America Walks Announces Class of 2019 Walking College Fellows
America Walks, a national advocacy organization that promotes walking and walkable communities, announced the names of the 27 local advocates who will receive Fellowships to participate in this year’s Walking College program.
The 2019 class of the Walking College represents an array of diverse professions and experiential backgrounds beyond those seen in the past. This year’s program will also expand to six states yet to see representation in the Walking College: Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, Indiana, Hawaii and Montana — expanding the reach of the program and adding new, critical voices to the growing walking movement.
This year’s pool of fellows includes a college professor, social services provider, retired salesman, pediatrician, elected officials, and several representatives from the disability community. Fifty-two percent of this class identified as something other than white, including African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, and Middle Eastern.
“We are thrilled to welcome this group of passionate community leaders who are working to support walkable communities in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods throughout the country,” said Emilie Bahr, Walking College Manager with America Walks. “These fellows will learn from one another and talented mentors over the next six months to craft plans to expand their walkability work at home while activating local, state, and national change.”
The Walking College curriculum has been designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community-change agents. Fellows will complete a six-module distance-education program this summer and fall, covering the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with decision makers. Fellows will propose Walking Action Plans from the rigorous self-study and deep collaboration from mentored instructions and intimate team problem-solving. They will also be encouraged to take part in local, regional and national conferences related to walking and walkability to network and learn from other advocates.
The 2019 Fellows are: