Vanessa Garrison 2013 Global Fellow
Pioneer a health movement for black women and girls grounded in civil rights history and principles through walking campaigns, community leadership and health advocacy.
GirlTrek is a groundbreaking two-year-old national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C that inspires and supports African American women and girls to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives - simply by walking. Through grassroots organizing and award-winning social media campaigns, GirlTrek supports over 15,000 walkers, 300 volunteers and inspires an ever-growing network of 145,000 supporters. GirlTrek's health movement relies on inspirational stories, street organizers, active role models, authentic partnerships, smart advocacy and a whole lot of hustle! In five years, GirlTrek aims to mobilize one million supporters to lead a "walking revolution for better health" in high-need communities across America.
Vanessa is a passionate advocate of social justice issues and has focused her work on improving health outcomes and quality of life for black women and girls. Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, a national health movement, Vanessa worked as a Program Coordinator for Our Place DC, a nonprofit organization that provides services to currently and formerly incarcerated women. Vanessa began her career working in digital media at Turner Broadcasting System. Inc. in Atlanta, GA. Vanessa was awarded Teach For America's Social Innovation Award, recognized by the Awesome Foundation as a leader to watch, and was featured on NPR and The Root. Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Arts in World Arts and Culture from the University of California, Los Angeles.