LOS ANGELES – “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend,” Oprah Winfrey’s eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend, announced the first recipients of The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award on Saturday, September 6 in Atlanta, the first of eight awards to be presented at tour stops this fall. The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” recognizes extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and inspiring others to do the same. Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy honored Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey, the founders of Black Girls RUN!, an Atlanta-based national running group created to combat obesity among women in the African-American community. As the first “Standing O-Vation” recipients, Black Girls RUN! will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of its continuing efforts to get women running.
Black Girls RUN! was formed by Carey and Hicks to increase the number of African-American women who run, improving their fitness, quality of life, and ultimately decreasing the number of African-American women who are overweight. What began with a blog and two women in Atlanta has grown into a network of more than seventy groups and hundreds of thousands of members across the nation. For more information, visit
“We are still in shock at what happened tonight and cannot believe we were chosen to receive this once-in-a-lifetime honor,” said Hicks. “Eighty percent of African-American women suffer from obesity, and this group was a way to get women moving. This honor gives us the opportunity to take Black Girls RUN! to the next level, allowing us to serve our community even further,” added Carey.
The driving force behind The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” stems from the automaker’s commitment to fostering women’s interests. While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” is an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.
“Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” will include additional presentations of Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation” awards during the following tour stops:
Sept. 12-13 Auburn Hills, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills
Sept. 19-20 Washington D.C. Verizon Center
Sept. 26-27 Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center
Oct. 17-18 Houston, Texas Toyota Center
Oct. 24-25 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena
Nov. 7-8 Seattle, Washington KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 14-15 San Jose, California SAP Center at San Jose