategic Programming and Production

Ebony serves as the Director of Strategic Programming and Production of GirlTrek. She first joined the GirlTrek sisterhood as a trekker in 2014, serving as a volunteer City Captain and member of the National Advisory Council. Today, as a member of the national team, she leads the production of GirlTrek’s national events and campaigns to support the self-care, health, and joy of Black women.

Prior to GirlTrek, she served as the Director of Sports Initiatives for the President’s Council on Fitness Sports and Nutrition, developing national strategies and partnerships to encourage youth participation in sports. She has also worked for the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, supporting national public health initiatives and Surgeon General’s reports, including the landmark 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s report on Smoking and Health.

Ebony is an MPH graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine and she received her BS in biology from Syracuse University.

Outside of her work as a public health leader, she’s a fitness and sports enthusiast. She’s a former professional fitness competitor. She also runs, plays flag football, and is always exploring new sports and adventures.

Hailey Darby

Hailey Darby
National Field Director

Hailey joins the GirlTrek national team as the National Field Director. With a passion for working with the younger generation, Hailey uses her Christian faith to be a guiding force of justice for Black women and girls and looks forward to building GirlTrek’s presence on college campuses and religious institutions.

Since joining GirlTrek as a volunteer in 2016 with her mom and two sisters, Hailey has truly experienced what happens when Black women walk. Through her volunteer work with GirlTrek, Hailey has climbed mountains, both literally and figuratively, towards her own healing. Women being transformed, families being renewed, and communities being ignited is what she deeply desires for all black women to experience.

Hailey currently resides in Houston, Texas, but her Southwest Louisiana roots follow her wherever she goes. Hailey is most joyful when spending time with her sisters and taking walks along Louisiana’s country roads.

Crystal Fulwood

Crystal Fulwood
Director of GirlTrek University

Crystal Fulwood is a passionate mental health advocate, instructional designer, and trainer. At GirlTrek, she serves as the Director of GirlTrek University, focusing on developing and delivering training to the GirlTrek community.

Before joining the team, Crystal worked as a National Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Corporate Wellness Strategist. In her work, she partnered with schools, faith organizations, and major corporations throughout the nation to encourage compassion through practice. She has received her Bachelors of Sociology degree from CUNY Lehman College in the Bronx, NY.

Jasmin Church

Jasmin Church
Director of Operations

Jasmin joined GirlTrek in 2020 as a consultant while living abroad in Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, as a member of the National team, she is the Director of Operations with a focus on operational strategy, development, and special projects. Firsthand experiences growing up in Trenton, New Jersey sparked Jasmin’s early appetite for social issues, justice, and impact. However, her commitment to service and passion for Black women was cultivated at Spelman College and compounded by GirlTrek’s mission.

Prior to GirlTrek, Jasmin spent two years as a nonprofit consultant at The Bridgespan Group working with clients from the U.S., Kenya, and South Africa. Before earning her MBA from the University of Virginia Darden, she lived in Kampala, Uganda as a Princeton in Africa Fellow focused on infrastructure development.

Outside of work, Jasmin is a world traveler having explored over 30 countries; spends time mentoring; enjoys hiking throughout SA, and loves eating and music. She is the eldest of five and an aunt to two amazing girls, Xolani and Ryann.

Board of Directors

Tulaine Montgomery

Tulaine Montgomery
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.

US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin

US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin
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.

Dr. Gary Bennett

Dr. Gary Bennett
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.

Chaula Gupta

Chaula Gupta
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.

Rita Johnson Greene

Rita Johnson Greene
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..

 Qiana Conley

Qiana Conley
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.

Hinda Miller

Hinda Miller
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.

Serita Cox

Serita Cox
Board Member - GirlTrek Board of Trustees

Serita is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of iFoster – where she brings her personal experience in foster care and her executive-level management experience leading and consulting both Silicon Valley Fortune 500 companies and organizations in the non-profit sector. Before launching iFoster, Serita provided strategic counsel to some of the largest philanthropic foundations and non-profit services for at-risk youth as a management consultant with the Bridgespan Group. Serita has been recognized as a White House Office of Social Innovation Citizen Innovator, an Echoing Green Fellow, and an American Leader of Change.

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