Healthy AHA Moments! Meet 4 Programs Empowered To Serve
We all aspire to be fit – and a bigger shout out to those who are determined to be fab. In order to be both fit and fabulous, however, you have to create goals that are attainable. That is the hard part. Scroll through your favorite editorials that cover health and wellness, and you will often find inspiring stories from community members who attribute their health successes to peers who look just like you and me. These stories, filled with narratives about how to empower each other through commitment and community-building are encouraging. True, making a lifestyle change can be challenging, but think about the potential rewards – a longer life, a lighter feel, and the mental strength to conquer the world.
There is a mix of health and wellness movements sweeping the nation with goals to empower Black women to make smarter decisions regarding their health. These groups have created motivating initiatives from the bottom up. Some are still in the start-up phase, while others have morphed into full non-profits with thousands of members. In support of those grassroots programs determined to get Black women on track with their health and heart, MadameNoire salutes four community-targeted programs that make us say “Aha – I feel EMPOWERED!”
Steps towards Fitness: GirlTrek
We all can’t be marathon runners, so for those who don’t mind a light stroll that boosts the heart rate, we introduce you to GirlTrek. GirlTrek.org is a fitness-based movement, which was founded by two college friends from Los Angeles, California in 2010. Both women had a love for food and fitness, so they challenged those in their community to take stronger steps towards healing their mind, body, and souls. Considered ‘health heroes’ in their community, GirlTrek, which became the largest health nonprofit in 2016 for Black women, is helping the world get healthy one step at a time. Take a walk with them.
Ready, Set, Go: Black Girls Run
With chronic diseases taking the lives of African-American women at alarming rates, one group – Black Girls Run, is determined to get women fit and focused on their well-being. Founded in 2009 by two friends with a mission so strong and so clear – “to encourage ALL (especially African-American women) to make fitness and healthy living a priority” – it’s hard not to celebrate what the Black Girls Run brand has done for its community. Focusing on a creative approach to fitness within their community, Black Girls Run proves that black women believe in the results of healthy living, by using their bodies as a vehicle for change.
Let’s Meet Up: Women of Color Workout
Who doesn’t love to meet up and bond with women who are interested in fitness, weight loss, and healthy eating? Women of Color Workout, an Atlanta, Georgia-based Meet Up group speaks to local women in Atlanta, from all ethnic backgrounds, about the benefits of exercising. The goal of the group, which has over 6,000 members since 2011, is to empower the community with a variety of activities that meet the group’s fitness goals – think swimming, aerobics, walking, running and even belly dancing. Women of Color Workout also offers healthy cooking classes to support the community. What a way to fuel the body and the mind.
Eat Well: The Baltimore Food and Faith Project, sponsored by John Hopkins / Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, like many major cities across the United States, has faced its challenges regarding access to foods that promote healthy living. But thanks to The Baltimore Food and Faith Project, which is sponsored by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, hundreds, if not thousands, of Baltimore residents are able to have access to trustworthy food systems. The objective – to engage “congregations, religious schools and faith-based organizations on a variety of food system issues” is dear to not only MadameNoire, but also to those who understand the importance of food and its relation to our health. We believe servicing the community counts, so we salute The Baltimore Food and Faith Project for empowering those to eat and live better.