Alison Mariella Désir is a running coach, the founder of the Harlem Run running crew, and a contributor to Women’s Running magazine. She runs a lot. But on Monday, she’ll head out for a very different run: a 240-mile journey from Harlem to Washington, D.C., to raise money for Planned Parenthood.
“I read somewhere, ‘No one person can change the world, but we can each do our part.’ I’m from Harlem. I live to run. What can I do?” Désir writes on GoFundMe. “Well, it’s no secret that this incoming Administration and Congress have a target on women’s right to choose and women’s health. There will never come a time that I look back and wonder, ‘what could I have done to protect that right?’”
Désir and a team of three other women will run the equivalent of about two marathons a day and arrive in Washington on Inauguration Day in an effort to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and the strength of women. “There will be four of us running, but we’ll be running for all of us,” she writes.
She’s raised close to $20,000+ since January 2, 2017, with a goal of $44,000 in honor of the 44th president and Planned Parenthood ally, Barack Obama. “I can’t do much,” she writes, “but I CAN do this.”