Meet a Ms. Fit Running/Walking/Hiking

Toni Carey, Co-Founder of Black Girls Run

Jessica Young
Written by Jessica Young

Carey, left, and Black Girls Run co-founder Ashley Hicks

Ms. Fit Editor Jessica Young Chats with Black Girls Run co-founder Toni Carey

Ms. Fit: How did you become a runner?

Toni Carey: I started running in 2008. I had just experienced a bad breakdown and was relocating to a new city. I wanted to start a completely new chapter in my life, and focusing more on myself and my health were part of that new beginning.

MF: How did Black Girls Run come to exist?

TC: (BGR cofounder) Ashley (Hicks) and I would often have conversations about running and how we never saw many people of color participating in running groups or in road races. We wanted to create more dialogue to get more black women interested and bring to light the obesity epidemic affecting our community.

Carey on the course.

Carey on the course.

TC: Black women are the matriarch of the “black family,” yet statistically, we have the worst obesity rates and have higher incidences of chronic diseases. As the leader of the family we set the tone for how healthy (or unhealthy) our family is.

MF: What does BGR want or hope to teach black women, or all women?

TC: Everyone should make being healthy and living an active lifestyle a priority.

MF: Where are BGR chapters currently located? What does BGR want to achieve in its communities?

TC: We have 60 groups across the US. These groups give women a local support system to achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves.

To find out more about Black Girls Run, or to find the running group nearest you, visit

About the author

Jessica Young

Jessica Young

Jessica Young has a degree from Northwestern University and an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She’s performed her stories with 2nd Story, at the Mixed Roots Literary and Film Festival in LA, and she was recently a contributing blogger for WBEZ’s summer series, “Race Out Loud.” When she’s not writing or teaching, Jess enjoys yoga, gluten-free vegan cooking, and learning how women can take care of themselves and each other through healthy choices and practices.

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