GirlTrek: Walking in Juanita Craft’s Footsteps

Let’s celebrate the achievements of Juanita J. Craft and the NAACP Youth Council by walking in her footsteps on the State Fair grounds!

Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft was a woman who would not accept injustice or inequality. Believing that equality and justice were for everyone, she fought for them all her life. By the time she ran for Dallas City Council as a woman of 73, her efforts had already helped change the world.

Juanita Craft and the Youth Council members started their protest at Lincoln High School and walked to the fair chanting, ‘Stay out. Don’t sell your pride for a segregated ride.’ The picket line lasted throughout the day and into the night. While the Youth Council did not succeed in ending Negro Achievement Day, they were able to draw attention to the discrimination African Americans faced. The Youth Council was given an award by the NAACP for their well organized and peaceful demonstration. In later years, adults took over picketing the fair. Achievement Day (fair planners dropped the “Negro” in 1957) officially ended in 1961, followed by the full desegregation of the fair later in the ’60s.

In 1953, the State Fair of Texas announced that African Americans could attend the fair on any day, but could only fully participate in the fair’s enjoyments on Negro Achievement Day. Juanita Craft, NAACP Youth Council advisor for the Dallas branch, spearheaded a movement to end discrimination at the fair so that any person of any race could participate on any day they chose. Craft and members of the Youth Council decided to stage a boycott of the fair to draw attention to discriminatory practices.

GirlTrek is a life-saving sisterhood. It is a campaign to heal intergenerational trauma, fight systemic racism and transform Black lives. As women organize walking teams, they also mobilize community members to support advocacy efforts and lead a Civil Rights-inspired health movement. This program is also in partnership with Fair Park First, Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House & Museum, and the City of Dallas of Arts and Culture.

Join GirlTrek for a monthly group walk every third Saturday at Fair Park!. This free event is open to all women who are looking for a fun and empowering way to stay active and connect with their community. GirlTrek is a national organization that encourages Black women to prioritize their health and wellness through walking and other physical activities. This group event is a chance to meet other women in your area, explore the beautiful park surroundings, and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.

When: Every third Saturday | March 18, April 15, May 20 and June 17

Time: Walks start at 9:00 a.m.

Location: Leonhardt Lagoon At Fair Park | 1324 1st Ave. Dallas, TX

This event is open to all ages. Registered participants will receive a free t-shirt and handbook.

Click here for more Juanita J. Craft: 2618 Project events