Walking is not only healthy for you, it can be empowering, as T. Morgan Dixon realized. So she partnered with Vanessa Garrison and launched GirlTrek three years ago to empower women through walking. The nonprofit is now the largest health movement dedicated to Black women and girls in the country with more than 68,000 Black women and girls who walk daily in local parks, trails, and through their neighborhoods.
And on November 8th, Election Day, GirlTrek will be helping women flex their political power. The organization launched #BlackGirlJusticeLeague and through this movement,GirlTrek will mobilize 50,000 Black women to walk to the polls together. GirlTrek will also post its Election Day walks on the national map on its website.
GirlTrek has already ssisted women from all over the country with registering to vote. â€œFrom Sacramento to Brooklyn and Seattle to Cleveland, GirlTrek we trained women from across the United States in voter registration,â€ Dixon explained. â€œGirlTrek volunteers were set personal goals of walking 50 miles, registering 50 voters or hosting pop-up registration tables in their neighborhoods. On the weekend of August 20th, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, GirlTrek will staged pop-up voter registration tables at churches, beauty salons and other community spaces across the country.â€
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GirlTrek volunteers are already hyped. â€œThe election walk is amazing idea,â€ said GirlTrek Chicago City Captain Keinka Carlton. â€œWe have a saying at GirlTrek that we live by and that’s â€˜When women walk, things change.’ The Black community is in a state of emergency. With women being the backbone of the community, our goal is activate them to be changemakers in their lives and in their communities. The election walk is a great way to jump-start the Black women in our communities to take back our health and the state of our people. Voting is one way, not the only, to change the state of affairs going on around us, and with Black women leading this charge, hopefully, that will mobilize our men and children to stand up in the ways that they can.â€
Added GirlTrek Captain Carla Harris of Atlanta, â€œGirlTrek is such a beautiful organization. And one thing I love about the organization is that it is so relevant; they take every day issues and they find solutions to get the community involved. It’s so powerful and so informative. And walking to the polls together is such a powerful and empowering statement. People are already going to the polls, why not go together and walk on the way.â€
Girl Trek is such a beautiful organization. They take every day issues and they find solutions to get the community involved. It’s so powerful and so informative. And walking to the polls together is such a powerful and empowering statement.â€
GirlTrek has more than 400 neighborhood-based volunteers, and has a growing network of 200,000 supporters through social media. â€œGirlTrekâ€ª is a powerful solution fueled by Black women whose faith, courage, and willingness to get in the trenches will inspire a revolution. We organize for Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Septima Clark and every other Black woman who stood in the gap to secure our right to vote. Our fatigues are superhero blue. Our ammunition is unshakeable faith,â€ Dixon said.
Looking beyond Election Day, Dixon has major plans. â€œBy the year 2018, GirlTrek’s goal is to mobilize 1 million Black women and girls to be the changemakers in their lives and communities by developing a routine of walking in order to move in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.â€
**This article has been adapted from an article which appeared on Madame Noire