Alison Mariella Désir is multi-talented: a founder, a doer, an activist, a connector, and an unapologetically straightforward communicator with a passion for community health. Alison came to running organically, following a period of depression, when a Black friend and role model trained for and completed a marathon. Alison successfully completed her first of many marathons in June of 2012 - the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, in 4:34. As Alison continued to engage with the running community, she was frustrated by the lack of diversity; she started HarlemRun in 2013 to create a group that was welcoming of BIPOC runners. In January of 2017, Alison spearheaded another organization, Run4AllWomen, which raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood with their womxn’s relay to Washington, DC. In 2019, Alison helped womxn-led running groups around the globe connect through a new organization, the Global Womxn Run Collective, to empower and enable connections among womxn-led groups that might not have a seat at traditional tables of power.
Alison most recently has channeled her personal experiences and formal training to bring the mental benefits of running to a broader group. She created a series of events (now virtual due to COVID-19) called Meaning Thru Movement that provides education and practical steps to improving mental and physical health, especially for the BIPOC community. These robust discussions not only educate all of us on the realities non-white runners face, but illuminate a more inclusive path forward that fights white supremacy and racism.