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“When black women walk, things change,” say T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison

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The founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek. They’re on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among black women — and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million black women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.




Health activist
T. Morgan Dixon is the co-founder and CEO of GirlTrek,
inspiring more than 100,000 neighborhood walkers. Full bio

Health activist
As COO of GirlTrek, Vanessa Garrison mobilizes African American women
and girls to reclaim their health and communities through walking. Full bio

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison recommend

Check out inspiration and extra resources on race and health, curated by T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison.

Recommended resources

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    The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni

    Nikki Giovanni
    Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2007

    From the Black Arts movement, through the civil rights movement to present day, Nikki Giovanni writes about the powerful experience of being a Black woman in America. Her work is a perfect example of “the personal being political.” In times of doubt, despair or deep frustration we often turn to the words of Nikki Giovani for the inspiration that we need and a reminder of our greater purpose.

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    Shake Loose My Skin

    Sonia Sanchez
    Beacon Press, 2000

    As a poet, playwright, teacher and activist, Sonia Sanchez has been one of the most powerful voices in America, documenting the Black experience. Her poem “Catch The Fire” has become a mantra for women in GirlTrek. We had the honor of sitting down in conversation with her and she reminded us that as leaders, we must be committed to our own self-care and daily rituals of healing.

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    “How to Not Die: Some Survival Tips for Black Women Who Are Asked to Do Too Much”

    Robin Boylorn
    Crunk Feminist Collective, 2013

    We are so grateful for this article and how it articulated the lived experience of so many Black women who are condition to take care of others over taking care of themselves. Robin tells us in no uncertain terms that the choices we are making every day are life and death. She gives us permission – and a blueprint – for how to prioritize self-care.

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    Unbowed: A Memoir

    Wangari Maathai
    Anchor, 2007

    Wangari Maathai reminds us that one woman can change the world. Her work with the greenbelt movement has been an inspiration for the work we do at GirlTrek. Her solution – women planting trees – was simple, scalable and effective. We can all learn from her mode.

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    “23 ½ Hours: What is the Single Best Thing We Can Do For Health?”

    Dr. Mike Evans
    YouTube, 2011

    This video is pure genius. Whenever we want to quickly describe the benefits of walking and the cascade of health benefits that we received when we walk just 30 minutes a day, we use this video.

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