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Workshops & Speaking

“When Ohio Funeral Directors Association asked Allison to speak, the organization had three expectations: to learn new and creative ways to engage with the families we serve, increase our membership’s ability to offer innovative after-care and bereavement programming in their communities, and best strategies for attracting the kind of positive local, regional, and national media attention we all deserve. She not only delivered — she surpassed those expectations! Every State funeral association should book Allison immediately.”
— Lori Hicks, President, Ohio Funeral Directors Association

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


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Upcoming Speaking Events

2020 Events

February 25, 2020
Sonata Hospice
Time: 11:00am-1:00pm
Location: Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church
2128 Chatsworth Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92107
View Event Flyer

May 12, 2020
TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing
Presentation: Objects & Heirlooms: Clearing Clutter and Staying Connected
Time: 2:00-3:00pm ET
Live Webinar (Registration now closed)

June 12, 2020
FREE Father’s Day Toast!
w/ Sharon Kazan Harris, Rarecat Wines
Time: 7:00pm ET
Sign up here

June 17, 2020
Presentation: Managing Grief in a Time of Anxiety
1:30-2:30pm ET
Live Webinar (This is a private event for LiveOnNY families)

June 19, 2020
VITAS Healthcare
Honoring Our Fathers
Time: 5:00-6:15pm ET
Live Zoom Celebration sign up here.

June 22, 2020
Grief Conference – Finding Hope During Uncertain Times
Conference Time: 8:30am – 4:00pm PT
Panel Discussion: Modern Grief in a Pandemic Era
Panel Time:  – 12:55pm PT
Live conference sign up here

July 15, 2020
Presentation: Tips for Remembering Loved Ones In Uneasy Times
1:30pm-2:30pm ET
Live Webinar (This is a private event for LiveOnNY families)

July 30, 2020
Presentation: Finding Resilience After Loss
Time: 6:30-7:30pm ET
Live webinar sign up here 

August 6, 2020
Saying Goodbye: How to Organize Meaningful Virtual Memorials
Time: 1:00-2:00pm ET
Live webinar sign up here 

August 12, 2020
Live webinar:
How to discuss grief with children using the Disney movie Onward
Time: 12:00pm ET
Live webinar sign up here 

August 13, 2020
Live webinar:
Allison Gilbert and Hope Edelman: An exclusive sneak peek of The AfterGrief
Time: 6:00pm ET
Live webinar sign up here 

September 8, 2020
Fair Media Council
Time: 2-2:30pm ET
Fast Chat with Jaci Clement, CEO & Executive Director of the Fair Media Council
FREE Webinar registration here

September 10, 2020
Holding Space with Claire Bidwell Smith
Time: 2:00-3:00pm ET
FREE Webinar registration here 

October 28, 2020
Live webinar:
College Prep For Grieving Families
Time: 7:00pm ET
Live webinar sign up here 

November 2, 2020
Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival
Time: Noon ET/10:00am MT
A Zoom discussion about managing our loved ones’ possessions before and after they die

November 20-22, 2020
The Lodge at Woodloch
Time: Join me for a weekend of spa treatments and personalized grief & resilience workshops
Location: The Lodge at Woodloch
109 River Birch Lane
Hawley, PA 18428
Special Note: When you book for this special weekend, reference “Allison Gilbert” and receive a $25 spa credit per person, per two-night stay.

2021 Events

April 24, 2021
Keynote address, Kara’s Annual Spring Fundraiser
Time: 4:00-7:00pm
Location: Oshman Family JCC
3921 Fabian Way
Palo Alto, CA 94303