GirlTrek founder Morgan Dixon addressing the Light City U audience.
GirlTrek founder Morgan Dixon addressing the Light City U audience.

“Something important happened here,” Morgan Dixon proclaimed to the Baltimore audience gathered for her Light City U health innovation talk Wednesday morning at the Pier V Hotel. Before Dixon took to the stage, wearing a blazer, jeans and a massive fro, an eight minute video introduced us to GirlTrek, the nonprofit fitness organization she founded in 2012 that encourages black women to get out and walk for at least 30 minutes a day—solo or with a team. GirlTrek has created a thriving more health minded community amongst black women.

“Philly may have been the first place Harriet Tubman ran to, but [Baltimore] is where she made her first rescue,” Dixon explained. The way Dixon sees it, Harriet Tubman’s act of walking to freedom and then taking the risk to return to rescue others is, in a sense, GirlTrek’s mission.

“Walking is the single most important thing you can do,” said Dixon. She described walking in our modern day as a liberating experience for black women that can free them from a health crisis and reclaim their neighborhoods. More than 80 percent of African American women are overweight—more than any other group of women in the U.S. More black women will die from heart disease than they will of smoking and gun violence combined. Those were just a few of the startling statistics Dixon reported during her multimedia presentation.

Since GirlTrek’s inception, the organization has had major success stories in 20 cities—including Baltimore. More than 50,000 women are pledged walkers and the nonprofit’s goal is to reach one million pledges by 2018. “Harriet Tubman didn’t do it alone,” said Dixon. She ended her talk by entreating the audience to join, and encourage others in the community to do so as well.

When black women start taking care of themselves, she said, it’s the beginning of increasingly impactful decisions that will resonate within families and whole neighborhoods. What happens when there are one million black women walking? GirlTrek may not know the answer yet, but Dixon can’t wait to answer that question.

For information on GirlTrek check out their site

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here