GirlTrek Is Helping Black Families Shake Off the 'Itis' and Lace Up Their Walking Shoes This Thanksgiving - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Instead of overindulging this Thanksgiving weekend—whether that means a food coma from the greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, you name it, or a debt hangover from the Black Friday discounts, deals, and doorbusters—one organization is encouraging black families to get fit together.

In what has become an annual tradition, GirlTrek is calling for black families across the country to pull themselves away from the eating and the shopping and invest their time and resources in their collective health instead by holding a Thanksgiving weekend walk.

“We invite you to join hundreds of women across the country to host a #BlackFamily5K with your family this Thanksgiving. Aunties, uncles, grandparents, and neighbors will gather after dinner on Thursday or during the holiday weekend to walk together,” GirlTrek co-founder Vanessa Garrison said in a statement. “This is a new tradition.”

GirlTrek is the country’s largest public health movement for black women, with 315,000 active members. It encourages black women to use walking as a form of self-care and a first step toward leading healthier and more fulfilled lives—or, as they put it on their website, to “heal our bodies, inspire our families, and to reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods.”

GirlTrek

Most of the walks will take place Thursday after dinner, but they can also happen on Friday or Saturday morning. To host a Black Family 5K, register here. You can even print out customizable race bibs to make your family walk photos look official (or for those #Thanksgiving bragging rights on the ‘gram).

“Three years ago we decided to join the #optoutside movement by inviting black families to participate in a new holiday tradition—Black Family 5Ks,” added GirlTrek co-founder T. Morgan Dixon.

“That’s right, we appropriated, rebranded, and flipped a corporate holiday into a pre-Kwanza lovefest,” Dixon continued. “We’ve made Black Friday the new Black Holiday by inviting families to shake off the sweet potato ‘itis, put away the credit cards, gather up all the cousins who done snuck out to ‘go to the store,’ and hit the streets of our neighborhoods for some good ole’ fashion family fun.”