Memphis GirlTrek members (left to right) Igina Perteet, LaShaun Wallace, Chiquita Freeman, Margaret Jackson, Tarchelle Bryant and Sandra Brodnax (front) walked along the Mississippi River for GirlTrek’s Superhero Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

by T. LaShaun Wallace, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

The air was chilly but the sun was bright as members of Memphis GirlTrek made their way along the riverfront at Mississippi River Greenbelt Park on Saturday.

Wearing bright blue gear, the six women were gathered for what GirlTrek has designated as Superhero Saturday, when residents get together on any given Saturday and walk in their neighborhoods.

GirlTrek was founded on the notion that black women could take control of their bodies, families and communities through walking, and the national nonprofit aims to get 1 million women walking by 2018.

The health statistics for black women are grim: 82 percent are over a healthy weight; 67 percent get little to no leisure-time exercise each day; and 137 die each day from heart disease.

GirlTrek believes walking is the most powerful thing a woman can do for her health.

There are more than 200,000 black women in Memphis and GirlTrek has several walks each month to accommodate them in their efforts to not only build healthy bodies but to build healthy families and communities as well.

To join a walk, visit and click “Walk” and “Find a Walk Near You.”

Trekkers can also click on “Connect” and “Connect with your City” to join the Memphis GirlTrek Facebook group.