Best Next Big Thing: Girls Running Shit 2020 | People and Places | Pittsburgh

Best Of Pittsburgh

Best Next Big Thing: Girls Running Shit

click to enlarge Markeea Hart, Mia Marshall, and Janita Kilgore of Girls Running Shit - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM, STYLING: BRADLEY HILL
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham, Styling: Bradley Hill
Markeea Hart, Mia Marshall, and Janita Kilgore of Girls Running Shit
Markeea “Keea” Hart, Janita Kilgore, and Mia Marshall work to promote self-care and increase opportunities for Black women and femmes in Pittsburgh with their podcast Girls Running Shit. Maybe this is why Pittsburgh City Paper readers voted the local podcast — launched in 2018 — as the Best Next Big Thing.

And their efforts are especially important given recent studies showing that Pittsburgh has the lowest quality of life in the country for Black women.

“It’s incredible, and although we’re honored, we know it means we (as a city) need to do more,” say the three women in a joint statement. “We want to make sure more [Black] women and [Black] femme creatives can also get more shine and opportunities to be recognized like this as well.”

While the pandemic has sidelined the usual in-person networking events, fundraisers, and other gatherings hosted by Girls Running Shit, the trio says they are staying active. They are using their social media platforms to post informative, positive messages and mental-health resources for Black women and femmes affected by COVID-19. And they’re promoting the Black Lives Matter movement.

They have also been donating to various causes, raising money for care kits, attending local protests, and making sure to take time to care for themselves and reflect.

“With the attack on [Black] bodies in the various ways, we realized that although we were promoting self-care, we recognized we weren’t doing that for ourselves and needed to take a break,” they say, adding, “Being three [Black] women, we are grieving in many ways. We are scared. We are tired; but because we know our community is suffering like this as well, we are trying to uplift, educate, and inform about the ever-changing climate we’re in.”

The women say they are also in the process of revamping the podcast (the last episode was posted in May), providing new creative content and branding, and brainstorming virtual events. “We want to start recording soon, but want to make sure we are bringing certain topics and guests whom we can meet with virtually,” they say. “Above all else, we are just trying to make sure we are healing and promoting healing for our community.”

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