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Workshops & Speaking

To arrange a speaking engagement, contact Dawn Stuart at Books in Common, 541-318-6288.

Workshop & Speech Topics

Memory Bash®: Celebrate Family and Friends You Never Want to Forget

Memory Bash events are very popular. Learn everything you need to know about these fun and meaningful celebrations (and see videos and photos!) by visiting

Resilience After Loss: The Reflection Effect

Taking intentional steps to remember loved ones is key to healing. Individuals who honor family and friends, who proactively keep them present in their lives, almost always fare better emotionally than those who don’t.

In this empowering presentation, Allison draws on her provocative essay in O, the Oprah Magazine, “The Reflection Effect,” about the science of nostalgia and its surprising capacity to make us happier, less lonely, spark creativity, and strengthen connections not just to the past, but to family and friends in our present. The discussion also stems from her latest book, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive. Participants will leave Allison’s talk feeling stronger and more connected to loved ones lost. They will also be happier knowing that absence and presence can so easily coexist.

Bonus option: Allison also presents Resilience After Loss as an interactive workshop. Fun and meaningful activities provide participants opportunities to build relationships with each other while recognizing and honoring their losses. Please ask about specific activities and projects.

Owning Your Destiny: A Personal Story of Genetics and Survival

Allison’s mother died of ovarian cancer. Her aunt and grandmother died of breast cancer. With that unfathomable family history, the Emmy award-winning journalist and author of Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive and other books decided to take her health into her own hands – before it was too late.

After testing positive for the BRCA gene, she decided to have a complete hysterectomy. At 37, she was thrust into menopause, and her life in so many ways changed forever. But none of that mattered. The operation was a life-affirming choice, and Allison did it for her husband and children. And because BRCA is also an indicator of an increased risk of breast cancer, Allison also chose preventative double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer.

Her pioneering series for HuffPost, “My Journey to Prevent Ovarian Cancer,” chronicles her decision to have a prophylactic hysterectomy. Allison has discussed her experiences and written about them in The New York Times. She’s also talked about them on CNN and MSNBC.

Covering Catastrophe: the Story Behind Reporting the Story

An Emmy award-winning journalist who was nearly killed on 9/11, Allison is co-editor of Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11, the definitive historical record of how broadcasters covered that tragic day. The landmark book was turned into a documentary by the U.S. State Department and distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. Allison has been honored as the only female journalist to be featured in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and she is the official narrator of the Museum’s September 11, 2001 exhibition audio tour. Her voice is also introduced by Robert De Niro on the museum’s Witnessing History audio guide. Allison currently serves as Senior Advisor to TAPS, the preeminent national organization providing grief support to more than 75,000 military families.

Praise for Allison Gilbert’s Workshops and Talks:

“What a fabulous evening! The room was packed. The crowd was happy. Everyone walked away thrilled they made the time to come. Let’s do it again soon.”
– Susan Engel, Director, Lectures, 92nd Street Y

“I attend and oversee dozens of events for women in corporate America every year, and I find Allison an unusually warm, informative, and funny speaker. She brilliantly applies her own hard-won lessons and insights to the business and professional issues that others face. Our members loved her!”
– Betty Spence, Ph.D., President, National Association for Female Executives (NAFE)

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you for leading such an important program. Our members learned so much from you, and feel stronger from having listened to your warm and insightful talk. Let us know when you’d like to come back. Please consider our red door always open.”
– Migdalia Torres, Executive Director of Program and Satellite Expansion, Gilda’s Club New York City


Get in Touch

Upcoming Speaking Events

2018 Events

February 28, 2018
“Remembering Loved Ones: An Essential Opportunity for Helping Individuals & Families”
Location: New York Foundling
590 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY

April 26, 2018
“Hope in the Morning Annual Breakfast Fundraiser”
Keynote Address
Location: Mourning Hope Grief Center
4919 Baldwin Ave
Lincoln, NE

May 22, 2018
138th OFDA Annual Convention and Exhibition
Ohio Funeral Directors Association
“Presentation and Book Signing”
Time: 9:00-11:00am
Location: Hilton Columbus at Easton
3900 Chagrin Drive
Columbus, OH

Memorial Day Weekend 2018 (May 24-28, 2018)
National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
Washington, DC
2016 Press release

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