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Happy #FierceLiving Friday: What is Fierce Living?

Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

Today is the last day of February. Where did the month go? The days moved by so fast. They were filled with aha moments, blessings I had not expected, conversations that made me dig deeper, days spent on the grind, evenings spent hanging out with friends, focused energy sessions during meditation and yoga, and gratitude reflections.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley (www.leighmosley,com); @digitalsisterhd Shootie Girl t-shirt by LaShaun Martin (www.shootiegirl.com)
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley (www.leighmosley,com); @digitalsisterhd Shootie Girl t-shirt by LaShaun Martin (www.shootiegirl.com)

This morning, I had a gratitude reflection about my Fierce Living practice. It inspired me to create #FierceLiving Friday, a weekly blog series that shares my thoughts on Fierce Living. For me, Fierce Living means being too bold for boundaries which starts from inside of the inside…. my spirit and heart. Click here to listen to today’s #FierceLiving Friday podcast.

What is your definition of Fierce Living?

How are you making today a #FierceLiving Friday?

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PS: I discuss Fierce Living commitments in my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. Visit Amazon.com to learn more about it. Enjoy!

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Happy #CreativityThursday: Using Creativity to Serve Others

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Happy #CreativityThursday!

Have you ever used your creativity to serve others?

How does it make you feel?

When I use my creativity to serve others, my heart opens and fills up with gratitude.

Click here to listen today’s podcast and learn more about how I use my creativity as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to serve others. A poem from my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery is included.  Enjoy!

PS: The photo collage includes artwork made by military family members at Walter Reed.

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Opening Your Creative Heart Coaching Special Discount:

From February 1 to March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).

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#DigitalSisterhood + Digital Citizenship = #IWOC #StateMeetup Application

State of the Union Social Collage
State of the Union Social Collage
Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

Today, my Digital Sister Janet Johnson sent me a Facebook email about the U.S. Department of State’s application for social media leaders to attend the International Women of Courage #StateMeetup on March 4 in Washington, DC. I met Janet while attending the White House State of the Union Social in January (see photo above where Janet is wearing a red sweater). Through several conversations, we discovered we share a passion for digital citizenship. I am deeply grateful to her for sharing the #StateMeetup information. Her act of sharing represents #DigitalSisterhood and the power of promoting Digital Citizenship (#digcitizen)!!!!

#StateMeetup Application
#StateMeetup Application

About #StateMeetups

#StateMeetups were created to expand the Department of State’s engagement efforts by inviting social media leaders to attend in-person meetings and engage with the Department through Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media channels.
About the International Women of Courage (IWOC) #StateMeetup
The IWOC Awards was created in 2007 to honor women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights and women’s equality. While in the United States, awardees participate in the International Visitors Leadership exchange program where they get to meet with their U.S. counterparts and leaders.
Social media leaders will attend the IWOC Award Ceremony, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Department of State on March. They will also participate in a policy briefing with a Department official about international women’s issues. I encourage you to apply to participate in the #StateMeetup. Visit www.state.gov/social for more information. The deadline is February 26 (today) at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Photo Credit: UN.org
Photo Credit: UN.org

My #IWOC #StateMeetup Application

My passion for women’s rights is the reason I applied for the #IWOC #StateMeetup. Click here to listen to my podcast about my application. My passion was ignited during my participation in the United Nations (UN) Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in 1995. Listening to former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech at the UN Conference on Women greatly influenced my passion. I have included an excerpt from my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, below that describes the impact of my participation and Clinton’s speech.
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Excerpt from Chapter Four: A Game Changer: Beijing Women’s Conference
One of the benefits of following my heart and living my life passionately in Beijing was meeting women from all over the world. During the NGO Forum’s opening ceremony, I sat with a group of women from Brazil, India, Kenya, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. As the ceremony ended, we stood together and sang Pat Humphies song, “Keep on Moving Forward.” Five lines from that song became my mantra and helped me fully embrace my conference experience as a series of life-changing adventures.
“Gonna keep on walking forward
Keep on walking forward
Keep on walking forward
Never turning back
Never turning back”
One of those life-changing adventures happened when I heard former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton give her famous “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech which included the following remarks:
“Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not.
We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That’s why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, it is that human rights – and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.”
Clinton’s words echoed what was in my heart, gave me a clearer understanding of why I was in Beijing, and helped shape my digital path. They came to life when I visited a conference art exhibit organized by the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a national member organization of multidisciplinary and multicultural artists, art historians, students, educators, and museum professionals. While I was there, I struck up a conversation with several WCA artists who were overseeing the exhibit. We talked about WCA’s role as a NGO and founding member of the Feminist Art Project, the conference, their careers, and my life as a budding artist. Before we parted, they gave me their business cards and encouraged me to visit the WCA web site and join the D.C. Chapter.    
Walking with Sharon into the NGO Forum’s Internet Café was another life changing adventure. It marked the first time I saw a diverse group of women sitting at computers. My face lit up with a smile as I realized how powerful women could be with Internet access. They were free to speak their minds, discuss their concerns, share information, build community, create web sites and coalitions to address their concerns, and launch advocacy campaigns that defied geographical boundaries. They were demonstrating what Clinton said in her speech: “Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.” 
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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Jason Knoll

Photo Credit: Jason Knoll
Photo Credit: Jason Knoll

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today marks the launch of the Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project’s profile series featuring social media leaders who participated in the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) and French Arrival Ceremony.

Meet Jason Knoll

1) Tell us who you are.

My name is Jason Knoll. I am a High School History and Government Teacher from Madison, Wisconsin. To learn more about me, visit my blog, http://jasonlknoll.com and follow me as @jasonlknoll on Twitter.

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?     

I applied to the #SOTUSocial to show my students that social media can be used an effective tool to engage with our elected officials and representatives.

3) Share one to five key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

  • I thought it was really cool to be able to connect with people beforehand using #SOTUSocial and then meet them and talk with them during the event.
  • I had a 15-30 minute conversation with my congressman in the airport as we waited to board our plane to come back home.
  • As a result of me live-tweeting, some of my students also live-tweeted, which led them to have interesting discussions with their classmates.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

Twitter

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

Yes for Reuters and The Cap Times Reuters.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

  • Social media is here to stay, so it is best to embrace it and learn how to use it.
  • Take a look at Twitter to see some really cool work being done in the field of digital diplomacy.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship means using social media to engage with others about serious topics (i.e. policy), whether it is with a friend or an elected official.  It also entails sharing information with others so that they can be involved in the public sphere.

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I’m comfortable right now using primarily Twitter and my blog to stay engaged, and that I do not currently plan on using any other major social media platforms.
 
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
 
  • Tweet to elected officials about an issue.
  • Participate in Twitter chats with government agencies.

Photo Credit: Twitter.com
Photo Credit: Twitter.com

PS: The first #digcitizen Twitter chat will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST (one hour). The topic is “Lessons Learned from #SOTUSocial and #WHSocial.” Follow me on @anandaleeke and use the #digcitizen hashtag.

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Happy Yoga Monday: My Yoga Study Buddy Partnership

My Yoga Collage #1inspired by my study of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga practice
My Yoga Collage #1inspired by my study of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga practice

Happy Yoga Monday!

Have you ever had a yoga study buddy to create more accountability and support in your yoga practice?

This month I realized I needed to create a yoga study buddy partnership to help ground my current study of the power of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga in my home yoga practice. So I reached out to Benjamin, one of my best friends and fellow Kundalini yoga practitioners, via Skype to discuss my idea. Our conversation revealed that we are both on a journey to understand Shakti, chakras, Kundalini yoga, and living from our hearts. Since he lives in London and I live in D.C., we decided to use email for quick check-ins and information sharing (videos, web links, articles, music etc.). We also chose to schedule one or two Skype calls per month to discuss what we have been learning and noticing in our yoga practice and life.

My Yoga Collage #2 inspired by my study of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga
My Yoga Collage #2 inspired by my study of Shakti energy and Kundalini yoga

As a result of my yoga study buddy partnership with Benjamin, I have been creating collages that illustrate how I feel about the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life.

Photo Credit: Maya Fiennes
Photo Credit: Maya Fiennes

I’ve started watching YouTube videos that Benjamin sent me via email that feature Maya Fiennes, an international Kundalini yoga teacher. This week, I am using Fiennes’ root chakra and sacral chakra videos to enhance my morning practice.

Ananda with her yoga and chakra inspired art
Ananda with her yoga and chakra inspired art

Having Benjamin as my yoga study buddy has created more accountability in developing inspiring content for my weekly Yoga Monday blog and podcast. Click here to listen to today’s podcast which includes three yoga wisdom quotes, my poem about yoga and writing, and reflections on the power of Shakti in my yoga practice and life. OM Enjoy OM!

PS: Yoga and Reiki healing touch sessions are great ways to energize your spirit, heart, mind, and body for the Spring season. If you are in the DC area and are seeking to develop or strengthen a kind and gentle yoga practice for your daily life, reach out to me at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com. I have several slots opening up for my Spring yoga one-on-one sessions. I also have several slots opening for my Reiki healing touch sessions. Click here to learn more about my yoga and Reiki services.

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Listen to 2/23 AL Radio Show @8PM ET: How College & Graduate Students Express Digital Citizenship

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Mark your calendar for the Digital Citizenship Project’s first radio program on February 23 from 8:00 p.m. EST to 9:00 p.m. EST on The Ananda Leeke Show. The topic is “How College & Graduate Students Express Digital Citizenship.” Click here to listen to the show.
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
 
My guests are Deshawn Adams, Ashley LandKamau MarshallKathleen McClure, and Matt Potts (may have a few more guests). They recently participated in the White House Social for the State of the Union on January 28 and the French Arrival Ceremony on February 11. Please use the hashtag #digcitizen to follow the conversation on Twitter during the radio show. Follow me on Twitter at @anandaleeke.
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Happy Creativity Thursday: The Power of A Creative Breakfast

My Creative Breakfast
My Creative Breakfast

Happy Creativity Thursday!

This morning I woke up and decided to honor Creativity Thursday with a Creative Breakfast that included oatmeal with cranberries and agave in a cup decorated with Egyptian women and art (purchased during my 1995 trip to Egypt), a banana, a glass of decaf green tea, the Inspiration issue of Poets & Writers (January/February) magazine, and three quotes about creativity by African American artists, musicians, and poets that were published in my book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery. Click here to listen to my podcast about my Creative Breakfast.

I chose to start my day this way because I needed to open my creative heart with some intentional moments of creativity. Why? I’ve been moving at a pretty fast pace over the past ten days with little time left to nurture my creative heart.

After I finished eating breakfast and reading three articles in the magazine, I took a few more  moments to look through some of my fashion magazines for images I need for a collage I am planning to make to celebrate the spring season. When I finished collecting images, I realized my Creative Breakfast turned into a mini artist date at home. How cool is that?

Have you ever had a Creative Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Snack?

What did you eat and do to make it creative?

PS: Check out two of my most recent Vine videos that celebrate creative journey.

  • Video 1 – My creative word mantras I use to write my books
  • Video 2 – The book that opened my creative heart — Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map

12335098133_9894b1f143 Opening Your Creative Heart Coaching Special Discount:

From February 1 to March 31, I am offering a special discount package on my creativity coaching services. See details below.

My Creativity Coaching Practice: Click here to read more about my approach and background as a creativity coach.

Discount Period: The creativity coaching packages must be purchased via PayPal by March 31, 2014. They must be used by July 31, 2014.

Fees and Services:

1) 1 one-hour session with 2 email follow ups – $99.95 (original price – $139.95)

2) 3 one-hour sessions with 4 email follow ups – $359.95 (original price – $389.95)

3) 6 one-hour sessions with 7 email follow ups – $769.95 (original price – $799.95)

4) 9 one-hour sessions with 10 email follow ups – $1,169.99 (original price – $1,199.99)

5) 12 one-hour sessions with 13 email follow ups – $1,569.95 (original price – $1599.95)

Contact Information: If you are interested in one or more of the packages, please send me an email at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a free 20-minute consultation call (available via telephone, Skype, and Google Hangout).

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: My #SOTUSocial & #WHSocial Experiences Give Birth to The Digital Citizenship Project

French Arrival Ceremony photo collage
French Arrival Ceremony photo collage
Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Guess what happens when the White House selects you to participate as 1 of 60 social media leaders in the State of the Union Social on January 28 and as 1 of 100 social media leaders in the White House Social for the French Arrival Ceremony on February 11?

#SOTUSocial Group Tour of White House
#SOTUSocial Group Tour of White House
Social media leaders at #SOTUSocial on 1/28/14
Social media leaders at #SOTUSocial on 1/28/14

You develop a desire to SERVE even more.

My desire to SERVE has manifested as The Digital Citizenship Project, an online campaign that:

  • Utilizes a private Facebook group and monthly #digcitizen Twitter chats on the last Tuesday of each month to build community among the social media leaders who have participated in the White House Social events in ways that encourage and inspire them to continue to use their digital presence to support policies and programs that align with their passions and interests. The first #digcitizen chat will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST (one hour). The topic is “Lessons Learned from #SOTUSocial and #WHSocial.” Follow me on @anandaleeke and use the #digcitizen hashtag.
  • Honors the great work of social media leaders by publishing profiles on my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series and conducting one-on-one and group interviews on The Ananda Leeke Show via Talkshoe.com. The first show will air on Sunday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. EST. The theme is “How College and Graduate Students Embrace Their Digital Citizenship.” The guests will be announced later this week.
  • Shares information that encourages the general public to become active digital citizens through online engagement opportunities offered by the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy and Organizing for Action, and promotes President Obama’s policies, programs, and WhiteHouse.gov.
  • Launches and celebrates Digital Citizenship Month in July to encourage more Americans to embrace their digital citizenship (more details will be provided in March and April).

I hope you will join me in this new adventure.

What does digital citizenship mean to you?

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Happy Yoga Monday: Afternoon Yoga & Shakti Mantra Chanting

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Happy Yoga Monday!

Today’s podcast gives you an inside view into my afternoon yoga session that included mala beads and a Shakti mantra. Click on the link to listen (3 minutes).
http://voicebo.com/6mGAnv

What mantras do you like to chant during your yoga practice?

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If you are in the DC/MD/VA area and would like to experience kind and gentle yoga or a Reiki healing touch session, contact me at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com to schedule a phone consultation about your yoga/Reiki needs and my fees.

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My Digital Citizenship Valentine: 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events

My Digital Valentine
My Digital Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am using my blog to send a Digital Citizenship Valentine to the White House (WH), WH Office of Digital Strategy staff and interns, and my fellow social media leaders who participated in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony for President Francois Hollande on February 11.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

The Office of Digital Strategy uses digital media to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda and policies. Through its efforts, the American people have been given an opportunity to do three things:

  • To see what’s happening at the WH on a daily basis via WhiteHouse.gov and WH social media channels.
  • To engage President Obama, WH officials, and other policy makers in conversation about the future of our great nation through WhiteHouse.gov Live events, Town Halls, Facebook and Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  • To express their digital citizenship by making comments and asking questions on WH social media channels, sharing and discussing what they learn with their digital network, and creating their own WH-related content to engage their network.

Four years ago, the Office of Digital Strategy began inviting Americans who serve as social media influencers and leaders in their online networks to participate in face-to-face Tweet Ups and #WHSocial events that support the State of the Union, Town Halls, and other WH events. The social media influencers and leaders have been able to expand the WH’s public outreach efforts. Their efforts reach many more Americans who get their news from social media. They have also worked to breakdown the barriers between the U.S. government and its citizens. Together with the Office of Digital Strategy, they are helping to make the Obama administration the most accessible and transparent administration in U.S. history.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

In January, I was invited as 1 of 60 social media leaders (out of a pool of over 6,000 applicants) to participate in the State of the Union Social. Click here to read about my experience.

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

A few days after the event, I learned about and applied to participate in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony. To my surprise, I was selected to attend the event as 1 of 100 social media leaders (out of a pool of 2,500 applicants). Today, I took time to reflect on my experiences and came up with 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events.

#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14
#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14

1) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me a chance to meet, network, and build community with a diverse group of Americans from all over the country. That’s exactly what I did on Monday night when I organized and hosted a meet up for my fellow social media leaders at the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn --Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn –Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch

The next day, I reconnected with my #WHSocial BFFs and made new ones on the South Lawn of the White House, during the briefing with WH staff, and at an impromptu lunch at Cosi’s.

Photo Credit: yours truly -- Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: yours truly — Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Yours truly - Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs
Photo Credit: Yours truly – Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs

2) I love #WHSocial events because they energized and convinced me to step up my digital citizenship game. Next week, I will begin using my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series to discuss digital citizenship, launch and celebrate Digital Citizenship Month (yep I am creating it) in July to encourage Americans to use their digital presence to get involved and civically engaged at the local and national level, profile #WHSocial leaders and influencers, and discuss WhiteHouse.gov information and WH online engagement efforts.

My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources
My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources

3) I love #WHSocial events because they inspired me to use all of my social media platforms to get the word out about President Obama’s activities, policies, and programs. I used Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine video app, VoiceBo podcast app, and WordPress to share my #WHSocial adventures this week.

Check out my #WHSocial Pinterest board which contains over 50 pins filled with articles, blog posts, videos, and photos that discuss the French President’s State visit.

I really enjoyed creating Vine videos featuring my fellow social media leaders in action as they prepared for the #WHSocial briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Interviewing my fellow social media leaders with the VoiceBo app was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed using it to give updates about my #WHSocial preparation and reflections.

Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were probably my most favorite social media tools to use while live tweeting during the #WHSocial events.

Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14

4) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with WH staff. During the #WHSocial briefing, I asked Kori Schulman, Director of Online Engagement, how the Office of Digital Strategy was leveraging the support of people who have participated in the #WHSocial events. I suggested creating a #WHSocial Ambassador Program. Yesterday, I received an email indicating that a #WHSocial Alumni Program is in the works! And that’s just one more reason to love #WHSocial events!

Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my #WHSocial adventures. So drop by! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend!