Our story

Toni Carey

Toni Carey's passion for health and fitness led to the co-creation of Black Girls RUN!, a grassroots organization that encourages and inspires African-American women to live a healthy lifestyle. While currently serving at the helm of Black Girls RUN!, she is a freelance writer for Zelle (a Runner’s World publication) and provides public relations and marketing consulting to grassroots organizations.

She has been named one of the “30 Black Bloggers You Should Know” by The Root, Essence Magazine’s “35 Under 35: Young Black and Amazing Women,” and recently received Toyota’s Standing O-Vation Award presented at Oprah’s 2014 “The Life You Want” Weekend in Atlanta. You can connect and learn more about Toni by going to www.tonicarey.com. 


Ashley Hicks-Rocha 

A native of Evans, Ga., Ashley attended and played soccer at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. She graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications. She also received a Master of Science in Communication from Columbia University in New York. She has worked with WRDW-TV as a television director, the South Carolina Educational Television as a producer – director and as a social media, communications manager for a non-profit headquartered in New York.


In 2009, Black Girls RUN! was created by cofounders, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage ALL (especially African-American women) to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. The organization is open to ALL women, no men allowed!

The Black Girls RUN! Mission:

The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage ALL (especially African-American women) to make fitness and healthy living a priority.

 The Black Girls RUN! Vision:

We aspire to take a comprehensive and creative approach to improve the health statistics of women of color.

Our partners


Black Girls RUN! is thrilled to partner with Girls on the Run, an empowerment program for girls in 3rd-8th grade—giving them skills and experiences to navigate their world with confidence and joy. One girl at a time, Girls on the Run has changed 1 million lives. With your help, they will change 1 million more!

REI is proud to be the Official Outdoor Retailer for Black Girls RUN! 

Ready to join 160,000+ women in the movement?

Brand and nonprofits:

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Aspiring members:

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