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Toni Carey & Ashley Hicks-Rocha

Together, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha co-founded the groundbreaking grassroots organization Black Girls RUN!   The idea for Black Girls RUN! sort of snowballed, born out of Toni & Ashley’s frustration with not seeing many black women in the running groups they joined and hearing negative reactions from within their own communities about running for fun.  They started a blog in 2009, then put out a call for blog followers to meet up at the Georgia Publix Marathon in 2011…and about a dozen women showed up.  From there, Toni and Ashley encouraged women across the country to start meetups.  Now, there are over 160,000 women in their movement, lacing up and hitting the pavement all over the country.


Look for the Black Girls RUN! meetup group in your area – or start one!  It is a great way to meet another black girl (and new people in general) and nurture your body at the same time.  In the Black Girls RUN! group I connected with when I moved across the US, the warmth and sisterhood is amazing.  Each of the groups operates with the understanding of “no woman left behind.” Whether you walk, jog, or run during the meetups or race events, Black Girls RUN! group members will wait until every one crosses the finish line.



“…while it may be tempting to compare your running journey to others, realize that this is YOUR journey. You can go as fast (or slow) as you want… long as it’s what YOU want.” – Toni Carey Monday Inspiration via Black Girls Run


ashley hicks

“Whenever I’m challenging myself to something new, I keep saying…the blessing really is outside of your comfort zone. If you stay and do what you’re comfortable with you’ll never experience something new and incredible.” Ashley Hicks-Rocha via On Being



Photo Credits:

  • Featured image:
  • Toni Carey Portrait:
  • Ashley Hicks-Rocha Portrait:


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