In honor of Pride month we asked two of our recent Fun Run volunteers - who recently launched initiatives to build healthy LGBTQ communities - about their experiences with Chicago Run, and why they showed up for our young people. You can read more below.

Janine Moore, Womyn on the Move

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Why did you create Womyn on the Move? What are your goals?

I created Womyn On The Move to create a safe space for queer women and their allies to do healthy activities, build community and socialize in a nonjudgmental, loving and supportive environment. Being a queer woman can be very isolating and many times inclusive events are centered around unhealthy and numbing activities. I wanted to create an inclusive space for people to come together around something healthy and life-giving as opposed to toxic and life-stripping. Womyn On The Move allows us to engage in healthy movement, support each other on our wellness journeys and socialize in a healthy environment.

Why did you show up for Chicago Run/believe in our work?

I have great respect and admiration for the mission of Chicago Run. I share the belief that it is important to expose children to healthy habits in an inclusive loving environment at a young age. Running is an inexpensive and great way to practice self care regularly. It's an easy entry into the health benefits of regular exercise and functional movement. By working with a group, young runners also learn valuable lessons, including teamwork, building resilience, connecting with oneself, building confidence, working within a group, overcoming obstacles, and so much more.

Any highlights or takeaways for you from the Fun Run?

My favorite part of the fun run was watching the children arrive with excitement in their eyes and exuberance in their hearts. There was a palpable energy that was uplifting and energizing. I also loved seeing older family members running with and supporting the young runners. This speaks to the impact that Chicago Run has in helping build healthier communities.

How can people get involved with you?

People can join the Womyn On The Move Facebook group to learn more about us and attend some of our meetups. People can go to www.fitliferevolution.com and sign-up for our email list to start receiving healthy tips and resources for living a healthier life. They can also email me at coachj@fitliferevolution.com.


Tamara Allen and Rocio Garcia, Be! Agency and the Be! Fit & Get Healthy Initiative

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Why did you create Be! Fit & Get Healthy? What are your goals?

As women of color, who also are a part of the LGBTQ community, we understand the dire need to extend, create, and disseminate more resources and information to women, people of color and LGBTQ identified people regarding health and wellness. It has long been known that individuals within these communities are often disproportionately faced with socio-economic issues and diverse public health disparities. That is why The Be! Agency and its diversity-based experiential marketing and events division B.BLYSS! is actively committed to creating a central resource hub of partnerships with health, wellness, and fitness providers who will work to provide activities, safe spaces, resources, and opportunities that will advance the overall health and quality of life of women, people of color, youth, and those who identify as LGBTQA.

Why did you show up for Chicago Run/believe in our work?

Chicago Run aligns with our mission as The Be! Agency and the Be! Fit & Get Healthy Initiative. We want to engage the community through various activities and make them accessible. Chicago Run makes that possible for our youth and also pushes adults to also support them in their journey. By engaging the youth and promoting healthy choices, we also help ourselves to be reminded that we too need to do the same.

The work that you're doing with the students who are participating in Chicago Run will more than likely be carried on throughout their lives. As adults, we often don't have anyone to tell us not to drink, eat or do something that might be harmful to our bodies. It often only happens when we're visiting a doctor or being told by someone close to us who may be feeling impacted by our unhealthy choices that we decide to do something.

I believe that Chicago Run is helping youth to cultivate and nurture a culture and way of living that encourages, proper eating habits, a healthy mindset, and active living at a young age. Such instruction and encouragement will often help them to arrive at making healthier choices throughout their lives.

Any highlights or takeaways for you from the Fun Run?

The greatest highlight that we took away was that our youth are excited. They want to do good and feel good while they are doing it. More importantly, they need and want our adult support. Like adults, they too want to feel celebrated and seen and recognized for making the effort to try. The more that we walk alongside each other and support each other whether we're young or old, the more impact and change we can make.

Being there was motivating and moving and it was an honor to be a part of it.

How can people get involved with you?

We are looking to align with more healthcare and community resource providers, researchers, and health & wellness vendors. We want people to know what resources exist in their environments, highlight their work, and introduce them to new audiences that they may not have known how to reach. People can find us on Facebook and we are developing a website for this initiative where more information can be found about the initiative, events, and our partners.

People seeking to Be! Fit & Get Healthy simply have to show up to events, or spaces where our partners are. They may also participate by utilizing the informational resources that are available through our Facebook page and our website which is coming soon.

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