As COO of GirlTrek, Vanessa Garrison mobilizes African-American women and girls to reclaim their health and communities through walking.

Why you should listen

Vanessa Garrison is the co-founder and COO of GirlTrek, the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. With more than 100,000 neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families and communities.

Prior to co-founding GirlTrek, Garrison worked within the criminal justice space, helping formerly incarcerated women access critical services. She began her career working in digital media with Turner Broadcasting System in Atlanta, where she managed digital media projects for some the world's most recognizable news and entertainment brands, including, CNN, TNT and Sports Illustrated.

With GirlTrek, Garrison has been a featured in the Washington Post and The New York Times, and she was named a "Health Hero" by Essence Magazine. She has received social innovations fellowships from Teach For America, Echoing Green and the Aspen Institute. 

Vanessa Garrison’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Vanessa Garrison

Live from TED2017

The human response: The talks of Session 3 of TED2017

April 25, 2017

The world is changing faster than ever, bringing with it brand-new problems, while our most persistent troubles — like poverty and health — haven’t gone anywhere. One thing has become abundantly clear: our machines aren’t going to save us; people are. How do we respond to problems new and old with humanity and dignity? In the […]

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