Soul Stroll has become BACHAC’s premier Signature Event. Established in 2002 to increase awareness about good nutrition and physical activity as keys to better health, the event’s attendance has grown from 500 in 2002 to more than 3,000 participants in recent years. In addition to a 1-, 3-, or 5-mile run/walk, Soul Stroll provides on-site health screenings, children’s activities, and a health fair with more than 50 resource partners.
Our partnership with community-based organizations is an important component of Soul Stroll’s success, and the number of volunteers for the event has increased from 30 in 2002 to more than 200. The event has attracted such well-known celebrities as Laila Ali, Danny Glover, Ben Vereen, Donna Richardson Joyner, and Stedman Graham to serve as honorary chairs and to keynote the Friday night kick-off, Heroes for Health, which honors leaders in faith, corporate and medical communities for their contributions to good health.
Soul Stroll now includes a weekend of events, beginning with Friday evening’s Heroes for Health kick-off. On Saturday, it’s time for the Soul Stroll itself. In addition to a 1-, 3-, or 5-mile run/walk, the event provides a health fair with more than 50 resource partners distributing information and health-related advice, and conducting on-site health screenings. Sunday is a time to connect with the churches that are involved in the BACHAC partnership. In 2013, honorary chair Aaron Perry made a special appearance at two churches, delivering a passionate message about healthy living.
Soul Stroll has also evolved into a timely platform for important health issues. Bone marrow donors are sometimes hard to locate, especially in communities of color. To encourage people to register as donors, BACHAC recently facilitated a visit to Soul Stroll by a 16-year-old girl in need of a marrow transplant. In three hours, nearly 40 people registered to help this young woman–and others like her.
Soul Stroll’s popularity has led BACHAC to develop a toolkit for other cities to replicate the event. In the last two years, organizations in Tempe, Arizona; Sacramento, California; and Madison, Wisconsin, have started their own Soul Stroll events.
If you’re interested in hosting a Soul Stroll event and would like more information, email BACHAC at or call us at (650) 652-3884.