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Workshops & Speaking

Allison Gilbert lost both of her parents as a young adult, and separately, experienced being on the ground as a journalist covering the 9/11 terror attacks. In her inspiring presentations and workshops she uses her own stories as a prism to reveal the unique anxieties and challenges we all face when we’ve suffered a trauma, or lost a loved one.

Allison shares how to transform those obstacles into tools for success at home and at work. She also shares creative ways to celebrate loved ones that have passed away and how to keep their memories alive.

Watch Allison’s Speaking Reel by clicking on the “play” icon to the right.

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





Memory Bash® !

Let author Allison Gilbert bring her action-packed Memory Bash® to you! A Memory Bash® is an excuse to get together as a group — eating, drinking, and having a great time — while celebrating loved ones who have passed away in the company of others drawn to do the same. It’s a joyful, innovative idea Allison writes about in her latest book, Passed and Present. Click here to watch a Memory Bash Video . Click here to see photos of a Memory Bash® .

At a Memory Bash® , your audience will:

  • Experience a warm and celebratory atmosphere, with Allison as both speaker and facilitator (Ideal for a brunch or evening event)
  • Use technology to participate in fun, easy memory-preserving activities with their smartphones or tablets
  • Learn new ways to preserve a loved one’s handwriting, favorite words, and most reminiscent recipes
  • Share a short story about their loved one and what made them so special
  • Write a note of remembrance to be included in an international commemorative project

Additional activities: More can be added depending on the size/location of the Memory Bash® .
What to bring: A notebook and pen, smartphone or tablet, and a photograph of the participant’s loved one.

This presentation is great for grief centers, hospices, support groups, and faith groups.  


Passed & Present

In this workshop, Allison offers participants a satisfying and sweeping overview of the most essential lessons from her latest book, Passed and Present.  They will learn creative and inspiring ways to celebrate and honor the family and friends they never want to forget.

Among the topics covered:

  • Repurpose With Purpose:  Ideas for transforming objects and heirlooms.  Discover ways to reimagine photographs, jewelry, clothing, letters, recipes — virtually any inherited item or memento
  • Use Technology:  Strategies for our daily, digital life. Opportunities for using computers, scanners, printers, apps, mobile devices, and websites
  • Not Just Holidays:  Tips for remembrance any time of year, be it a loved one’s birthday, an anniversary, or just a moment when a memory catches us by surprise
  • Places to Go:  Destinations around the world where reflecting and honoring loved ones is a communal activity. This concept is called Commemorative Travel.  Also included are suggestions for incorporating aspects of foreign traditions into practices at home

Audiences will leave this workshop with the following: a dozen innovative tools for remembering, a custom healing memento, and a free copy of Allison’s latest book, Passed and Present.

What to bring: A photograph of the participant’s loved one, a notebook, and a pen.

This presentation is great for grief centers, hospices, support groups, and faith groups.  


Keynote Topics


Healing Heartbreak with Action-Driven Remembering

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

In this rousing and interactive keynote presentation, Allison supports and guides the audience’s journey toward wholeness and healing after a loved one dies. Allison shares new, uplifting, and creative ways to remember those we miss most. Activities will be performed during the presentation, providing participants the opportunity to build new relationships while recognizing and paying tribute to their shared losses. Participants will leave this presentation feeling stronger and far more connected to loved ones lost.  They will also be happier knowing that absence and presence can so easily coexist.

This presentation connects well with grief centers, hospices, hospital support groups, and faith groups. It reaches both those who need support and the professionals who provide it.

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: How Setbacks at Home Can Spell Success at Work

Never before has there been so little separation between work and home. When it comes to grappling with loss, employees can learn to be supportive of each other and ensure coworkers are propped up for success. In this keynote presentation, Allison shares insight from three perspectives:

  1. employees who have experienced loss and are reintegrating into the office
  2. colleagues who want to be supportive but also need and want to stay focused
  3. leaders and administrators who foster a culture for support and success

Join organizations such as Time Warner and the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), among others, that have had Allison present on this essential topic.

When Private Grief is Shared By the Public

As the only female journalist featured in the National September 11 Memorial Museum audio tour, Allison speaks to audiences across the country about the personal and public side of grief, and about celebrating life when death and catastrophe are part of the public discourse.

This presentation is an opportunity for schools, communities, and businesses impacted by mass tragedy such as Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, the Boston Marathon, 9/11, Oklahoma City, and Hurricane Katrina to come together for an important discussion on the emotional lessons learned from disaster and the tools needed to promote healing.

Allison is coeditor of Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11, the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered that tragic day.  The groundbreaking book was turned into a documentary by the U.S. State Department and distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. The emergency triage tag put around Gilbert’s neck is on display at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

This presentation connects well with victims and survivors of tragedy, first responders, faith communities, FEMA and other agencies, as well and museums and memorials.


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


Upcoming Speaking Events


2018 Events

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


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


2017 Events

December 1-4, 2017
San Diego Survivor and Good Grief Camp
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
Time: Friday, 4:00pm-8:00pm; Saturday 8:00am-8:00pm; Sunday 8:00am-8:30pm; Monday 8:00am-?
Location: Bahia Hotel
998 West Mission Bay Drive
San Diego CA


Wednesday, November 8, 2017
The Conversation – Stories That Matter
“A single-topic conversation series that highlights personal, honest stories from extraordinary speakers”
With authors Allison Gilbert, Hope Edelman and Claire Bidwell Smith
Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Location: HBO Theater
1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY


Friday, November 3, 2017
Spoken Interludes
Dinner & Discussion with authors Gretchen Rubin, Diana Harmon Asher, and Allison Gilbert
Time: Dinner (6-7:30pm)

Reading (7:30-8:30pm)
Book Signing (8:30-9:00pm)
Location: Riverview
One Warburton Ave
Hastings on Hudson, NY


Interested in engaging Allison Gilbert for your next event? Please fill out the form below.


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