The Appetite 102: Race and Mental Health in Running: Alison Désir Talks with Opal

Published by Kara Bazzi, LMFT, CEDS on

Race and Mental Health in Running: Alison Désir Talks with Opal

Runner Alison Désir joins host and therapist Carter Umhau and Opal Co-Founder and Head of the Exercise + Sport Program, Kara Bazzi, to talk about the intersection of race and running, and why representation and mental health support in running—and the athletic world at large—matters.
How has whiteness in the running world contributed to the toxicity around sport culture? Alison Désir is a runner, mental health advocate, activist, speaker, and mother. She is the founder of the Harlem Run club, Meaning Through Movement, and Womxn Run the Vote. After the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed while running as a Black man, Alison called out the running community for being divided by race. She leads the running world in building a healthier and more inclusive community and, in this episode, it’s clear why…Alison’s passion, wisdom, and expertise are on full display!


Find Alison Desir on Instagram @alisonmdesir and learn more about her here: and here:

Check out Alison’s Meaning Through Movement events on fitness and mental health:

Find out how you can be a part of the virtual relay, Womxn Run the Vote: and on Instagram @Run4AllWomen

Check out the Harlem Run Club: and on Instagram @HarlemRun

Read Alison Desir’s article called Ahmaud Arbery and Whiteness in the Running World:



Connect with Opal:


Instagram: @opalfoodandbody



Thank you to our team…

Editing by Hans Anderson:

Music by Aaron Davidson:

Daniel Guenther at Jack Straw Cultural Center:

Host and Producer Carter Umhau: