Alison Mariella Désir is an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health advocate. Running saved Alison Mariella Désir’s life. At rock bottom and searching for meaning and structure, Désir started marathon training, finding that it vastly improved both her physical and mental health. Yet as she became involved in the community and learned its history, she realized that the sport was largely built with white people in mind. To help make running more inclusive and welcoming to people of color, Désir founded Harlem Run, an NYC-based running movement, and Run 4 All Women, which has raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood and $270,000 for Black Voters Matter.
Désir is currently co-chair of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, a Run Happy Advocate for Brooks Running, and an Athlete Advisor for Oiselle. A graduate of Columbia University for her bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, including a master’s of education in counseling psychology, Alison has been published in Outside Magazine, contributed the foreword for Running is My Therapy by Scott Douglas, and founded the Meaning Thru Movement Tour, a speaking series featuring mental health experts and fitness professionals. Running While Black is her first book. Alison Mariella Désir currently lives with her son, Kouri Henri, and partner, Amir Muhammad Figueroa, outside of Seattle.
To learn more please visit, alisonmdesir.com.”