Group Leader  — as a part of the Exercise + Sport Team

Uses She/Her pronouns

Alison Mariella Désir is multi-talented: a founder, a doer, an activist, a connector, a visionary and an unapologetically straightforward communicator with a passion for movement, mental health, and racial equity. Alison got her start in the running and outdoor industry unintentionally, after seeing a Black friend train and complete a marathon. Inspired, Alison went on to run her first marathon and discovered that she had found a powerful tool to manage her depression. She’s been working to share the transformational power of running and movement ever since.

Alison is the author of Running While Black, the tv host and producer of the award winning show, Out & Back w/ Alison Mariella Désir (now streaming) and the host of Out & Back’s companion podcast; listen here.

Alison is the founder of 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.

Alison is co-founder and former chair of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, a nonprofit that unites the running industry to provide resources, measure progress, and hold the industry accountable to equitable employment, leadership, and ownership positions and improve inclusion, visibility, and access for Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

Alison is the co-founder of Women of Color Take the Lead Retreat, the first-ever running-industry retreat centering the experience of women and femme of color with the mission to validate, support, and lead change they want to see in the running industry.

In 2023, Alison was named as one of the “45 Most Adventurous Women of the Past 45 Years” by Men’s Journal and one of the “Changemakers of 2023” by Well + Good. In 2021 and 2022, Alison was named one of the “Power Women” by Women’s Running Magazine. She was also named one of the most influential African Americans, aged 25 to 45, by The Root 100. Alison has designed her own clothing collection with Oiselle (the AMD Collection) and created the first ever satin-lined running cap, made with Black women’s hair care needs in mind. Alison is currently sponsored by Brooks Running as part of the Run Happy Advocate team.

Alison holds her BA in History, MA in Latin American and Caribbean Regional Studies, and EdM in Counseling Psychology, all from Columbia University.

Alison sits on the advisory boards for Strava and &Mother and is an Athlete Ambassador for Athlete Ally. She lives outside of Seattle with her partner, Amir Muhammad Figueroa, and their son, Kouri Henri Figueroa.