By Amani Allen-Beale

Being the adventure seeker of her family, Ashlee Lawson has created a safe space for black girls who enjoy the thrill of running, RUNGRL. Even after being laid off back in 2016, Ashlee didn’t let her set back hold her back. With the vision to create her own world and the support from her family and friends, Ashlee is the definition of determination.

Ashlee shares with us her future goals for RUNGRL, the impact she wants to create, and her drive for running in this interview.

Read more about Ashlee and what she has in store for us in the next few months.


Growing up, Ashlee was known as the thrill seeker of her family. She always wanted to find the next adventure or challenge and conquer it. Ashlee’s family was always super supportive of anything she did. This support gave her the confidence to go after anything she wanted.

“But with the support of friends and family, and a clear belief in myself and my vision for the world I want to create, I can literally do anything”

Being able to step out and faith and try new things eventually transferred into her entrepreneurship. Despite the process being difficult and even scary, Ashlee’s support system gave her the confidence she needed.

Insecurities in career

Similar to many other business people, Ashlee struggles with imposter syndrome. Dealing with the thoughts that you don’t deserve the opportunities you’ve received or should have the authority over others can definitely put a strain on many people. Ashlee made sure she reminded herself that her authentic experiences and willingness to share them with other people gives her credibility.

“As long as I stay true to myself and my word, what I have to say matters.”

Living her authentic life has birthed the space known as RUNGRL. A place where black women can become representations for other runners and changing the false narrative of what a runner looks like.

Running + RUNGRL

For a lot of people when you hear the word “running” you might think of exhaustion and being out of breathe. For Ashlee, running means much more than that. For Ashlee, running gives her a reason. The freedom to create, explore, inspire, and empower.

For the past seven years, Ashlee has been given so many great opportunities such as currently being an Under Armour Athlete. Her greatest opportunity was the one where she was able to inspire others to challenge what they feel is possible for themselves in running and in life.

“There a good days/runs and bad days/runs but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, if you just keep moving forward, you can accomplish anything.”

Running isn’t just running for Ashlee. Running is creating opportunities and a safe space for women to be fearless and unapologetically black.

Her impact

For other girls watching Ashlee, she wants to make sure they feel inspired. Whether it’s to run their first or best mile, share their story, create spaces and experiences, and take on more challenges to become their best selves.

She wants to be remembered as someone that used her passions to create the good she wished to see in the world.

Keep up with Ashlee and RUNGRL on Instagram at @rungrlco and @ashleesimone

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