Allison Black Cornelius Founder & President
Allison Black Cornelius is a true blackfish, a template of inner strength and perseverance. She is what the best of us aspire to be, but few have the grit to become. She’s not perfect, she’s quick to say. But she is definitely amazing. Blackfish represents a movement, she says, and move she does. Mountains. She is a living, breathing, adaptable, inspirational, motivational, God-as-my-witness near-mythical example of what the human spirit can suffer, endure and conquer.
Allison met adversity early on. When she was only seven years old, she was raped and molested by her Sunday school teacher. Too small to do anything about it then, she tried her best to forget it. For years. She pushed past her trauma into adulthood, developing extraordinary compassion and actively volunteering in Birmingham’s nonprofit community.
Twenty years later came Allison’s day of reckoning. She faced her attacker and told the world what he had done. Shockingly, more than 50 additional victims of this man came forward. In a landmark case that drew widespread attention from the national media, Allison put her rapist behind bars and became one of the nation’s strongest advocates for victims’ and community rights. She spearheaded the passage of Megan’s Law, creating the country’s first Sex Offender Registry.
Today Allison makes about 150 presentations each year as the principal and “unflippin’believable” consultant of Blackfish, training audiences in nonprofit organizations, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies how to keep on swimming. She advanced her studies at Harvard, and her speaking engagements have taken her to the Kennedy Center, professional sports teams, celebrity foundations, and the White House.
Champion and inspiration of many, Allison has carried the Olympic Torch, trained more than 700 nonprofit boards and raised more than $30 million for charity through her public presentations. She is guide to thriving nonprofits and rescuer to the struggling, and reminds us by her staggeringly honest example that forgiveness isn’t meant to be convenient – it’s meant to be unconditional. And it’s key to helping improve the human condition which is the real reason we’re here taking a momentary spin on this planet.