Who is Allie and where did it begin...

Allie (Alice) Simmons is a mother, social change entrepreneur, activist, educator and public speaker. Born in King County, Seattle, her mom delivered a premature Allie alone at home. This “premature” label still sticks as Allie has evolved into an adult whose philosophy and approaches to solving the challenges of racism are often met with surprise and inquisitive

Allie identifies as African American of West African ancestry reclaiming what was stolen. She believes in and works towards continuing the dismantlement of racism through having consistent conversations in a raw and honest manner. Allie actively engages with all three communities of Native American, African and European descendants to help facilitate the continual reconciliation process. 

A move to the East Coast to Freeman, West Virginia to live with her father’s family was life-changing for Allie. “West Virginia can be a soul-killer for People of Color,” describes Allie. Her experiences of racism there started when in fourth grade a teacher, in a rant, yelled the “n-word”  in front of her majority-white class. She grew up surrounded by Confederate flags and witnessed family and friends of color who were affected by mass incarceration and closed doors to opportunity.

After obtaining a degree and being passed over for open positions at a center she was employed at; as well as experiencing a racial incident at a staff meeting, Allie decided to get out of West Virginia. She had become a mother and decided she must give her children exposure to a more diverse academic setting. In 1999, she took a teaching position in Maryland and over the next two decades raised a family and has worked as a teacher in several diverse school districts. 

Allie’s recognition of the disconnect between society, the origins of this nation’s creation, the original peoples that inhabit this hemisphere, the conflicting ideologies of the US, the displacement of melanated communities and their link to racism spurs her to be creative in her teaching platforms. She developed a pilot curriculum and taught a Native American history course to 11th and 12th graders when she worked at Westlake High School in Charles County Maryland.  Allie’s goal was to help her students bridge the gaps in American History between the formation of the US and the original inhabitants of this land. 

Allie also works in her community and created a coalition of like-minded people to form a group called The Conversation Starters (TCS). This group focuses on monthly conversations with raw and honest dialogue on race. This community organizing action began Allie’s next phase with walking into the activism and public speaking world of combating racism. Allie uses her platform to speak on the origins of the formation of this nation to shed light on the origins of racism to local civic organizations, educational institutions, faith institutions and communities. 

Allie currently resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her elementary aged son and his older sister, who is attending community college. Her oldest son graduated from law school at West Virginia University (WVU). He is currently attending UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) working on his Masters.