America Walks Newsletter Repost

America Walks Newsletter Repost

Our friends at America Walks published this great newsletter, and we couldn’t help but share the WALK love!


September 2017
National Walking Summit Special Edition
Looking Back at St. Paul
As most of you know by now, the  2017 National Walking Summit took place in St. Paul, MN earlier this month to a sold-out crowd of over 600 participants. The Summit’s theme, Vital and Vibrant Communities: The Power of Walkability, reflected the idea that walkability is at the cornerstone of creating desirable places in which all members of a community can enjoy safe opportunities for physical activity, social and civic engagement and access to jobs and other everyday needs. We left Minnesota inspired, energized, and ready to get to work on the many challenges and opportunities ahead. We wanted to use our September newsletter as a way to share some of the experiences and lessons from the conference and to help us look forward as to what’s next.
Engaging Panels Offered Insight to Work Being Done Across Sectors
Attendees hear from experiences and lessons of the Rondo Neighborhood in Minneapolis.

The National Walking Summit covered a variety of topics related to walkability and reflected the ever-expanding definition of what we mean when we talk about walking. Discussions included:

  • National expansion of the Vision Zero strategy to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries, including a discussion of some of the criticisms of the movement with regard to increased enforcement and implications for exacerbating racial injustice;
  • Designing for inclusive health that takes into account people of all ages, resources, races, and abilities;
    A mobile workshop gathers to discuss their experience
  • How to mitigate gentrification and other undesirable effects sometimes associated with enhanced walkability;
  • Dozens of examples of community-led efforts to make places more walkable, engaging, and accessible; and
  • Stories and lessons from our host city St. Paul on what it is doing to increase walkability.
Not everyone was able to join us in St. Paul, so we will be adding presentations, resources, and blog posts from speakers and facilitators to the National Walking Summit website as they become available. Stay tuned!
Featured Speakers Represented the Diversity of the Walking Movement 
Keynote speakers and panels throughout the conference kept attendees engaged, inspired, and remembering that the walking movement isn’t just about sidewalks and crosswalks.
Photo of Halvorson by Anna Min of Min Enterprises Photography
George Halvorson, CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding and father of Every Body Walk!, focused on preventing racism and ethnic conflict and told the crowd gathered that “we need to make the right thing easy to do.” Mr. Halvorson was an earlier champion for walking and walkability and offered his expertise to the crowd at the opening reception. He was joined by St. Paul Deputy Mayor Kristin Beckmann who offered insights as to her favorite places to walk in St. Paul.
Photo of Harris and Rizzo by Anna Min of Min Enterprises Photography

Glenn Harris, pictured at left in the photo at right, of social justice organization Race Forward, and disability rights advocate Juliette Rizzo, briefly shared the stage at the Summit after their individual remarks at the opening plenary. “If you live long enough, you will have a disability,” Rizzo reminded the crowd. “If we fix what is most harmful in our communities for those who are most vulnerable, we will always come up with a solution that works better for all of us,” Harris said in his remarks.

Photo of Butler by Anna Min of Min Enterprises Photography

“Equity and social justice are just words,” speaker Tamika Butler, of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, told the crowd gathered for a lunchtime plenary. “What are we actively doing to change things?” Butler led a panel of speakers who examined how walking and walkability intersect with concerns about racial inequality. The panel was an opportunity for attendees to engage with tough but necessary questions looming large in the walking movement.

Photo of Danger, Brown, Rahman, Omishakin by Emilie Bahr
“Equity is giving people what they need in order to be their best selves,” Rutgers professor and America Walks Board Member Charles Brown (second from left in photo at right), said at the Summit’s closing session. The session featured a performance by the Theater for Public Policy, a local improv group that focuses on addressing complicated topics through humor and art.
Looking Ahead 
Our work is far from done and we hope you will help us continue the work started in St. Paul by:
Our Donors
America Walks would like to thank those individuals and organizations who have made donations to America Walks in the previous month. We are grateful for their support of this publication and all of the work we do to make America a great place to walk.
AARP, Alex Ozols, American Council on Exercise, Anne Geraghty, Barnali Ghosh, In Honor of Mukul Malhotra, Cardinal, Charles Brown, GirlTrek, Joan Chaplick, LAD Solutions, Law Offices of George Vomvolakis, LHB Corp, Matchbox Design Group, MIG, Inc., Steven Hooker, Naomi Ross, Stevon Edwards, SEO Inc., Straight North, Well Being Trust, WalkBoston, Yuriko Jewett, In Memory of Susan M. Goltsman
Our Sponsors
America Walks would like to say a final thanks to the generous sponsors of the 2017 National Walking Summit who helped make the Summit our most successful yet!
America Walks also thanks our sponsors for their generous support of this publication and all of the work being done by America Walks to promote the walkable movement. Thanks for helping to make America a great place to walk!
APBP, Belt & Bruner, PC, Bhatt Law Group, Cardinal Digital, Carmanah, CDC, Citywide Law Group, Dagmar Marketing, Daniel Rose Law, Fernandez & Karney, Family Law Attorneys, Ehline Law Firm, Every Body Walk!, Harrell & Harrell Personal Injury Lawyers, Health by Design, Idaho Bike Walk Alliance, Injury Trial Lawyers, John K. Zaid & Associates, PLLC, Kaiser Permanente, Keep Highways Safe, Kellogg Foundation, Key Tax Group, Kisling, Nestico & Redick Ohio Injury Attorneys, LAD Solutions, Landman Family Charitable Trust, Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers, MIG, Inc., Matchbox Design Group, McKneely Law Firm, Michigan Auto Law, Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers, PEDS, Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego, re:Streets, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ronald J. Bua & Associates, Sally Flocks Charitable Fund, San Diego Personal Injury Lawyers, Shaping New Jersey, ShoreWalkers, Inc., Staver Law Group, Straight North, Synergy, LLC, Turner Pest Control Orlando, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Vinson Litigation Finance, W-Trans, Weissman-Landman Family Trust
Have an item for our newsletter or a question for our team? Contact America Walks
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