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The Alliance Collaborative

The Alliance Collaborative is composed of some of the most impactful activists and changemakers we, at 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.

Dr. Bryn Austin


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

Minaa B., LMSW


Writer, Therapist, Wellness Coach

Chase Bannister, MDIV, MSW, LCSW, CEDS


CEO/Principal of Bannister Consultancy

Nitika Chopra


Founder & CEO of Chronicon

Mimi Cole


Founder, the Lovely Becoming

Elisa Donovan


Actress and Author

Jameela Jamil


Activist and Founder of I Weigh

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


Chief Strategy Officer, The Emily Program

Nicolette Mason


DE&I Consultant, Content Creator, and Writer

Hunter McGrady


Model, Activist, and Designer

Steph Ng


Founder and Executive Director of Body Banter

Rachel Porter, PsyD


Psychologist & Clinical Care Advocate at Carolina House, Anti-Stigma Advocate, and Health at Every Size Provider

Katrina Velasquez, Esq., M.A.


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

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.

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.

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 (She/Her) is currently pursuing her Master’s degree to become a therapist in North Carolina. She is the host of the podcast, the Lovely Becoming, and is passionate about disordered eating and obsessive compulsive disorder. She has experience working in the residential and outpatient levels of care as a patient assistant for individuals with eating disorders. As a clinician-in-training, Mimi hopes to practice 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.

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” will be released 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.

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 The Emily Program, a comprehensive eating disorder treatment program 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.

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.

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 currently the primary therapist at Carolina House’s gender inclusive residence as well as the Clinical Care Advocate for Carolina House. 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.

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.

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