Parks and Rec Lunch and Learn Series: #TakeAHikeDiabetes Virtual Diabetes Prevention and Management Programs

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In this recording, special guest Sydney Williams talks about her #TakeAHikeDiabetes campaign and virtual diabetes management programs.

Communities of color, the underrepresented, and those who feel unsafe outdoors are also the communities with the highest prevalence of diabetes. Sydney’s virtual programs focus on nutrition, exercise, and stress relief as three key factors for diabetes prevention and management (type 1, type 2, and others). Her 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides both free and paid programs that serve individuals and teams.

The mission of the #TakeAHikeDiabetes campaign is to activate the community to hike one million miles for diabetes awareness this year. In addition to a free 30-day program and the virtual activity challenge, the Take a Hike Diabetes Tour includes urban backpacking trips around Chicago, across the state of Michigan, in New England, and around Washington D.C. that will cover more than 600 miles to raise awareness about equitable access to parks and outdoor space.

About Our Guest Sydney Williams


When former collegiate athlete and competitive skydiver Sydney Williams unexpectedly found herself on the receiving end of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis while grappling with unresolved trauma from a decades-old sexual assault, she set out on a mission: turn her pain into power. Two hikes across Catalina Island and 80 miles later, she founded Hiking My Feelings to help others tap into the mind-body connection and healing power of nature that helped kick her self-limiting beliefs and disease into remission.

Having more than 12 years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies and emerging brands, Sydney serves up her “truth juice” style of storytelling to break wide open tough conversations with practical, powerful content and experiences. Over the years, she’s been featured on the SXSW stage, as well as in Health Magazine, Diabetic Living Magazine, Psychology Today, US News & World Report, and numerous other publications. Today, she is the author of Hiking My Feelings: Stepping into the Healing Power of Nature, an instructor at the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, and travels across the country empowering others to summit their personal mountains on their way to becoming Well Beings.

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As a CivicPlus Accessibility Partner Manager, Don has worked with 150 local governments to improve web accessibility and learn how to best comply with law and guidelines. He is a Certified Accessibility Coordinator with the national ADA organization and has produced webinars and white papers in the U.S. and Australia. He has written a training curriculum on Web Accessibility and speaks out for greater awareness in electronic disability issues.