ALISON MARIELLA DÉSIR aka Powdered Feet
(listen to how she got started running HERE)
Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and the world and by The Root 100 as one of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45, Alison is an endurance athlete, activist, and mental health counselor. Alison is the founder of Harlem Run (an NYC-based running movement) and Run 4 All Women (an initiative that has raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood), and just launched the podcast Finding Meaning (on the RUN), available on iTunes, Google Music, SoundCloud and Stitcher. Alison is currently featured alongside American Ballet Theatre® principal ballerina Misty Copeland, world champion sprinter Natasha Hastings, professional stuntwoman Jessie Graff, and Chinese taekwondo champion and actress Zoe Zhang (Lanxin Zhang) in Under Armor’s latest global campaign, Unlike Any, which celebrates and honors the unprecedented achievements of female athletes that rise above gender comparisons and stand on their own as marvels of athletic prowess.
Passionate about community, mental health and fitness, Alison's nickname, “powdered feet,” comes from the Haitian Kreyol saying, which describes a person so active that you never see them, just the footprints of where they’ve been in powder. Alison started running distance after a period of depression, and, over the past 5 years, has been able to Find Meaning on the Run. When Alison is not running, she is working to resolve and speaking passionately about issues related to women and girls as well as mental health. Alison recently wrote the foreword for Running is My Therapy, by NYTimes best-selling author Scott Douglas.
Alison has a wealth of grassroots marketing experience as well as expertise in building authentic and engaging communities around health and wellness. Alison is CPR/AED certified, a USATF level 1 certified coach and an RRCA certified coach. Alison uses all of these skills and experiences to help others take the necessary steps to create positive change in their lives and find meaning on the run. Alison holds her BA in History, MA in Latin American and Caribbean Regional Studies, and EdM in Counseling Psychology, all from Columbia University.