Black girls run? Of course we do. In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners.
The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.
In March 2011, Black Girls RUN! launched more than 60 Black Girls RUN! running groups across the nation. The groups range from the most novice to the most experienced runner in hopes to educate African-American women about health and fitness and provide a support system to help them reach their goals. The movement has been extremely successful with thousands of women joining in and making a commitment to defy the odds and take charge of their own health.
The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to become the leading resource and source of inspiration for generations of African-American women seeking to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Power of Black Girls RUN!
• 23.8 percent of black girls ages 12-19 are overweight, compared to 14.6 percent of white girls the same age
• 51.6 percent of black women ages 20-74 are considered obese compared to 31.5 percent of white women
• About one third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese
• Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of African-American children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese
As obesity and diseases related to obesity continue to increase among minorities, Black Girls RUN! has the opportunity to inspire these women to get healthy and fit.
Health Impact of Obesity*
• African American adults are twice as likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician
• African Americans were 2.2 times as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes
• African Americans were 30% more likely to die from heart disease, as compared to non-Hispanic white men
• African American adults are 60 percent more likely to have a stroke than their White adult counterparts
• African Americans were 70% less likely to engage in active physical activity as Non-Hispanic Whites
• Deaths from heart disease and stroke are almost twice the rate for African Americans as compared to Whites