The Alliance Collaborative

The Alliance Collaborative is composed of some of the most impactful activists and changemakers we, at the National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness), admire most. We are honored to have these thought leaders contribute their time, knowledge, and experience through several of our programs and initiatives.

S. Bryn Austin, ScD, SM

Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital

Minaa B., LMSW

Writer, Therapist, Wellness Coach

Schuyler Bailar

Author, Activist, Life Coach, & the 1st Trans Athlete, NCAA D1 Men’s Team

Chase Bannister, MDIV, LCSW, CEDS

CEO/Principal of Bannister Consultancy

Armiel Chandler

Content Creator/Filmmaker/Video Editor

Nitika Chopra

Founder & CEO of Chronicon

Mimi Cole, ACMHC

Founder, the Lovely Becoming

Megan Jayne Crabbe

Bestselling Author, Digital Creator, & Presenter

Elisa Donovan

Actress and Author

Eric Dorsa

National Mental Health Advocate

Ryan Dunk

Former Team USA Figure Skater and Future Psychologist

Christina Grasso

Digital Creator & Co-founder of The Chain

William Hornby

Advocate, Speaker, Singer-Songwriter

Aiyana Ishmael

Editorial Assistant, Teen Vogue

Jameela Jamil

Activist and Founder of I Weigh

Jillian Lampert, PhD, RD, LD, MPH, FAED

Chief Strategy Officer, Accanto Health

Nicolette Mason

DE&I Consultant, Content Creator, and Writer

Sharon Maxwell

Educator, Speaker, & Fat Activist

Bethany C. Meyers

Founder & CEO, the be.come project

Hunter McGrady

Model, Activist, and Designer

Steph Ng

Founder and Executive Director of Body Banter

Bailey Peyton

Curve Model & Content Creator

Rachel Porter, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist, Anti-Stigma Advocate, and Health at Every Size Provider

Achea Redd

Mental Health Activist & Author

Gigi Robinson

Content Creative & Health Advocate

Anna Sweeney, RDN, CEDS-C

Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian

Katrina Velasquez, Esq, MA

Managing Principal, Center Road Solutions, L.L.C.

Meghan Watson, MA, RP

Writer, Therapist, Consultant

Dr. S. Bryn Austin (She/Her) is an award-winning researcher, teacher, and mentor. She is Professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. She directs the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders: A Public Health Incubator, based at the Harvard Chan School and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Austin is Immediate Past President of the Eating Disorders Coalition and Academy for Eating Disorders.

With eight years of clinical practice, Minaa B. (She/Her) is a well trained licensed psychotherapist who specializes in treating childhood and racial trauma, depression, anxiety. She is also an expert on teaching self-care. As a wellness coach, Minaa uses clinical insight to guide people on their wellness journeys by providing them with tools for increasing their mental health management skills. In 2016, she debuted her first book, Rivers Are Coming: A Collection of Essays And Poems On Healing From Depression and Trauma. Minaa earned her graduate degree in social work from New York University, which led her to cultivate a deep commitment to mental health advocacy. Based in New York City, Minaa is a speaker, writer and workshop facilitator who uses practices such as creative arts, literacy and storytelling to help people manage their mental health and cultivate healing.

Schuyler Bailar (He/Him) is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top-20 15-year-old breast-strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. In college, he swam for Harvard University, on Harvard’s winningest team in 50 years. Schuyler’s difficult choice – to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion – was historic. His story has appeared everywhere from 60 Minutes to The Washington Post. Schuyler’s tireless advocacy has earned him numerous honors including LGBTQ Nation’s Instagram Advocate for 2020. In 2021, Schuyler also released his first middle-grade novel, Obie Is Man Enough.

Chase Bannister (He/Him) is President of the Board of the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) for Research, Policy & Action, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and CEO/Principal of Bannister Consultancy. Chase is a prominent figure in the architecture of mental health, recognized for his commitment to clinical excellence in the treatment of eating disorders and advancement of meaningful healthcare policy through advocacy and strategic engagement. He has offered expert guidance to the many government agencies and The White House. Bannister founded and served as the Chief Strategy & Clinical Integrity Officer of Veritas Collaborative, a specialty healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders. He has held roles as Clinical Director and founding clinician of Carolina House, a residential treatment center for eating disorders.

Bannister completed his clinical training at Duke University’s Counseling & Psychological Services and Duke University Medical Center Infectious Disease Clinic. Bannister holds a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature.

Armiel Chandler (he/Him) is an award-winning filmmaker, director, writer, and content creator. Ever since the age of 17, his goal was to create content that diversifies the industry and inspires the youth. His main focus is to create a new wave and standard when it comes to being plus-size and fashionable. With personality-driven content and positive affirmations reels, he aims to create a safe space for people to authentically live in their truth.  His work and content have gotten him featured at  Instagram, Ulta Beauty, Essence,  NBC, Tribeca Film Festival, Seventeen Magazine, Savage X Fenty, Nike, SiriusXM Radio,  and much more.  He is currently a full-time content creator and a part of a lucrative deal with Facebook and Meta We The Culture Program.  His main goal is to create content that amplifies voices of color and creates opportunities.

Nitika Chopra (SHe/Her) is the founder of Chronicon, a media and events company, dedicated to elevating the lives of those living with a chronic illness. Nitika was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 10 and psoriatic arthritis at the age of 19 and lived over 17 years of her life being defined by her conditions. In 2010 she decided to take all of the lessons her health journey had taught her and use it to help others with the creation of her online magazine Bella Life. Since the start of her entrepreneurial journey Nitika has hosted her own TV talk show on Z Living called Naturally Beautiful, hosted over 40 events with hundreds of guests in attendance and has created dynamic partnerships with over 150 brands in the wellness space. After 10 years in event creation, Nitika launched Chronicon in the fall of 2019, focused on those living with a chronic illness. The event sold out, had over 2,000 livestream viewers, high-level brand sponsors and has been growing ever since. Now, Nitika is excited to announce that Chronicon is expanding online with The Chronicon Community, a new, accessible online space with inspiration, advocacy, and empowerment for chronically ill folks across the globe to connect. Follow her for daily inspiration @ChroniconOfficial.

Mimi Cole, ACMHC (They/Them) completed their Master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, before doing their clinical internship in Utah. They now offer telehealth services to individuals residing in the state of Utah. They are the host of the podcast, the Lovely Becoming, and are passionate about disordered eating and obsessive compulsive disorder. They have experience working in the residential and outpatient levels of care as a patient assistant for individuals with eating disorders. As a clinician, Mimi practices from a Health at Every Size, trauma-informed lens. Outside of being a student, Mimi loves to read and write, go to coffee shops, and connect with new people.

Megan Jayne Crabbe (She/Her) is a bestselling author, digital creator and presenter with more than 1.3 million followers across her social channels. She built her online platform creating content around the topics of body positivity, eating disorder recovery, mental health and feminism.

In 2017 Megan wrote her first book, Body Positive Power, a manifesto on all the reasons why we hate our bodies, and how to change them. Megan has delivered talks, panels and presentations to audiences of thousands, and been a featured speaker at events hosted by Spotify, Instagram, Stylist Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Body Shop and more. In 2019 she co-created and toured a sell-out live show called The Never Say Diet Club, filled with empowering talks, comedy musicals, over-the-top dance numbers and lots of costume changes. She’s also worked with BBC, The Brits and Channel 4 as a presenter and podcast host.

For over 20 years, Elisa Donovan (She/Her) has been a part of iconic pop culture phenomenon’s. She began her film career originating the role of Amber in the comedy Clueless. She followed that up with a turn on another pop culture sensation Beverly Hills, 90210, playing bad girl ‘Ginger LaMonica.’ She then went on to reprise her role of ‘Amber’ on the television series of Clueless. During which time she shot the Paramount/SNL Films comedy A Night At The Roxbury. Then for three seasons Elisa played ‘Morgan Cavanaugh’ on the monster hit series Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Elisa has had recurring roles on multiple other TV series, and has starred in numerous telefilms.

Elisa’s first book “Wake Me When You Leave” was on June 8, 2021. The book is her very personal memoir about losing her job, her relationship, and her father to cancer, all over a very short period of time. Through her grief, she began to connect to her father to series of visitations and dreams, helping her to heal and remedy her life. In addition, Elisa supports women struggling with eating disorders and is a proponent of spreading awareness and recovery. She has had pieces published in the “Chicken Soup For The Soul” series of books as well as having her recovery story featured in the book “Feeding The Fame” and documented for TEEN People. Elisa has spoken about recovery on many television shows including 20/20, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Dr. Drew’s Headline News. Elisa currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.

Eric Dorsa (They/Them) is a National LGBTQIA Mental Health & Recovery Advocate. They are the host of “Queen & Sober” an Instagram live series with Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center. Eric is an LGBTQ activist, actor, comedian, and drag queen currently living in Chicago, Illinois. As an advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eric shares their experiences of Eating Disorder Recovery, coming out as a gay and non-binary person, and their recovery from Substance Use Disorder. Eric has been featured on Texas Public Radio “Worth Repeating”, Mental Note Podcast “Drag Queen Wisdom”, Huffington Post Queer Voices, and has given an award winning 2014 TEDx Talk entitled “ How Dressing in Drag Made Me Uncover My Authentic Self.” Connect with Eric on instagram @fkdrag.

Ryan (he/him) is a former Team USA figure skater and the 2019 Junior Men’s U.S. National Champion. Now a research assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, Ryan hopes to attend a PhD program in clinical psychology in the near future. Ryan’s lived experiences as a queer individual and former competitive athlete have contributed to and influenced his passion for eating disorder activism and awareness, and he is currently a youth ambassador for the Eating Disorder Coalition for Research, Policy and Action. In his free time, Ryan enjoys nature walks, dancing, and listening to music. He hopes to use his own social media platforms to spread positivity and make others happy.

Christina Grasso (She/Her) is a New York City-based content creator, writer, and social media consultant originally from Western Pennsylvania. Over the past decade, she has worked and collaborated with numerous brands and publications in the fashion and beauty space including: Chanel, Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, Nylon, Huffington Post, Air France, Ferragamo, Oscar de la Renta, and Law and Order: SVU, among others. Inspired by her own recovery from anorexia, Christina co-founded The Chain, a 501c3 non-profit which supports women in fashion coping with eating disorders. She also serves as a board member for Glam4Good Foundation and a member of Thirteen Lune’s Vanguard, a group of people who are committed to change and amplifying Black and Brown-owned brands and the teams and stories behind them. Christina graduated in 2011 from Saint Mary’s College with concentrations in Communication and Italian. She lives in Manhattan with her cat, Stevie Nicks.

William Hornby (He/Him) is at the forefront of raising awareness for men with eating disorders with his advocacy on social media (@williamhornby). He speaks publicly on advocacy, mental health, and eating disorder recovery. He travels around the world both in person and virtually giving workshops and presentations on “The Power of Becoming the Advocate You Needed”. He is the recipient of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for 2021.  He graduated from Temple University in 2022 with a BBA in Business Management and BFA in Musical Theater. He is also a singer-songwriter with music about recovery and mental health, including “Clay”, touted as a body neutral anthem. He is an exceptional pumpkin carver and theater performer as well.

Aiyana Ishmael (she/Her) is the editorial assistant at Teen Vogue. Ishmael focuses heavily on the culture of fashion and how it specifically intertwines and affects marginalized communities. She is an award-winning journalist from Miami, Florida and a graduate of the historically Black university, Florida A&M. Ishmael has bylines in the Wall Street Journal, Essence, Refinery29 and many more. As a journalist, Ishmael wants to ignite conversation and create change through storytelling.

Jameela Jamil (She/Her) is an actress, writer, activist, and founder of the I Weigh movement. In March 2018, in response to a body-shaming meme that judged a group of female celebrities by their weight, Jameela posted a photo of herself with descriptions of how she “weighed” herself that had nothing to do with her weight in lbs or kgs. Her point: we need to have a serious discussion as a society about how we value ourselves. What started as a social media movement of thousands of pictures from people around the world launched into the community of over 1 million people that it is today.

I Weigh is an allyship platform and community of change makers who come together to share ideas, experiences and ultimately mobilize activism. Through original content, editorial and podcasts, Jameela explores social issues that stem from mental health to climate change to the representation of marginalized groups. In April 2020 ‘I Weigh with Jameela Jamil’ Podcast launched with Earwolf in which she speaks to different thought-leaders, performers, activists, influencers, and friends about how they are working through their past shames to find where their value truly lies. With hilarious and vulnerable conversations, I Weigh amplifies and empowers diverse voices in an accessible way to celebrate progress, not perfection.

Dr. Lampert is the Chief Strategy Officer for Accanto Health ( The Emily Program   and Veritas Collaborative) comprehensive eating disorder treatment programs with multiple locations across the country. Additionally, Dr. Lampert is Co-Founder and President of the REDC, the national consortium representing eating disorders care focused on treatment standards, best practices, access to care, and collaborative research. She is also Treasurer of the Eating Disorders Coalition, a DC-based national organization for eating disorders policy and advocacy, and a Board Member of WithAll, a Minnesota based organization that empowers eating disorder prevention and strengthens support for recovery. She holds an adjunct graduate faculty position in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Lampert completed her doctorate degree in Nutrition and Epidemiology and Master of Public Health degree in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Master of Science degree in Nutrition at the University of Vermont and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics. She has an expansive range of policy, clinical, research, education, teaching, and program development experience in the area of eating disorders. One of her primary goals in life is to have the kids in her house (and everywhere!) have confident, loving relationships with their bodies and themselves.

A powerful voice in the LGBTQ and plus-size communities, Nicolette Mason (She/Her) breaks the media molds of beauty standards with the mission that people of any size, color, background or sexual orientation should take risks with their style and embrace their inner voice. Featured as one of Forbes Top Fashion Influencers in 2017 Nicolette is a multi-talented writer, design consultant, public speaker, and personality. She previously served on the board for Barbie’s efforts to create more inclusive and progressive dolls for future generations, and worked as a consultant for Target for their Ava and Viv plus size line as well as Nordstrom’s recent inclusivity efforts. Nicolette has designed numerous successful capsule collections, and worked with every major plus-size brand in addition to global beauty and hair care brands. She launched a fashion forward plus-sized clothing line, Premme, with fellow influencer, Gabi Gregg. Premme’s launch can only be described as outstanding, with the site crashing upon launch due to traffic overload and almost every major news outlet online and off covering the debut. In 2018 she collaborated with the designer retailer, 11Honore, on their first capsule collection with 3 plus size designer pieces ranging from $350 retail to $1,000. Today, Nicolette uses her platforms to drive the conversation for diversity and inclusivity as well as consulting with brands for their DE&I efforts. Nicolette has been featured by Forbes, Vogue, the Today Show, and many more.

With compassion as a guiding principle, Sharon Maxwell (She/They) is a leading force in dismantling systemic anti-fat bias. She dedicates her work to eradicating weight stigma on both a social level and within healthcare settings. Drawing from her previous career in education, she combines her knowledge of curriculum development with her lived experience battling weight stigma to offer unique insights and practical tools that foster safe and accessible environments for people of size. Sharon’s story has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, on The Tamron Hall Show and numerous podcasts. Their activism work has been highlighted in news outlets including 60 Minutes, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR and more. You can follow Sharon’s work on social media platforms through @heysharonmaxwell.

Bethany C. Meyers (they/she) is the founder and CEO of the be.come project. Having spent over a decade teaching sought-after and waitlisted classes, they quickly became a recognizable master instructor across the country. Over the course of their career, Meyers has developed teaching curriculum for prominent studios, trained countless instructors, led pre/post natal workshops, and continues to be known for their unique and effective cueing. Meyers’ approach to fitness is through a “body-neutral” lens,” or the idea of shifting from self-criticism, to a middle ground of acceptance of one’s body. Beyond the be.come project, Meyers is a prominent voice and advocate in the LGBTQ+ community, with particular ambition on making movement accessible to more people.

Hunter McGrady (She/Her) is a model and activist known for being featured within Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue as the curviest woman to hit their pages for 4 years running. A mouthpiece for the fashion and beauty industry, McGrady has devoted her time in the spotlight to nurturing women of all body types and bringing confidence and awareness of their individual beauty. She recently merged her activism and fashion expertise to debut her fashion line with QVC, “All Worthy by Hunter McGrady” in April 2020. The line is one of the widest ranging in terms of sizing, selling trend-setting clothing in sizes XXS – 5X. Hunter’s dream is to communicate to women that they too can be in love within their own skin, and be strong, powerful, and confident. She believes one day there will be no more division of “plus size” or otherwise, we will simply embrace our differences.

Steph Ng (She/Her) is the Founder and Executive Director of Body Banter, a youth-centered organization that aims to provide accessible and empowering opportunities for young people to engage in open conversations about body image and mental health. A recent graduate of the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University, she is energized by her research in the areas of body image and eating disorders in Chinese contexts. She is proud to be a member of the Alliance Collaborative, and hopes that she can continue realizing her mission of creating brave spaces where more stories are heard, seen, and validated.

Bailey Peyton (She/Her) is a model and content creator who grew up sharing her energy through musical theater in the Denver area. Her passion for music and performing brought her to Los Angeles, where instead of music, she found her voice through modeling and sharing her story on social media. She believes every body deserves to be celebrated and has had amazing opportunities to work with brands who share that same passion, from local boutiques to international brands like Athleta, Target, and MeUndies. She channeled the energy of Tracy in Hairspray, performing the lead role three times in Colorado, into the confidence and self-love advocate she is today. She shares her journey to confidence online and in-person through international retreats and local meet-ups. Bailey’s passion and goal is grounded in helping others embrace the journey of showing up as their most authentic self, helping us all to realize confidence is not a one day journey, but an everyday choice.

Rachel Porter, PsyD (She/Her) is an eating disorders professional living and working in Durham, NC. Dr. Porter has worked in the eating disorders field for 15 years, all at higher levels of care. Dr. Porter is an anti-stigma advocate, a Health at Every Size provider, and committed to using her many privileges to support and provide compassionate and inclusive care. In her personal time, Dr. Porter enjoys spending time with her husband and cats, reading, and trying to see Hamilton: An American Musical as many times as humanly possible.

Achea Redd (She/Her) makes mental health awareness her mission—because for her, it’s personal. In early 2016, Achea, daughter of a pastor and wife to NBA legend Michael Redd, was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Terrified and ashamed, the mother of two hid her condition from the world, but she quickly realized it was only getting worse. Her GAD, combined with her history of depression and past eating disorder, affected her both mentally and physically, culminating in a full-blown nervous breakdown. It wasn’t until she acknowledged the situation with her loved ones and sought treatment from her therapist and doctor that things finally started to get better. Achea uses her own life experience and mental health disorder to help women find their voice and let it out. The Precipice of Mental Health: Becoming Your Own Safe Space is Redd’s third book. Redd is also the author of Be Free. Be You. and Authentic You: A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up Fearless and True.

Born and raised in Manhattan, the 24-year-old is a New Yorker through and through! She attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and would later enroll in the famed Fashion Institute of Technology, and later decided to take her talents out west to USC where she graduated Cum Laude with a BFA. After graduation, Gigi wasn’t quite done and continued her studies by pursuing a M.S. in Innovation Design, Business & Technology from USC’s Iovine and Young Academy.

When she was just 11 years old, Gigi was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, that leaves her very susceptible to injury and forced to navigate daily life in chronic pain. She has used her chronic illness as fuel for her passion for advocacy. Along with chronic illness advocacy, Gigi is also extremely passionate about mental health and body image as it intersects with social media. Having suffered from both in her teenage years, she strives to be a role model for the next generation, speaking directly to them via social media, podcasts, as well as numerous panels at colleges, high schools, major companies and multiple nonprofits organizations.

Though Gigi is a very busy girl, she always makes time for her friends & family, which includes her 15-year-old dog, Zoey! She also enjoys nature walks, photography & production, water aerobics, and is a total foodie!

Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDS-C (She/Her) is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Supervisor, Certified Intuitive Eating Specialist and owner of Whole Life Nutrition Counseling, a nutrition therapy practice dedicated to the social justice forward treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns. Anna has dedicated her career to nutrition counseling and supervising in the field of eating disorders, and works to use her many privileges to increase awareness of eating disorders, the complexities of these conditions, and to unabashedly challenge diet culture. Anna is a full-time disabled person and uses her lived experience to enhance the work she does.

Katrina Velasquez (She/Her) is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions. A nationally and internationally recognized advocate and attorney, she specializes in turning partisan social issues into noncontroversial, bipartisan issues, and driving them across the finish line. Katrina offers over a decade of experience in federal advocacy, grants, and law to guide clients through the federal process, including work with the U.S. Department of Justice, Health & Human Services Administration, Homeland Security, as well as political campaigns, law firms, and nonprofits such as Baker & McKenzie, LLP and International Organization for Migration.

Katrina’s legislative achievements include passing the first-ever eating disorders legislation entitled the Anna Westin Act of 2015 within 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-225), securing $5 million within the FY 2017 and 2018 Appropriations Act in new research funding to help military members and their families, and expanding access to $50 million within the FY 2018 Appropriations Act for schools across the nation to research and pilot school threat assessment within federal grants.

Meghan Watson (she/her) is a licensed psychotherapist, clinical director and wellness consultant with over 10 years of experience in research and mental health. Meghan earned her graduate degree from Boston University School of Medicine, and specializes in working with individuals and couples struggling with understanding complex emotions, navigating body image and disordered eating, managing burnout and stress, and establishing healthy relationships. Meghan is the founder and owner of Toronto based therapy clinic Bloom Psychology and Wellness and the Resident Therapist for Alkeme Health an on-demand wellness platform designed for the Black community. Dedicated to mental health awareness and advocacy for all, Meghan focuses on providing clinical insight, expert guidance and support to organizations and companies worldwide from a mindful, self compassion and growth-focused perspective.