We’d like to introduce our latest partnership with (drum roll please) Black Girls RUN! BGR! is on a nationwide mission to enhance the lives of women, mentally and physically. We had the opportunity to interview owner and CEO Jay Ell Alexander, who is behind this movement of incredible women.
AfterShokz: What is BGR!’s mission and has it shifted since the organization was founded?
Jay Ell: Black Girls RUN! mission is to inspire and motivate all women, but especially African American women to be healthy and active. We create a community on the pavement for women to come together to achieve those goals. The mission has remained the same since our inception in 2009, but we continually find creative ways to get women to move and be a part of our movement.
AfterShokz: What has your experience been like working with BGR! since 2012?
Jay Ell: Beautiful. I am inspired every day by women across the world who are changing their lives to become healthier and active.
AfterShokz: What inspires you to keep growing the BGR! community?
Jay Ell: I think my passion for people and the reality that we are saving lives and creating a community where women can come to be themselves and feel comfortable. They also hold me accountable, so that sisterhood and accountability keep me motivated.
AfterShokz: What is your favourite thing about being a part of this community of women?
Jay Ell: My favourite part is our local community engagement. The opportunity to meet women in cities across the country and give them a hug or go out for a run is always an honour.
AfterShokz: How do you get this community of women inspired to get out on the pavement & work hard?
Jay Ell: To be honest, it requires constant creativity to motivate women to move and join us on the pavement. We hear reasons all the time about fear and misinformation about thinking you have to already know how to run, and that is not the case. We meet you where you are!
AfterShokz: Has it been challenging to enforce the “no men allowed”?
Jay Ell: Absolutely not! We have created a community where that rule is definitely recognized.
AfterShokz: How can our ShokzSquad get involved with this amazing community you’ve helped develop?
Jay Ell: The support from the ShokzSquad has been great so far. I think we can collaborate more in our local communities and your crew is always welcome to join us at any of our events or local runs. We welcome new faces!
AfterShokz: Tell us about the Remix Tour. How has this event evolved and what can people expect this year?
Jay Ell: The Sweat With Your Sole #TheRemix Tour has five stops left (Indianapolis, Sept 8th, SF/Bay Area, Sept 22nd, Charlotte, Sept 29th, Atlanta, Oct 6th and Richmond, VA, December 8th). The tour has been amazing because it has that intimacy, but still the fun from our annual conference just on a smaller level. You can expect some amazing trainers and workouts, fun, great swag and the priceless opportunity to run or walk with your fellow BGR! members!
AfterShokz: We recently gave you your first pair of AfterShokz headphones. What was your first impression of them?
Jay Ell: I thought they were brilliant! I gave up running with music years ago to focus on my breathing during marathon training. So, the fact that the headphones allow you to hear your surroundings, still hear your breathing and jam out to your favourite tunes is amazing. I truly enjoy them!
AfterShokz: How has running enhanced your life?
Jay Ell: It has kept me healthy, active and mentally free. I release everything on the pavement. It has also afforded me the opportunity to meet amazing women and gain new friends. Those friendships are priceless.
AfterShokz: What is one piece of advice you can give to new runners?
Jay Ell: It is your pace, your race. This is your journey, so set your own goals and continue to reach your own goals. Everyone’s journey looks different.
AfterShokz: What are your plans for BGR! in the future?
Jay Ell: I want to continue to grow BGR! beyond the United States and establish an international presence. We will also be announcing our philanthropic goals and this will really help us to increase our impact in the community.