Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


School of Urban and Regional Planning

Major Professor

Christiana Croegaert

Second Advisor

Renia Ehrenfeucht

Third Advisor

Rachel Breunlin



Black women are disproportionately affected by adverse health conditions, such as obesity and heart disease. For example, more black women currently die from complications associated with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure than any other ethnic group in the United States (Gourdine 2011). There are however, increasing numbers of everyday black women who defy these statistics and are positive role models for all women. One such group of women is the New Orleans chapter of Sistas On The Move (SOTM), an all-female running group that emphasizes the importance of black women’s health and builds community around physical activity. Through field interviews and participant observation, I examine the following questions: What motivates these women to run, walk and lead healthy lifestyles in New Orleans? How do SOTM members claim and utilize space in New Orleans for their physical health and social activities?


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