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Twitter Highlights from 1/19 Heart of Haiti Ambassador Show on Digital Sisterhood Radio

Last night’s Digital Sisterhood Radio show featuring a discussion about the digital advocacy efforts of Heart of Haiti Ambassadors “Mommy Niri” Nirasha Jaganath and ‘”Real Life Sarah” Sarah Pinnix was filled with insights on the power of giving back and supporting Haitian artisans through Macy’s Heart of Haiti partnership.  See highlights from the Twitter conversation below.  If you missed the show, click here to listen to the audio recording.

Twitter Highlights from 1/19 Heart of Haiti show on Digital Sisterhood Radio:

  1. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd: Thank you @mommyniri & @realifesarah for being great guests tonight on the #heartofhaiti show. You both rocked! #digitalsisterhood about 16 hours ago via TweetChat
  2. DonnaShenk @RealLIfeSarah I’m hoping to really dive into using my blogging to help serve and support #haiti #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  3. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @AmandaMichelle @digitalsisterhd OH! ppl should check out http://www.farmhaitiNOW.org! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via web
  4. Donna92010_copy_400x600 DonnaShenk RT @reallifesarah:I’m so glad you’re with us, Donna!! You are awesome! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti Thanks Sarah for your advice! about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  5. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah is giving simple ways to give back in yr local community now #heartofhaiti #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  6. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah @donnashenk I’m so glad you’re with us, Donna!! You are awesome! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  7. Img_0358_normal amandamichelle .@digitalsisterhd OH! ppl should check out http://www.farmhaitiNOW.org! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  8. Donna92010_copy_400x600 DonnaShenk How do you mom’s do it? I want to go and serve! I miss the travel and serving of others since motherhood – #Haiti #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  9. Donna92010_copy_400x600 DonnaShenk RT @reallifesarah: RT @theoutdoorwife: #Haiti shot on an iPhone – jeremycowart: http://jeremycowart.com/#951743/iPhone #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  10. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah also plans to give #heartofhaiti collection as gifts to family and friends in 2011. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  11. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @theoutdoorwife: #Haiti shot on an iPhone – jeremycowart: http://jeremycowart.com/#951743/iPhone #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  12. Avt_ladyday93_mediumbraids_normal LADYDAY93 RT @DigitalSisterhd: the #gno #heartofhaiti chat reminded @mommyniri that ppl have taken time out of their lives to discuss important issues. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetChat
  13. Photo__36__normal mommyniri @RealLifeSarah thank you! Tearing up from memories! #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via web
  14. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah says she was inspired by #heartofhaiti to show her children how the wrld lives. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  15. Donna92010_copy_400x600 DonnaShenk RT @reallifesarah: I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti / beautiful! about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  16. B_normal brittont13 RT @DigitalSisterhd: the diversity of the #gno #heartofhaiti chat was so great says @reallifesarah #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetChat
  17. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: photos of haiti a year later made the experience real for @mommyniri during #heartofhaiti #gno chat #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  18. B_normal brittont13 RT @mommyniri: RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah said that she shed tears during the #heartofhaiti #gno chat last week becuz she was able 2 talk 2 artist about 17 hours ago via web
  19. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd the diversity of the #gno #heartofhaiti chat was so great says @reallifesarah #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  20. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @RealLifeSarah -shed tears during #heartofhaiti #gno chat last wk bc she was able 2 talk 2 artists #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  21. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah said that she shed tears during the #heartofhaiti #gno chat last week becuz she was able 2 talk 2 artist about 17 hours ago via web
  22. B_normal brittont13 RT @RealLifeSarah: I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  23. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood #heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  24. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @brittont13: RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was about going to haiti as an amb. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  25. Photo__36__normal mommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd @reallifesarah also wrote a great week of posts for giving #heartofhaiti gifts to teachers #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  26. Everywhere_normal beEverywhere RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was the one she wrote about going to haiti as an ambassador. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetGrid.com
  27. B_normal brittont13 RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was the one she wrote about going to haiti as an ambassador. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetGrid.com
  28. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @mommyniri has been on receiving end of receiving aid in south africa during riots. #heartofhaiti #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  29. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah Come listen NOW! #HeartofHaiti ambassdrs @banteringblonde @mommyniri @RealLifeSarah @fabdogooder on DSRadio @8pm http://bit.ly/RU8jz about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  30. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normal RealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @RealLifeSarah is talking about how she heard @ the #heartofhaiti campaign from @theblogrollers. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  31. 27449_100001453225148_6931_nlaurapic_normal DemLaura33 RT @amandamichelle: RT @digitalsisterhd: #DigitalSisterhood Radio @8pm ET for #HeartofHaiti Ambassadors show. Join us. http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 about 18 hours ago via HootSuite
  32. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @AmandaMichelle@digitalsisterhd OH! ppl should check out http://www.farmhaitiNOW.org! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti about 16 hours ago
  33. DonnaShenk RT @reallifesarah:I’m so glad you’re with us, Donna!! You are awesome! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti Thanks Sarah for your advice! about 16 hours ago via HootSuite
  34. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd@reallifesarah is giving simple ways to give back in yr local community now #heartofhaiti#digitalsisterhood about 16 hours ago via web
  35. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah@donnashenk I’m so glad you’re with us, Donna!! You are awesome! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  36. Img_0358_normalamandamichelle .@digitalsisterhd OH! ppl should check out http://www.farmhaitiNOW.org! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  37. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd@reallifesarah also plans to give #heartofhaiti collection as gifts to family and friends in 2011. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  38. Avt_ladyday93_mediumbraids_normalLADYDAY93 RT @DigitalSisterhd: the #gno#heartofhaiti chat reminded @mommyniri that ppl have taken time out of their lives to discuss important issues. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetChat
  39. Face_normalKatherineMO TY! RT @DigitalSisterhd: Happy #Digitalsisterhood Wednesday @thejstandard@vwoodsonhair@heyheylbj@spelmancollege@spelmandmis@marcommodel about 17 hours ago via TweetDeck
  40. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah I feel so humbled, listening to @mommyniri, and all she’s been through! #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  41. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd@reallifesarah says she was inspired by #heartofhaiti to show her children how the wrld lives. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  42. Donna92010_copy_400x600DonnaShenk RT @reallifesarah: I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti / beautiful! about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  43. B_normalbrittont13 RT @DigitalSisterhd: the diversity of the #gno#heartofhaiti chat was so great says @reallifesarah#digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetChat
  44. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: photos of haiti a year later made the experience real for @mommyniri during #heartofhaiti#gno chat #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  45. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd the diversity of the #gno#heartofhaiti chat was so great says @reallifesarah#digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  46. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @RealLifeSarah -shed tears during #heartofhaiti#gno chat last wk bc she was able 2 talk 2 artists #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  47. B_normalbrittont13 RT @RealLifeSarah: I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  48. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah I LOVE listening to @mommyniri ‘s beautiful voice! Her accent is so cool! #digitalsisterhood#heartofhaiti about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  49. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah RT @brittont13: RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was about going to haiti as an amb. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  50. Photo__36__normalmommyniri RT @DigitalSisterhd@reallifesarah also wrote a great week of posts for giving #heartofhaiti gifts to teachers #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via web
  51. Everywhere_normalbeEverywhere RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was the one she wrote about going to haiti as an ambassador. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetGrid.com
  52. B_normalbrittont13 RT @DigitalSisterhd: @mommyniri says her fav #heartofhaiti blog post was the one she wrote about going to haiti as an ambassador. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via TweetGrid.com
  53. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @mommyniri has been on receiving end of receiving aid in south africa during riots. #heartofhaiti#digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  54. B351d3ce-cb8f-4e0a-bf99-84ac3c2eec44_normalRealLifeSarah RT @digitalsisterhd: @RealLifeSarah is talking about how she heard @ the #heartofhaiti campaign from @theblogrollers. #digitalsisterhood about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  55. 27449_100001453225148_6931_nlaurapic_normalDemLaura33 RT @amandamichelle: RT @digitalsisterhd: #DigitalSisterhood Radio @8pm ET for #HeartofHaiti Ambassadors show. Join us. http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  56. Img_0358_normalamandamichelle RT @digitalsisterhd: #DigitalSisterhood Radio @8pm ET for #HeartofHaiti Ambassadors show. Join us. http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 about 17 hours ago via HootSuite
  57. Pierrettemimi02protrait-4705_normalyayayarndiva RT @DigitalSisterhd: Use http://tweetchat.com to follow tonight’s #HeartofHaiti show on #Digitalsisterhood Radio at 8pm. #digitalsisterhood about 18 hours ago via TweetChat
  58. Avt_ladyday93_mediumbraids_normalLADYDAY93 RT @DigitalSisterhd: Almost time for #DigitalSisterhood Radio @8pm ET for #HeartofHaiti Ambassadors show. Join us. http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/42015 about 18 hours ago via HootSuite
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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #8 – Host a Radio Show Featuring the Heart of Haiti Ambassadors on 1/19 @8pm ET

Today I am keeping the heart of Haiti beating by hosting a Digital Sisterhood Radio show about the digital advocacy efforts of my fellow Heart of Haiti Ambassadors. Click here to tune into the live show at 8:00 pm ET.  You will have an opportunity to hear from the following Heart of Haiti Ambassadors:

1) Fiona Bryan,

2) Nirasha Jaganath,

3) Sarah Pinnix, and

4) Bessie Winn-Afeku.

 

I will live tweet during the show.  Please use the hashtags #digitalsisterhood and #HeartofHaiti to follow the conversation on Twitter tonight.  You can also use http://tweetchat.com/room/digitalsisterhood.

If you miss the live show, don’t fret. You can click here to listen to an audio recording (search for the January 19th show in the archives section).

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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #7 – Send Healing Love & Light to Haitians & Haiti at 12 noon this week

This morning I listened to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! program and learned that former despot Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier”   returned to Haiti yesterday.  Anger filled my entire body.  Why? I couldn’t imagine how “Baby Doc” was allowed to return to a country he had harmed deeply.  I carried the anger with me into my morning subway commute.  As I walked to work, I wondered what could I do to keep the Heart of Haiti beating today.  So I decided to use my Digital Sisterhood Twitter account as a vehicle for sharing a message that asked my Twitter followers to join me in taking a deep breathe and sending love and light to Haitians at 12 noon.  I am going to do it this week.  Join me.

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Watch video of my 1/15 keynote speech on the inner women who live inside of women & how they can help women shape their dreams and ultimately their destiny.

 

Photo Credit: Vision Quest Retreats

On January 15, 2011, I served as one of the keynote speakers for the Vision Quest Retreats’ Taking your Dreams from Design to Destiny: The Next Level Conference held in Washington, DC.  My talk focused on the inner women who live inside of women (archetypes or personalities) and how they can help women shape their dreams and ultimately their destiny. Click here to watch the video of my keynote (19 minutes). Click here to read my speech which includes six tips on how to tap into your inner women (or men). The conference is an annual event organized by Dr. Nicole Cutts, a success coach and psychologist, and Marie-Isabel Laurion, an Ameriprise Financial Planner.

Photo Credit: Vision Quest Retreats

The women who attended the event were full of energy and enthusiasm. They inspired me to really explore my intention of creating and maintaining my home as a sanctuary during Dr. Nicole Cutts’ dream goal setting session.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Click here to listen to my audio blog about the conference and my keynote speech.

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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #6 – Support Haiti with Local Shopping

012, originally uploaded by anandaleeke.

As a Heart of Haiti Ambassador, I am on the look out for ways to keep the Heart of Haiti beating in 2011 and beyond. One way I discovered is to support local entrepreneurs who are raising money to fund projects that help rebuild Haiti. In early January, I discovered a set of fabulous set of recycled black rubber bangles from Haiti made by a DC based photographer Nicole Wolf – http://twitter.com/nicolewolf – in REDEEM, a boutique located in my 14th and U Street, NW neighborhood in DC. I bought a set of three for $10. The money I spent will help support Nicole’s Up from Under Facebook Cause, a Haitian home rebuilding project. If you are in the DC area, drop by REDEEM, 1734 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC to purchase a set of bangles. Visit http://redeemus.com for more information.

Nicole’s Haiti fundraiser inspired me to create my own using my art work from my novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One. Visit my Cafepress.com site for my “Open your heart to Haiti today!” fundraiser – http://www.cafepress.com/openyourhearttohaititoday – to check out t-shirt, cups and other items. Your purchase will help support Renewal 4 Haiti, a grassroots nonprofit organization that is providing medical care in Haiti. Visit http://renewal4haiti.org for more information.

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Great News! Influential1s.com included me in their first class of 2011 influencers

Photo Credit: http://influential1s.com

Yesterday I learned Influential1s.com included me in their first class of 2011 influencers.  See the influential1s.com press release below. Click here to read my bio. What a honor! I am truly humbled to be in the company of many of the people I admire and learn from. Many thanks to Mike Street and Dupé Ajayi, founders of Influential 1’s web site.

 

Photo Credit: http://influential1s.com

 

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2011 – (influential1s.com) as a means to pay tribute to the many un-recognized influencers in the urban space.

Social media is driven by influencers, no matter what the tool is: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare – their success is dependent on user buy-in. User buy-in is determined by early adapters: The Influential 1’s.

The Starting Class:

  1. Clarence Wooten – CEO of Groupsite.com
  2. Ananda Leeke – Author
  3. Louis Pagan – Managing Partner for Hispanicize
  4. Lynne d Johnson – Senior Digital Strategist for R/GA
  5. Baratune Thurson – Director of Digital for The Onion
  6. Dawton Thomas – Editor-in-Chief for Global Grind, Inc.
  7. Farai Chideya – Managing Editor of Pop and Politics
  8. John Andrews – VP of Development for Rethink Impact
  9. Jocelyn Harmon – Director of Business Development at Care2
  10. Kevin Powell – Activist, Writer, and Public Speaker
  11. Jeff Johnson – Journalist, Social Activist, and Political Commentator

“We are paying homage to the influencers who are shaping the urban/digital industry,” said Mike Street co-founder of influential1s.com. “In 1903 W.E.B. DuBois released his essay called ”The Talented Tenth.” DuBois was an influencer and he knew the importance of highlighting the best of the best. So 1/11/2011 marks a historic date for us as we pay tribute to the influential one’s who will carry on the tradition of being exceptional men and women and moving the urban community forward in erasing the digital divide.”

The list highlights the urban cultural influencers who made waves 2010 and will undoubtedly impact their core discipline areas in 2011.  Dupe Ajayi, co-creator, commented, “Social media plays host to a wealth of valuable information. How can anyone decipher it all to yield that which is most relevant to them? These 11 have risen to the top with doing just that; filtering the noise so that people get what is most important to them in the most succinct way while peppering in dashing of their distinct personalities. They are ‘Heroes of the Web’.”

About Influential 1’s

Influential1s.com was created to pay tribute all year long to the people that are positively affecting our culture. The site will be updated on a regular basis and serve as a resource, directory, and hub for acknowledging the urban influencers who are shaping the culture, starting trends, launching businesses, and beyond. The site was launched on 1/11/2011 and is owned by Mike Street (@streetforce1) and Dupe Ajayi (@theajayieffect). For inquiries, contact info@influential1s.com.

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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #5 – Honor the Memory of 3 Haitian Feminist Leaders Myriam Merlet, Anne-Marie Coriolan, and Magalie Marcelin

Photo Credit: International Women’s Health Coalition – www.flickr.com/photos/iwhc/4328112802

 

Today marks the first year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake.  As a Heart of Haiti Ambassador, I am honoring the memory of three dynamic feminist leaders Myriam Merlet, Anne-Marie Coriolan, and Magalie Marcelin who died as a result of this devastating event. See the photo and look in the background for the wall hanging displaying photos of the three feminist leaders (photo was taken on January 27, 2010 at The International Feminist Solidarity Camp held in the Dominican Republic).

Myriam Merlet served as the chief of staff of Haiti’s Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women. She was also an author, activist, and founder of Enfofamn, an organization that raises awareness about women through media, collects stories and works to honor their names. She convinced author and playwright Eve Ensler to bring “The Vagina Monologues” play to Haiti.  Her efforts also established safe houses for women in Port-au-Prince and Cap Hatien.

Magalie Marcelin enjoyed a dynamic career as a lawyer, film and stage actress, and founder of  Kay Fanm, a women’s rights organization that addresses domestic violence and provides services, shelter, and microcredit loans to women.

Anne Marie Coriolan was as a top adviser to Haiti’s Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women and founder of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (Solidarity with Haitian Women, or SOFA), an advocacy and services organization.

Today I am sending love and light to these three feminist leaders and the women of Haiti. May we all be inspired by their legacy of service!

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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #4 – Support Fonkoze’s Microfinance Institution Work with Haitian Women

Photo Credit: http://fonkoze.org

My digital advocacy work as a Heart of Haiti Ambassador has opened my heart to Haiti and her people in a major way.  After reading journalist Lisa Armstrong‘s article about Haitian women who are mobilizing to fight for protection and justice for their Haitian sisters after the January 2010 earthquake in the January issue of Essence Magazine, I decided to launch a two year fundraising campaign for Fonkoze, the largest grassroots microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti that is committed to the economic and social improvement of Haitian people and communities and to the reduction of poverty in the country.  Fonkoze was one the organizations mentioned in Armstrong’s Essence article.

When Father Joseph Philippe, a Haitian Catholic priest, established Fonkoze in 1994 to support the economic development of all Haitians, he targeted Haitian women.  Since then, Fonkoze has served more than 45,000 women borrowers, most of whom live and work in the countryside of Haiti, and more than 200,000 savers. What a powerful legacy!

So today I am sharing how I plan to donate $10 per month to Fonkaze via its web site (will make my first donation on January 12th) and to raise awareness and funding through my Crowdrise fundraising project from January 12, 2011 to January 2013.  I will also use my Digital Sisterhood Network blog, Twitter page, monthly Tweetchats, online and offline events, and radio show programs to raise awareness and seek donations for Fonkoze via Crowdrise.

Tomorrow morning I will lead a short online yoga and meditation session at 7:00 am ET that will be dedicated to the people of Haiti and organizations like Fonkoze.  Click here to participate in the live show. If you miss it, you can watch the video.  At the end of the session, I will invite everyone to join me in supporting Fonkoze by making a donation to their web site and/or my Crowdrise fundraising project this week to honor Haiti and her people on the first anniversary of the January 12th earthquake.

You don’t have to wait until tomorrow to make a donation.  Feel free to do it now. See the links above. Thank you for your support!

PS: Check out the video below featuring one of Fonkoze’s graduates.It is powerful. It will open your heart even more to Haiti and her people!

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How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #3 – Become more aware of Haitian women’s lives by supporting the documentary film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy

Serving as a Heart of Haiti ambassador has reignited my interest in the lives of Haitian women which began in 1985 when I met my Morgan State University roommate and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sister Marie-Denise (Mirabeau) Simon and her mother “Mama Freda.”  Mama Freda is a no nonsense Haitian woman who loves the goodness of life. She can cook up a Haitian feast fit for Haitian queens too! During one of our many conversations, she told me about her early life in Haiti, how she studied nursing in Canada, and later moved to New York City to work as a nurse. Her stories were filled with moments when she reached into her spirit for courage and faith to live beyond any limitations people or society placed on her.  She always encouraged me to be a caring, generous, intelligent, and independent femme (woman) who uses her life to help others.

Ten years after meeting Mama Freda, my interest in Haitian women blossomed into a full blown passion during the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.  While in Beijing, I learned about the history of Ligue Feminine d’Action Sociale or Women’s League for Social Action, the first Haitian feminist organization that was established by Haitian women intellectuals, professionals, and activists from the middle and upper classes in 1934.  During their first 25 years of existence, Ligue Feminine d’Action Sociale focused its energy on gaining women’s rights  to vote, access to education, and equality for married women.  Since then, I have followed the work of Haitian feminist organizations Solidarité Fanm Ayisyen (SOFA, Haitian Women’s Solidarity) and Kay Fanm (Women’s House).

Photo Credit: http://www.potomitan.net

After the earthquake in 2010, I started looking online for women’s organizations and other efforts that support and tell the stories of Haitian women.  My online research led me to Poto Mitan, a documentary film about the compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women workers.   Join the Facebook Page to learn more about the film.  I plan to purchase the film’s DVD and share it with family and friends this year. Watch the YouTube video trailer below.

I also plan to pay more attention to the work of Haitian feminist organizations, launch an online fundraiser (or two) to support the organizations, and share more information about the lives and concerns of Haitian women on this blog and my Digital Sisterhood Network web site.

What are you planning to do to honor the people of Haiti this year?

PS: Be sure to listen to NPR’s Tell Me More’s report on Haitian women and the impact of rape on their lives after the January 2010 earthquake that aired today.