Onleilove Alston, M.Div., MSW was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. Currently, she is the Executive Director at Faith in New York, an affiliate of the PICO National Network where she works with a multi-faith and multiracial coalition of over 70 congregations throughout New York City on issues related to economic and racial justice. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and African-American studies from Penn State University, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps Public Allies New York. In 2011, she received her Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work degrees from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University School of Social Work, respectively. An Alumni of The Women’s Campaign School at Yale, Onleilove believes in the unique contributions women bring to political work.
For more than 10 years, Onleilove has worked for various nonprofit organizations such as Sojourners, NY Faith & Justice (as one of the founding Servant Leaders), FPWA and United Workers. She is a contributing writer for Sojourners magazine and God’s Politics Blog. Onleilove’s writing has also appeared in The Black Commentator, Huffington Post, and NPR’s Onbeing blog, as well in other print and online publications.
In addition to her advocacy work Onleilove is a speaker and workshop facilitator having spoken at the Q Conference, Seven Sisters Alumni Gathering and Trinity Wall Street Church as well as other conferences and venues.
For her writing and activism work, Onleilove has received the Bennett Fellowship for Social Justice from Auburn Seminary, the National Association of Social Workers-NYC Scholarship for Social Justice, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Minority Coalition Young Adult Award, and the 2011 Evangelical Press Association’s Student Writer of the Year First Place Award. She serves on the Board of Directors for Sojourners and on the Advisory Boards for the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary and NYACK College’s School of Social Work.
In 2014 she launched Prophetic Whirlwind: Uncovering the Black Biblical Destiny an organization dedicated to educating people of faith on The Black Presence in the Bible. Onleilove currently lives in Harlem, and has five siblings and a large extended family in both New York and North Carolina.