I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the founders of Black Girls RUN! Toni Carey last week to learn all about its “Sweat with Your Sole Festival” that’s coming to Atlanta. this Fall. The “3rd Annual Sweat With Your Sole Festival” will take place September 4-7th at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis in the heart of downtown. The weekend will include fitness sessions with Dashuan Guru of Abs Johnson and Celebrity Choreographer Victor Jackson.
Pretty actress AJ Johnson will act as keynote speaker at the Honors Dinner and will reinforce the group’s mission that includes physical/mental wellness. And you can’t have a Black Girls RUN! event without having a RACE (a 5K and a 15K to be exact) that will take place on the final day of the festival.
Black Girls RUN! was created by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks in 2009 as an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community. This pretty organization provides encouragement and resources to runners at all levels. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the CDC, 80% of African-American women are overweight. Black Girls Run! created a movement to inspire wellness and bring about a change the lives of women one pair of sneakers at a time.
Check out the conversation I had with the prettiful Toni Carey below,
Pretty: How did Black Girls RUN! come up with the concept for “Sweat With Your Sole“?
Black Girls RUN!: We wanted to create a weekend event for our members to get together. We have over 200 ambassadors/150,000 members active in Black Girls RUN! nationwide. Our goal was to create an event to bring our group together and benefit the community at large. We started off as a blog and had thought about creating a book about our experience but things really took off with our groups and this is just a way to get everybody together!
Pretty: I love actress AJ Johnson and all of the wonderful things she is doing in the wellness space. This partnership seems ideal since you both are working to help women do better and feel better. How did you two link up?
Black Girls RUN!: We picked a speaker who is a leader and a real life example of living well for our group. We met AJ Johnson at the Essence Festival and she was a perfect fit! She is motivational, all about self-love, and truly embodies our core beliefs at Black Girls RUN!
Pretty: What can participants expect at the “Sweat with Your Sole Festival?
Black Girls RUN!: We have active sessions and the mind & body sessions. We want to showcase elements of living your best life now. We have a wonderful speaker that’s going to reinforce the concepts of “mind over matter”. Running is a mental sport just as much as it’s a physical sport. You can set goals and work your way through them mentally to reach them. We will also have yoga sessions that will inspire balance and how to train your mind.
As far as the active sessions we have Dashaun “Guru of Abs Johnson who will conduct a standing abs class. It’s so important to have a solid core and learn how to have better posture. Dashaun is going to host a class showcasing all of that! Core training is essential for effective running.
Victor Jackson will host a dance class because you can’t run everyday and dance is a great way to get physical fitness in. We love to promote fun ways to keep moving.
Pretty: I have a friend who is a real runner. I call him my “Workout Boo”. He would love to participate in the activities; do you foresee extending the Black Girls RUN! movement to include men and boys?
Black Girls RUN!: In the future we will do something for the family and that will include men, women, and children. The family as a whole needs to pursue wellness and we do see the need for it. During the “Sweat With Your Sole” Festival men are invited to participate in the Honors Dinner and Race. Be sure to invite your Workout Boo!
Pretty: Hair is always an issue for women of color and working out. I see Dark and Lovely is one of your corporate sponsors for “Sweat With Your Sole”. Do you have any tips and do Dark and Lovely have products to help women tame their manes while pursuing a healthy lifestyle?
Black Girls RUN!: We have to make a point to put our health before our hair. It’s really a personal decision that each woman has to make for herself. Dark and Lovely gives us great tips and have great products for naturals. The Anti-Reversion Products help with frizzing. Frizzy hair is the biggest issue that we encounter when working out; if you can battle that you can win. You can visit Black Girls Run for tips on how to wrap your hair and techniques to have frizz free hair.
Pretty: Wow, it’s been great chatting with you. How can we learn more about the “Sweat With Your Sole Festival”?
If you are in Atlanta be sure to check out “Sweat With Your Sole Festival” it’s going to be a great time!