Missed our panel discussion on systemic racism and running? Catch the recording here.
Jay Ell Alexander is CEO and Owner of Black Girls RUN!, an organization focused on helping Black women make fitness and health a priority. Alexander’s background is in Public Relations and Communications. She served BGR! for six years as the Public Relations and Communications lead before she acquired the organization in 2018.
Alexander is also the Founder and CEO of The Vaughn Strategy, a public relations strategy consulting firm. She has extensive experience in communications, leadership and brand development.
Alexander holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism and minor in Spanish from George Mason University. She also holds a MS in Strategic Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University.
She uses her passion for communications, health and fitness to build the BGR! community across the country.
Joe Gray is a professional mountain runner and HOKA ONE ONE athlete.
Gray has won running titles in events ranging from road, track, cross country and trails. He is one of the most accomplished mountain runners in the United States, with 18 U.S. national championships and eight world championships, including two wins at the World Mountain Running Championships.
He has been named the USA Mountain Runner of the Year 10 times and, most recently, was named “the Goat” (The Greatest of All Time) by the World Mountain Running Association. He is also the first and only Black American to make the US Mountain Running team.
In Spring 2019, Gray launched Project Inspire Diversity, with the goal to make the sport more inclusive, and to inspire and motivate young minority distance runners in Colorado. Through the program, Gray has provided opportunities and gear for young athletes, as well as shed light on the lack of diversity in distance running, and to the lack of media spotlight on Black runners with the aim to make the sport more inclusive.
Gray is passionate about running as a vehicle for travel, exploration and community connection. He holds a BS in Sociology and an MS in Sociology with a Criminology distinction.
Reginald J. Miller is the Vice President of Global Inclusion and Diversity at VF Corporation, the parent company for active, outdoor and workwear brands including Altra and The North Face.
Miller directs diversity and inclusion strategy aimed at transformational change. Before joining VF, Miller served in multiple roles focused on diversity and Inclusion, as Director of Diversity Strategy and Support for all US Walmart stores and in Recruitment at Tyson Foods.
He served in the US Army as a Supply Sergeant, and was deployed to Germany, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Miller holds a BS in Education and HR Development, as well as an MS in Education and Workforce Development from the University of Arkansas. He also earned an MBA from Webster University.
Alison Mariella Désir is an endurance athlete, activist and mental health advocate.
Passionate about community, mental health and fitness, Désir is the founder of multiple running movements designed to empower those in marginalized communities.
Désir founded Harlem Run in New York City to transform urban communities through running and service. Her organization, Run 4 All Women, raised over $150,000 for reproductive rights and built a corporate structure to allow for expansion around the country. Global Womxn Run Collective empowers women leaders globally that are not given a seat at the table.
Women's Running named Désir as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and the world. The Root 100 named her one of the most influential African Americans, ages 25 to 45.
Désir holds her BA in History, MA in Latin American and Caribbean Regional Studies, and an EdM in Counseling Psychology, all from Columbia University.