Rachaell Davis
Nov, 01, 2017

Activist, athlete and visionary Alison Desir etched her spot in history this past January when she led a group of runners from New York City to Washington, DC in support of women's rights. Now, she's sharing some of the backstory behind the initiative as part of the TIME Inc. American Voices video series.

Over the course of the last four years, Desir has brought inspiration and unity to her community through her organization Harlem Run, which acted as the vehicle for the monumental movement that saw people join in along the way as she led them some 250 miles to the nation's capital. After going through a period of depression following a difficult break up and the death of her father, the proud Harlem native started the organization as a safe space for release, wellness and purpose.

"Running is the vehicle for social change," Desir shares in the video."We could be doing something else but, running holds us together. It creates connection, it creates community."

Founded by the 32-year-old trailblazer in 2013, Harlem Run is described as "a collective of runners passionate about running and community." Hear more of Alison's empowering backstory in the video above.