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Home / News / GirlTrek Organizes Thousands of Women to Walk on Fannie Lou Hamer’s 100th Birthday

GirlTrek Organizes Thousands of Women to Walk on Fannie Lou Hamer’s 100th Birthday

GirlTrek cofounder Vanessa Garrison and GirlTrekkers (Courtesy of GirlTrek)

GirlTrek, a nonprofit devoted to selling the well being and well-being of black girls and ladies, is gearing as much as have a good time the lifetime of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer on Friday, the 100th anniversary of Hamer’s beginning.

“Fannie Lou Hamer died too quickly and we need to have a good time her life in an enormous means,” stated GirlTrek CEO and co-founder T. Morgan Dixon. “In her honor, we’re going to elevate a military of sisters, #FanniesArmy, who will lead 100 walks throughout America at sundown on Oct. 6.”

As of press time, there have been greater than 300 walks registered for Friday, from New Orleans to Jackson, Miss., Harlem to Denver. “The historical past of black girls strolling has all the time modified issues—from Harriet Tubman to the ladies of the Montgomery bus boycott.” Dixon says the thought for #FanniesArmy truly took place after greater than 20,000 black girls and ladies walked on the centennial of Harriet Tubman’s demise in 2013.

T. Morgan Dixon on the GirlTrek Harriet Tubman stroll on March 10, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy ofGirlTrek)

“Congress had designated March 10th as Harriet Tubman Day however no one was celebrating it and we stated, Bump that, that is the centennial of the passing of a legend, and we’re about to have a good time,” stated Dixon. They then seemed on the calendar and noticed that Fannie Lou Hamer’s 100th birthday would have been on Oct. 6, 2017, and started planning for this week’s motion.

“Why? As a result of Fannie Lou Hamer was a righteous freedom fighter who actually sacrificed her physique for us,” says Dixon. “She was crushed down making an attempt to vote, and making an attempt to prepare voters. She had a pressured hysterectomy when she was entering into for routine therapy [she later adopted children]. She actually put her physique on the road for us after which died prematurely of coronary heart of illness and most cancers. We all know sacrificing our our bodies for our household. We all know service at that degree, black girls do.”

By main a political occasion and unparalleled grassroots marketing campaign in Mississippi that delivered over 60,000 votes, Hamer, a former sharecropper, is instantly accountable for securing the Voting Rights Act and altering the tide of justice. She spoke on the 1964 and 1968 Democratic National Convention and demanded the eye of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Nonetheless, in contrast to Rosa Parks or Coretta Scott King, she stays largely unsung, save for considered one of her most well-known quotes: “We’re sick and uninterested in being sick and drained.”

In a current Ted Speak with co-founder Vanessa Garrison, Dixon notes that day by day in America, 137 black girls die from coronary heart illness, claiming extra lives than gun violence, HIV and AIDS and cigarettes mixed. A “entire airplane full” of black girls dying each single day.

“Black girls are dying sooner and at larger charges than some other group in America from preventable weight problems associated ailments. And so we are saying, ‘Not on our watch.’ We are saying, ‘We’re going to do the one strongest factor for our well being which is transfer day by day,’” says Dixon.

GirlTrek has already recruited greater than 112,000 black girls and ladies throughout the nation to take its pledge to lace up their footwear and stroll out their entrance door not less than as soon as per week. Their objective is to encourage a million black girls and ladies to hitch the motion by 2020, not solely to advertise bodily well being however to social justice too, says Dixon. (For his or her work, each Dixon and Garrison have been named to The Root 100 final month.)

Alexandra Clark, a 19-year-old junior and enterprise administration main and president of the College of North Caroline at Charlotte GirlTrek chapter, says she loves getting out and about each Saturday morning (she says it leap begins her day) but in addition the secure area and assist system GirlTrek supplies for ladies on campus and from the better Charlotte, N.C., group.

“Our conversations are so good,” says Clark, who says that there are themes every week the place organizers throw out broad, open-ended inquiries to get the dialogue going.

“We discuss something from relationships to tips on how to love your self to tips on how to unite girls on our campus,” she says. Clark says that the motion itself flies within the face of the stigma of black girls being indignant or caught up. “It exhibits that we are able to come collectively and concentrate on our well being and stroll. I really like that they’re making an attempt to get one million girls strolling. It’s not simply middle-aged girls, we’re younger faculty college students devoted to strolling not less than as soon as per week.”

GirlTrek founders Vanessa Garrison and T. Morgan Dixon (courtesy of GirlTrek)

Clark additionally says that there are “stress protests” themed walks to confront stressors of their lives, together with racist incidents on campus. Clark stated that the week earlier than, a “coloured” signal was discovered on a water fountain in a residential corridor on the college. She stated that the Friday stroll for Fannie Lou Hamer will provide an opportunity to unpack or launch among the stress round that.

“Particularly on a big campus, [racial incidents] will be laborious to speak about,” she says. “So we thought it could be a good suggestion to only host that stroll and have individuals come out and if you’re feeling some kind of method to say it or when you haven’t spoken about it, or when you don’t have anybody to speak to about it, then come and speak to us about it.”

But Clark stresses that the walks are there to uplift. “We don’t need to be destructive or unhappy, however to have the ability to get issues off our chest and speak.”

Dixon and Garrison might be collaborating in a stroll in Hamer’s hometown of Ruleville, Miss., within the Mississippi Delta on Friday. They’ve the blessing of Hamer’s daughter, Jaqueline Hamer, and say they plan to revel within the title of 1 who gave a lot for us.

“This bridge known as our backs has been open for 400 years,” says Dixon. “And so in celebration of that and actually to place ft to our prayers that we will be liberated, we needed to stroll in her honor and we needed to say, ‘We’re bored with being sick and uninterested in being sick and drained Mama Fannie.’”


To take part in #FanniesArmy and stroll for 100 minutes at sundown on Friday, go to GirlTrek.org, scroll down and click on “Discover an occasion close to you” and put in your zip code. If there’s not a stroll close to you, e mail [email protected] to create one.

To study extra about Fannie Lou Hamer, go here, here and here or watch the video beneath:

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