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Q&A With a GirlTrek Leader: Harriet Tubman, Walking and Community

On March 10, GirlTrek encourages folks to walk in honor of Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday. We talked with Trina Baker, a leader for GirlTrek and a member of WTA's board, about why this event is so important — and why she's so passionate about the power of walking and community.

Trina Baker is a member of WTA’s board and a leader for GirlTrek Seattle. She’s passionate about the power of time outdoors, in particular leading women and girls in a healthy lifestyle. On March 10, Trina and many others will walk to honor Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday. We talked with Trina about the power of walking and community.

Can you describe GirlTrek for folks who might not be familiar with it?

In the footsteps of a civil rights legacy, GirlTrek is a national health movement that activates thousands of Black women to be change makers in their lives and communities — through walking. We walk for healing — in our neighborhoods, local parks, and on beautiful trails.

A woman wearing a black WTA hat, a blue bandana over her mouth and nose and a GirlTrek jacket and vest takes a self on a hill top with a stretch of green grass and misty trees behind her.
Trina Baker is a leader for GirlTrek and also a member of WTA's board. Photo by Trina Baker. 

How did you connect with GirlTrek? And what made you want to take on a leadership role?

I had just taken my first hike. I joined Black People Hike and they shared the opportunity for organizers to start and lead GirlTrek Seattle. I applied and was selected amongst 100 others nationwide to be trained for city takeovers. That was in 2016. I was brought to Colorado to learn the movement and hiked the Rocky Mountains. That was the first of three trips with GirlTrek National to Estes Park in Colorado. Leading women and girls in a healthy lifestyle has become a passion. We now have 1,000 members over this region from Olympia to Everett.

Why is spending time outside important to you? What are some of your favorite ways to get outside?

Being outside is medicinal to my soul. I never knew the benefits of fresh air — and that stress will literally start to lift from your body within a 30 minute walk. GirlTrek introduced me to walking, which was the catalyst for my life outside. I now love being in the sunshine hiking, camping and doing water adventures. 

How did you discover WTA? And what inspired you to join the board?

I was introduced to WTA as the result of a new partnership with King County. That’s how I connected with WTA and learned about the Outdoor Leadership Training program. At the time, GirlTrek Seattle had had no local resources for the prior 2 years. Being a part of the Outdoor Leadership Training program was a game changer. Having access to gear along with proper training as hike guides to lead our youth outdoors has been transformative.

I was inspired to join the board because I believe in the power of partnerships. As a result, I have felt nothing but support from WTA while being on the frontline mobilizing a community. 

A group of women hold up letters to spell out "We are Harriet."
On March 10, GirlTrek is encouraging people to walk 2.22 miles to honor the legacy of Harriet Tubman. Photo courtesy Trina Baker. 

Can you tell us about A Moving Tribute for Harriet Tubman's 200th Birthday. What does this celebration mean to you — and to the broader GirlTrek community?

Harriet inspires our movement as our ancestral leadership. We save ourselves first by walking for our own health — then we come back to grab our sisters. No sister left behind. Where two or three gather, we find strength. And there’s a sisterhood of 1 million trekkers nationwide walking alongside of us.

How can folks get involved with A Moving Tribute?

You can walk with us from wherever you are. All around the world, Black women will stop everything and walk 2.22 miles for Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday. We will walk for freedom and healing for Black women. On March 10, join us by walking 2.22 miles to honor Harriet’s 200th birthday. RSVP for more information.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I was born and raised in Washington state and I just discovered our backyard in the Pacific Northwest within the last 6 years. Our local gems are endless. I now want my family and friends to have the same exposure while feeling confident and equipped. Leading them out to experience nature in a new way is how I follow in Harriet’s footsteps.