Thousands of women are walking 100 miles — here’s why

In honor of March being Women’s History Month, African American women are journeying over 100 miles, from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Mason-Dixon Line toward Delaware – the route known as the Underground Railroad. They are honoring Harriet Tubman, an 1850s abolitionist who helped hundreds of slaves escape bondage through the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Tubman


The walk is led and advocated for by GirlTrek – an organization composed of 10 women who have the objective of healing and empowering. Founders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison explain that the walk transforms their communities. Dixon hopes the walk will inspire all black women to put themselves and their health first. Due to preventable obesity-related diseases, black women are dying faster and at higher rates than any other group of people in America, according to a GirlTrek Ted Talk.

The founders of GirlTrek

In 2016, 60,000 women joined the walk. Currently, they have covered more than 50 miles and continue their journey to combat the epidemic of society neglecting the health of black women, along with promoting a better lifestyle.

Click to watch their TED Talk!

“It is even more important that GirlTrek works to re-establish walking as a healing tradition. We believe that, as women, we are going to have to also liberate, one, ourselves and then come back and be examples and liberate our family. And one of the things we say is that, if Harriet Tubman could walk herself to freedom, we can certainly walk ourselves to better health,” Vanessa Garrison stated.

The women marching through the rain.

“We realized that we can’t just talk the talk. We will show and prove that 2018 is about radical courage and unshakable sisterhood. We’re walking the Underground Railroad. To reach 1 million Black women by 2020, we knew we needed to be even bolder and hold this unprecedented trek. Harriet Tubman saved her own life first and then went back time after time to save the lives of others giving us the blueprint for the work GirlTrek does today. This is radical self-care at its core,” Morgan Dixon said.

To keep up with their journey, you can find these inspiring women with the social media hashtag #HarrietsGreatEscape.

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