Oiselle Hires Alison Mariella Désir as its Director of Sports Advocacy
January 27, 2021
Seattle, WA – January 27, 2021 – Oiselle is excited to announce that Alison Mariella Désir is joining its Leadership Team in Seattle as the Director of Sports Advocacy. The newly created role combines community, culture, and movement-building as the brand strengthens both its internal team culture and community outreach with the goal of making running a more inclusive space.
Désir is a multi-talented advocate, community organizer, and a USATF level 1 certified coach and an RRCA certified coach. She holds her BA in History, MA in Latin American and Caribbean Regional Studies, and EdM in Counseling Psychology, all from Columbia University. In 2013, Désir started HarlemRun to welcome BIPOC runners of all abilities into the sport. In January 2017, she spearheaded Run4AllWomen, a women’s relay to Washington, DC. that raised over $150,000 for Planned Parenthood. In 2019, Désir helped women-led running groups around the globe connect through a new organization, the Global Womxn Run Collective, to empower and enable connections among women-led groups that might not have a seat at traditional tables of power. She also created a series of events called Meaning Thru Movement that provides education and practical steps to improve mental and physical health, especially for the BIPOC community. Désir’s work highlights the realities for non-white runners, in order to forge a more inclusive path and fight white supremacy and racism. In addition to the aforementioned organizations, Désir currently serves as co-chair of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition and has been honored by Outside, The Root, and Women’s Running for her sport advocacy work.
“I am thrilled to formally join Oiselle in this newly created role,” said Désir. “What does allyship look like for brands in 2021? A big component is building trust and respect to show vulnerability in a room. Oiselle is uniquely positioned to elevate on these core principles internally and externally through their brand messaging, visuals, Volée team, and Bras for Girls program. In addition, I’m energized to start pushing the brand to tackle policy issues that matter to us as runners like environmental justice.”
Désir originally signed on as an athlete-advisor with Oiselle in June 2020. In September, Oiselle and Run4AllWomen co-sponsored the Womxn Run the Vote Virtual Relay which hosted 10,000 participants paired off into 667 teams to cover a 686-mile virtual civil rights journey from Atlanta, GA to Washington, D.C. The event raised $270,000 for Black Voters Matter.
“We are thrilled to cause some good trouble with Alison,” said Oiselle CEO Sally Bergesen. “One of Alison’s many superpowers is her strength as an empathic communicator who can bring people together. We can’t think of a more perfect person to tackle this newly created role at Oiselle.”
Founded in 2007, Oiselle is an athletic apparel company dedicated exclusively to the needs of women athletes. Based in Seattle, Oiselle embodies the notion that running is more than a physical activity, but also a philosophy that helps women increase their courage, confidence, and health. A French word for bird, Oiselle (pronounced wa-zell) alludes to the feeling of independence and flight that most runners know; when the legs go fast and the heart goes free. Connect with Oiselle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.