The Power of Representation

Who’s at the table of the walking movement? This session will explore the strategies and success stories of encouraging more people to pull up a chair to the table of walking advocacy.

About the Moderator

Faye Paige Edwards is a community activist who has many roles. She is the Marketing Manager for, whose mission is to change the way African Americans seem themselves and Africa. She has been a Walking College Fellow and is now a mentor for America Walks. She also holds an BA, MA, MBA, Community Health Worker certification and NCBH Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor certification. She has been an Organizer for GirlTrek — now the largest behavioral health movement for African American women in the country — since 2012 and is now on the GirlTrek National Advisory Council. She continues to grow the St Louis Metro GirlTrek Tteam, now more than 2,000 women committed to a daily 30 minute walk as radical act of self-care.

About the Panel

  • Deidre Brown has a passion for helping people be their best both academically and  physically.  She is a 2016 American Walks Walking College Fellow, a Trailnet Walk/Bike Ambassador, and has been a GirlTrek organizer since 2012.  Deidre promotes living an active lifestyle and acts as an advocate for making communities more livable and accessible for all.Additionally she is a founding member and President of the Riverview Gardens School District’s Foundation. She is an alumna and founding member and Treasurer of the Riverview Gardens High School Alumni Association.  She holds several degrees – a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science, a Graduate Certificate and Master of Science in System Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity. Deidre has been employed with Boeing for 20 years.
  • Kelly McGowan is a proud St. Louisan and health equity advocate for Black communities. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from SLU, and Master of Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis, Ms. McGowan worked as a Health Coordinator in the Harlem Children’s Zone where she facilitated nutrition and fitness education afterschool to students in Central Harlem. Ms. McGowan currently serves as the WEDO Wellness Coordinator, working out of the Emerson YMCA branch of the Gateway Region YMCA (WEDO is an acronym for Women Empowered to End Disparities in Obesity). In her role she works with mothers and caregivers in the Ferguson-Florissant, Normandy, and Riverview Gardens School Districts to create positive and healthy changes in their communities.
  • With more than 25 years of generating market interest, branding visibility, and increased revenue, Felice McClendon, a University of Missouri Journalism graduate brings a multidisciplinary lens to support non-profit strategic planning, organizational development, media engagement, marketing, and public relations needs.
    Married into the Mortuary Business, this Special Needs “Mom on a Mission” is a social justice advocate to support inclusion for diverse abilities populations as well as improved quality of health, in light of the premature rate of morbidity in underserved communities.
    Noted for the capacity to manage complex narratives across local and national media outlets; McClendon launched F.M. Consulting in 2014 to bridge the gap between the boardroom and the neighborhood bloc, to bring cohesion to communities in need and give a voice to the unsung heroes that help from the shadows of inequitable systems.
    Aligning mission and management to passion with purpose; F.M. Consulting serves a robust network of clients from emerging non-profits in need of advisement, board engagement, and development support…to well-known established agencies interested in rebranding, rebuilding, and growing existing programs to a measurable scale.
    Inside the Washington University system, she started her journey as a Community Research Fellow recognized by the School of Medicine, later to follow being asked to serve as co-Chair of the Institute of Public Health and Center for Community Health Partnerships Community Advisory Board (CAB) that serves the gap between community and clinicians. With a history of multi-sector stakeholder relationships, her coordination of people, policies, and resources help organizations serve the greatest need with fidelity, integrity, and plans for sustainability.