I hope this month has been a good one for you and your family. It’s been a wake up call for me and a time to get real about where I am in my writing process for my Digital Sisterhood book. This morning I made a video update on my writing process so you would know exactly what I have been doing since January and what I am planning to do in April. See the video below.
As many of you know, my first Kickstarter.com fundraiser (September-December 2010) was extremely successful. With the support of 39 backers, I successfully raised $1,159 online and an additional $70 offline. The grand total was $1,229.
I have $371 to raise in order to meet my long-term goal of $1,600. That’s why I have returned to Kickstarter with Digital Sisterhood – Part 2. Our $500 fundraising goal will cover the balance of the iUniverse, Inc. self-publishing, mailing, and photography expenses.
Click here to listen to my audio blog about the fundraiser.
Click here to learn more about the fundraiser and make a donation.
On Sunday, I was thinking about the Haitian presidential election. Haiti was on my mind in a major way! I found a great Fast Company article about the impact of mobile technology on Haitian people’s lives after the earthquake in 2010. It reminded me of my recent trip to Haiti as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador in February. Click here to listen to my audio blog about what I learned from the article. Enjoy!
While I am in Atlanta, I will get to see my attorney, best friend, and Howard University School of Law classmate Lauren Medlock Smith, founder of Catch the Verve, LLC. Lauren is currently serving as the sponsorship chair for Women in Film & Television Atlanta, a co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.
I also hope to spend time with my digital sister and fellow Heart of Haiti tripster Danica Kombol, a managing and founding partner of Everywhere, another co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.
So now you can see why coming to Spelman and Atlanta in April is a digital sisterhood dream come true!
Saturday afternoon was filled with powerful moments at the WOMANIFESTING in ACTION event held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington, DC.
My digital sister Tracy Chiles McGhee, founder of Womanifesting, co-sponsored the event with the DC Public Library. It featured a call to action by Yasmine Arrington, a DC high school student who created ScholarCHIPS, a scholarship fund for aspiring college students with incarcerated parents. Yasmine is a senior at Benjamin Banneker High School. She is fierce, forward thinking, and filled with positive energy. She is also a true leader and fashionista! Watch a video of her call to action below.
I served as a panelist for the event and shared lessons learned from my recent trip to Haiti as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador and work with the Digital Sisterhood Network. Check out my video recap below. See the list of program participants below.
-Marita Golden, Acclaimed Author, Master Literary Teacher and Co-Founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation
-Nikita Mitchell, Gen Y Writer/Blogger, who was recently named one of the Top 10 Nonprofit Bloggers to Watch in 2011
-DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser
-Patricia Nalls, Founder & Executive Director, The Women’s Collective, 2010 Washingtonian of the Year
-Carrie L. Ellis, Director of Project Management, KaBOOM! & Board Chair, Teaching for Change
-Marielle Mariano, East Coast Coordinator, Chalk4Peace
-Jessica T. Solomon, Founder, The Saartjie Project & Chief Visionary Officer, Spark Creativity
Click here to listen my audio blog about the event.
Yesterday, the Haitian people went to the polls to elect a new president. Throughout the day, I wondered about the young Haitian women I met at KOFAVIV, a Haitian women’s organization that serves women and girls who experience violence, during my Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador trip in February. Before I left, we took a lot of photos together. I took some time to look at our photos and noted the pride they displayed on their faces as they showed me their beautiful hand-painted picture frames (see photo- omitted the young women’s faces to protect them). They were works in process that are probably finished by now. I am hoping the young women will be able to sell them as a part of their work with KOFAVIV’s young women’s microenterprise program (funded by MADRE). Two young ladies asked me to keep in touch with them via email. So I sent them an email in French with the photos. I hope they respond so we can begin a digital sisterhood connection. I know this email exchange will open the door to ways in which I can expand my support of KOFAVIV in 2011 and beyond.
Click here to listen to my audio blog about my email and the KOFAVIV young ladies.
FYI: This morning I also sent the KOFAVIV staff (listed on their Facebook page) an email about the photos so they would be aware of my communication with the young ladies.
Ananda holding a metal bowl by a metal artisan in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti
Croix-des-Bouquets is an amazing city bubbling with creativity in Haiti. Creative genius Wyclef Jean, a Haitian musician, record producer, philanthropist, and former member of the Fugees who ran for president of Haiti in 2010, was born there.
When I visited Croix-des-Bouquets and met the talented Heart of Haiti metal artisans during my blogger ambassador trip in February, I was reminded of Ogoun, the Haitian Vodun warrior spirit who presides over metal work, fire, hunting, politics, war, and the unemployed. Click here to listen to my audio blog. Check out more photos of the metal artisans’ work here.
Ogoun gives strength through prophecy and magic., and is known as the Father of technology and one of the husbands of Erzulie, Haitian goddess of love. Ogoun is also associated with healing and seen as a combat medic, thinker, strategist, and diplomat. His colors red and blue.
Did you know many believe Ogoun planted the idea for the Haitian Revolution of 1804 in the minds of the enslaved Africans? Some say that he led and empowered the enslaved Africans to create Haiti as an independent nation. Others believe Ogoun is now called to help the Haitian people obtain a government more responsive to their needs. May Ogoun give the Haitian people the wisdom they need to vote for a new president on March 20!
After the March 20th elections, the people of Haiti will still need our support. One way you can support them is by purchasing the artwork of Heart of Haiti metal artisans at Macy’s. Their beautiful and decorative artwork will make great Easter and Mother’s Day gifts. They also serve as fantastic graduation, wedding, birthday, and Father’s Day gifts. Visit the Heart of Haiti collection on Macys.com.
PS: Here are several videos featuring the metal artisans.
Have you heard of Womanifesting a/k/a WOMA? WOMA is a DC-based non-profit organization established by attorney Tracy Chiles McGhee to develop and support programs that foster self-empowerment, sisterhood, and service in the lives of women and girls. Tracy and I met two years ago during a writers’ workshop and realized we shared similar interests – law, writing, women’s creativity and empowerment, social justice, and service.
Poster of Haitian Presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat in Jacmel, Haiti
While I was visiting Jacmel, Haiti during my Heart of Haiti blogger trip in February, I saw posters of Rally of Progressive National Democrats’ Presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat, a 70 year old politician, legal scholar, former Senator, Sorbonne-trained academic, mother, grandmother, and wife of former Haitian President Leslie Manigat. Guess what? In three days, the former First Lady and vice rector of the Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince could make Haitian women’s history by becoming the first woman President of Haiti. Click here to learn more about her.
Yesterday I listened to a discussion about former Haitian President Jean-Betrand Aristide’s plans to return to Haiti after a seven-year exile in South Africa on NPR’s Tell Me More. Tell Me More host Michel Martin and Jacqueline Charles, the Caribbean correspondent for the Miami Herald, engaged in a lively discussion about the impact of Aristide’s return on Haiti’s presidential run-off election on March 20. Click here to listen to the show. Former First Lady Mirlande Manigat and pop singer Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly are the presidential candidates.
Martin and Charles’ discussion reminded me of the many presidential candidate posters I saw on houses and buildings during my recent trip to Haiti as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador in February. Sweet Micky”s posters appeared to dominate Port-au-Prince, Croix-des-Bouqets, and Jacmel. No matter who wins the election, I hope and pray Haiti’s next president will help stabilize, heal, and rebuild Haiti and the lives, families, and businesses of her daughters and sons.