I attended the first Walking Summit as a participant in 2013. In 2015, Netwalking was hired by America Walks to include Netwalking Sessions, create Netwalking Maps, and train The Walking College Fellows to lead Netwalks at the 2nd Walking Summit held in Washington, DC from October 28-30th. I got the opportunity to wear other hats, including speaking about “Exploring Walking from a Woman’s Point of View,” and I was hired by S&G Endeavors to assist with The Storytelling evening program.

The audience of 500 was comprised of public officials, advocates, local and national organizations, and it was a place where we could share our stories, learn from others who walk the talk and feel inspired to continue our journey of creating safe and walkable communities. This was exactly the pep talk that I needed!

On October 28th, 2015, I participated in Walk the Hill Day. We had advocacy training in the morning and delivered our message to congressional offices regarding the issues related to the walking movement. The District of Columbia doesn’t have senators or representatives in Congress and was assigned to speak on the behalf of Indiana with two other representatives. Our 3 women team was comprised of an Indianapolis resident representing Health by Design and 2 DC residents representing Kaiser Permanente, and me. During our 15 minutes, we asked that they continue supporting a walkable America, Drive Act and not cut funds allotted to walking and biking and why it is a must from our viewpoints.  We discussed many benefits of these programs, and why they are so important for our communities, especially from our perspective. Check out this good article on 10 things you need to know about the Senate’s DRIVE Act.

The wonderful evening ended with a poster session and chatting with Jonathon Stalls and Julie Mitchell.

On Thursday, DC Circulator arrived early for a healthy breakfast followed by attending The Creating Passionate, Confident and Creative Walking Advocates Walking Workshop with Walk2Connect and EatWalkLearn founders. I was very excited about the day, because I am a huge fan, and finally got the opportunity to meet them all in person. The takeaways are; share your personal story, capture memories with hashtags, include and invite experts, partners, and peer organizations with a mention and leg swings exercises.

Photos from Netwalking Sessions

Photos from Netwalking Sessions

Keynote Highlights

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Step It Up! Campaign

Why walk, getting mom to take a walk and collaboration is key to the success. Great stats that you know about but forget that you know including carving out just 22 minutes a day on average or 2 ½ hours a week for physical activity, like brisk walking, can do wonders for your overall health.

Dr. Robert Bullard – The Father of Environmental Justice

Walking is good for the mind, body, and soul. As a writer I do my most creative thinking walking. Walking is a civil right.

Women and Walking Highlights

Need to create an environment where it is friendly, fun and attractive to women and children. See other women or know other women that walk on the path, park or street you might walk yourself. If you don’t create an environment for women; women won’t go because they feel unsafe and will avoid all together. We need more public restrooms. Shoes are delicate and unable to walk on every surface. We need to be compliant when designing sidewalks and trails for access. Interviewed 8 women for the presentation and will share those conversations in a future blog post.

On Friday, DC Circulator to arrive early for healthy breakfast followed by –

Netwalking Session with experts Barbara McCann and Marla Hollander.

Tweet

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We heard from our experts, learned what everyone is passionate about outside of work, networked and ended in a circle listening to Netwalkers about their experiences. Great to hear and see the Walking College Fellow, Lindsey Wooten, introduce Netwalking.

Keynote from Ron Sims –Retired, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

I laughed and cried while listening to Ron’s very personal stories

  • Racial bias. The wait time before crossing for a black pedestrian was 32% longer than a white pedestrian. Article
  • The importance of our youth needing to feel safe walking to school. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease. Article

I left feeling energized and even more inspired and committed to creating walkable communities. Would love to hear your thoughts and invite you to email us at jessica@netwalkglobal.com, Twitter and contact us about making an impact at your next meeting.

Until we netwalk again(R),

Barbara McCann and netwalkers

Barbara McCann and Netwalkers

 

Resources

PreventObesity.Net is building a national network to power the movement to prevent childhood obesity.

The Transportation and Heath Tool (THT) was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide easy access to data that practitioners can use to examine the health impacts of transportation systems.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) announced the launch of two walking toolkits as part of its commitment to support the U.S. Surgeon General’s landmark national call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. The ACE Walking Toolkits can be found online at Walk This Way!  and Walk The Talk!

The Summit was created by the Every Body Walk! Collaborative (EBWC), a joint effort of more than 100 influential organizations across many fields to promote walking.