Our health is so important but at the same time it can be hard to exercise nowadays when we are mostly indoors due to the pandemic. Walking is one of the most basic exercises we can do, even if it is just from your room to the fridge. Now imagine being able to learn more while walking, a win-win. GirlTrek recognizes that Black women have among the highest cases of hypertension and diabetes, as well as suffer various side effects due to systemic racism. It is combining exercise while learning about important Black women’s history. GirlTrek is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by two college friends, T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison.
As of June 1, 2020, GirlTrek started its first 21-day Black History Bootcamp, where participants can learn more about essential Black historical figures. As reported by NPR, GirlTrek highlights Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm and Nina Simone. They also bring into focus equally important but lesser known women such as Georgia Gilmore, Olive Morris and Marsha P. Johnson, the prominent transgender activist of the Stonewall Uprising.
We are the #DaughtersOf freedom fighters, of waymakers, strategists and builders of nations …authors, artists, soldiers, and spies. And in order to know where we’re going in this moment we need to know where we have been. This is a call to action for special times. pic.twitter.com/vyzsB9AIUe
— GirlTrek (@GirlTrek) May 29, 2020
The bootcamp routine is simple: every weekday, participants get an email with one of the women’s profiles. It is accompanied by relevant readings, playlists, meditation prompts and even a phone number. Within the 30 min walks, the participants can call the phone number and have a live discussion with the cofounders. The cofounders frequently share their own anecdotes while also focusing on ongoing issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent death of Breonna Taylor under police violence. On June 5th, GirlTrek did a double tribute to Toni Morrison and Taylor because it coincided with what would have been her 27th birthday.
Longtime supporter and participant Iresha Picot notes how important it is to learn about the women and their legacy and “to continue the struggle for the future.”
Garrison says word of mouth has always been key to GirlTrek’s growth as a movement. The Black History Bootcamp has seen nearly 95,000 registrations and is expected to grow. GirlTrek is a valuable resource. It combines two very important aspects, health and learning.
To learn more or to support, check out GirlTrek today.
Header Image via GirlTrek Movement on YouTube
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