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T. Morgan Dixon & Vanessa Garrison

Dial Fellowship

Building a new culture of health for Black women at GirlTrek.

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison were inspired to found GirlTrek after they shared an invitation to participate in a 10-week walking challenge with 200 Black women, and received 600 responses from across the country. Less than 10 years later, GirlTrek has grown into the nation’s largest nonprofit focused on the health of Black women and girls.

Black women and girls experience stark disparities in health, including higher rates of hypertension and diabetes, higher maternal mortality rates, and overall shorter life expectancies. With thousands of neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities.

Far more than a walking group, GirlTrek is a campaign to heal intergenerational trauma, fight systemic racism, and transform Black lives; as women organize walking teams, they also mobilize community members to support advocacy efforts and lead a civil-rights-inspired health movement. GirlTrek’s membership is currently at over 860,000 and growing every day.

“From Harriet Tubman to the women on the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, when Black women walk, things change,” Dixon and Garrison say.

Watch T. Morgan Dixon's talk at Emerson Collective's Demo Day 2021

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