Because of growing civil unrest in 2020, I joined a coalition of fellow park enthusiasts. Our group brainstormed ideas about how we could use our combined platforms to help. We’ve previously written about the barriers many BIPOC communities face when it comes to outdoor recreation. Statistics show that Black Americans make up only 7% of national park visitors (some studies show that it’s as low as 1%) while making up 13% of the U.S. population.
Each month, our group spotlights a relevant organization. These organizations are working to bridge the gap between outdoor spaces and underrepresented communities. Past features include:
- August: Black in National Parks Week
- September: Soul Trak
- October: Charles Roundtree
- November: Youth Opportunities Program
- December: Black Kids Adventures
- January: The Memorial Foundation
- February: Syatt
- March: Love Is King
- June: The Venture Out Project
- July: Wilderness Inquiry
As we open another month, we’re sharing another installment in our community effort to showcase organizations promoting social justice and more inclusive access to public lands. This month’s feature organization is GirlTrek.
Co-founded by T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, GirlTrek was born out of friendship and evolved as a challenge to friends and family to walk to heal their bodies, inspire their daughters and to reclaim the streets of their neighborhoods. Officially becoming a nonprofit in 2012, GirlTrek has received the endorsements and support of organizations like Teach for America, the NAACP, the NPS, and the Sierra Club among others.
Since its inception, GirlTrek has become the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. With 1 million members, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities. As women organize walking teams, they mobilize community members to support monthly advocacy efforts and lead a civil rights-inspired health movement.
Beyond walking, GirlTrek’s active members support local and national policy to increase physical activity through walking, improve access to safe places to walk, protect and reclaim green spaces, and improve the walkability and built environments of 50 high-need communities across the United States.
Support and Donate►
- Website: https://www.girltrek.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girltrek
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyBlackWomenandGirls/
- Donate: https://www.girltrek.org/donate