Join Another Mother Runner for a LIVE podcast interview of Alison Mariella Désir, author of Running While Black, and be part of a conversation that will cover everything from the healing powers of movement and how we can make running a more inclusive experience to the history of running and Alison’s personal journey in the running industry. This is a not to be missed event!
Alison Mariella Désir is an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health advocate. Currently cochair of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, a Run Happy Advocate for Brooks Running, and an athlete adviser for Oiselle, Désir is the founder of Harlem Run, a New Your City-based running movement. A graduate of Columbia University with a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees, including a Master of Education in counseling psychology, Désir has been published in Outside magazine and contributed the foreword for Running is My Therapy by Scott Douglas. Running While Black is her first book. Désir currently lives outside of Seattle with her son, Kouri Henri, and partner, Amir Muhammad Figueroa.
- Parking: FREE in GU Energy Labs parking lot at 1609 4th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710. Street parking is also available.
- Proof of vaccination is required, masks are optional – Please show vaccine card at door (physical card or digital record via myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov)
- IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING COVID SYMPTOMS YOU CANNOT ATTEND REGARDLESS OF VACCINE STATUS – thank you for helping keep our community safe!
- Light snacks and beverages will be provided
- Books will be available for purchase
- All guests will receive a GUdie bag at the conclusion of the event, filled with GU products
- 7:00pm – Doors Open
- 7:30pm – Live podcast begins
- 8:30pm – Live podcast ends
- 9:00pm – Event concludes
ABOUT RUNNING WHILE BLACK
A searing exposé on the whiteness of running, a supposedly egalitarian sport, and a call to reimagine the industry
“Runners know that running brings us to ourselves. But for Black people, the simple act of running has never been so simple. It is a declaration of the right to move through the world. If running is claiming public space, why, then, does it feel like a negotiation?”
Running saved Alison 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.
Running While Black draws on Désir’s experience as an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health advocate to explore why the seemingly simple, human act of long distance running for exercise and health has never been truly open to Black people. Weaving historical context—from the first recreational running boom to the horrific murder of Ahmaud Arbery—together with her own story of growth in the sport, Désir unpacks how we got here and advocates for a world where everyone is free to safely experience the life-changing power of movement.
As America reckons with its history of white supremacy across major institutions, Désir argues that, as a litmus test for an inclusive society, the fitness industry has the opportunity to lead the charge—fulfilling its promise of empowerment.