Since the spring of 2016, Vanderbilt Black Girls Lift (BGL) has been dedicated to promoting healthy living among Vanderbilt’s Black women. The goal of the club is to empower women of color through “speech, sisterhood and exercise.” The club was founded by Morgan Newman and Myriah Weatherspoon in hopes of creating an organization that would uplift Vanderbilt’s Black women and give them a space to motivate each other.
“The official mission of BGL is to empower young women of color through speech, sisterhood and exercise,” Newman said. “We just wanted to create an environment on campus for women of color to feel and be completely free while also encouraging healthy lifestyles.”
Newman said the club’s events usually have fun themes so that more people will join their workouts. They also work with other organizations to host special events for students.
“Just last month we partnered with a few other organizations and had an event focusing on how breast cancer affects the Black community in particular,” she said. “We really make an effort to tailor our events to minority communities, as they are often overlooked in health.”
BGL focuses on Black women in particular because of the importance of representation and promoting health on campus.
“Vanderbilt does a pretty decent job at having multicultural organizations I guess, but besides the org STRANDS, which focuses more on mentorship, there was not another org really dedicated to Black women or women of color,” Newman said. “We thought that having this org along with the health and nutritional aspects would be a positive addition to the campus.”
Newman said the club’s impact on Vanderbilt’s campus has been a positive one, especially in the Black community. The club generally offers two themed workouts every week. In the past, they have held Booty Blast days and had Bey-day workouts.
“Basically we just listen to Beyonce while we workout,” Newman said.
The club’s events are open to the Vanderbilt community, and they have hosted “Fit with Faculty” events where they invite a faculty member to work out with students.
“We host a lot of events that aren’t just open to females in hopes that it will get more people active and engaged,” Newman said. “I think a lot of people who go to our workouts enjoy them and it’s a great way to stay motivated.”