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Philadelphia Gamechangers: ‘Black Girls Run’

(The Philadelphia chapter of "Black Girls Run" holds a "Run 2 Vote" event to promote voter participation.  Photo provided)

(The Philadelphia chapter of “Black Girls Run” holds a “Run 2 Vote” event to promote voter participation. Photo provided)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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CBS Philly celebrates Black History Month with these profiles of notable Philadelphia “gamechangers,” people and organizations making a difference in the lives of the city’s African-Americans.

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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With mantras like “Preserve the Sexy” and “Leave No Woman Behind,” Black Girls Run is changing the game on black women’s health, one race at a time.

“We’re really changing how people see beauty, how we see health and fitness and all of these things, beauty from the inside out,” says Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls Run.

Hicks and Toni Carey started Black Girls Run in 2009 as a running blog, and within two years started a running group for women.  The idea soon spread like wildfire, changing the statistics on black women and obesity, as well as other stereotypes.

(Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Ashley Hicks, left, and Jocelyn Wright.   Credit: Cherri Gregg)

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“It’s also a stereotype that black women don’t get along,” says Hicks. “But I tell people, the way we run Black Girls Run is that all of our (members) — lawyers, accountants — everyone’s a black woman!  And we all get along.”

Tens of thousands of black women have joined more than 60 chapters in more than 30 states across the US.  The group even has its own branded fitness gear.

Listen to the extended CBS Philly interview with Ashley Hicks (runs 4:26)…

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Jocelyn Wright is lead ambassador for the Philadelphia chapter of Black Girls Run, which began two years ago and now has more than 4,000 members on its Facebook page.

“Some of them include ladies who live in Philadelphia and ladies who may be from Philadelphia, but when they come to town they want to know how to meet with us,” says Wright.

The group includes women with levels of fitness ranging from walkers to hardcore marathoners.

“That’s the great thing about running,” says Wright.   “You’re running against yourself, and whatever you can push your body and your mind to accomplish.”

Listen to the extended CBS Philly interview with Jocelyn Wright (runs 5:04)…

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For more information about “Black Girls Run,” go to blackgirlsrun.com.

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Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 and CBS Philly all month long for more Philadelphia Gamechangers, marking Black History Month in Philadelphia.

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