While most women’s closets are peppered with sky-high stilettos and sleek sandals, Allyson Felix’s shoe racks are dominated by “spikes.” That’s because Allyson is internationally known for her presence in the world of track and field. Just two years ago, she became the “most decorated American Track and Field athlete of all time after winning her bronze and gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” And her 27 global medals earned at the Olympics and World Championships along with titles as both a World Record Holder and a Master’s World Record Holder back up that pronouncement.
Following her retirement from on-field competition, last year she officially launched Saysh, “a line of athletic-inspired footwear made for and by women, unlike most brands, whose shoes are created based off of men’s feet and footwear.” Her goal was to “create an encouraging and supportive community for women.” To accomplish this feat, women-led, women-funded partners were sought for the brand’s recent Series A fundraising round, which brought in $8 million and was led by the Gap Inc.-owned Athleta brand.
Another part of her post-competition life is her advocacy for maternity rights for all women. Following her op-ed piece in The New York Times pointing out that her former sponsor Nike did not provide guaranteed protections for pregnant athletes and new moms, pregnancy discrimination in athletics was put in the spotlight and “the practice was heavily criticized.”
Allyson is bringing advocacy to North Texas on Thursday, October 6, for the Texas Women’s Foundation’s (TXWF) 37th Annual Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole that is being co-chaired by Laura Nieto and Rachel Vinson.
In addition to the fundraiser, themed “Transforming Communities,” that’s being presented by the Dallas Mavericks, Mavs President/CEO/Texas Women’s Foundation Board Member Cynt Marshall will serve as the moderator.
According to Texas Women’s Foundation President/CEO Miki Woodard, “We’re excited about this all-star team. Allyson and Cynt will elevate the conversation of transforming communities with systems that support everyone, while they share sports and personal stories. We’re also thankful to the team of Laura and Rachel, who are transforming their workplace communities.”
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* Photo provided by Texas Women's Foundation ** Photo credit: Brianna Juda