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Celebrate Social Media Day Today & Get Ready for Digital Citizenship Month (7/1-7/31)

Photo Credit: http://jpwilliam.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: http://jpwilliam.wordpress.com

Happy Social Media Day!

Mashable launched Social Media Day in 2010 as a way to celebrate and honor the digital revolution that happens every moment. People host meet ups around the world to celebrate this global movement.

Photo Credit: Mashable.com
Photo Credit: Mashable.com

Since today is Social Media Day, take a few moments to declare your social media independence by making a My #DigCitizen Supports Campaign sign for Digital Citizenship Month (launches on July 1).

Badge created by Dariela Cruz
Badge created by Dariela Cruz

Write the phrase: My #DigCitizen Supports _________.  Fill in the blank with your ideas and/or interests. Use your mobile phone, digital device or camera to take a photo. Post it on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter with the #DigCitizen hashtag. We’ll repost it.

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Recruit your family and friends to participate. Visit http://digcitizen.tumblr.com. Follow @DigCitizenMonth on Instagram and Twitter.

Tim'm West making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Azi's Café in DC
Tim’m West making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Azi’s Café in DC
Jim Riccio making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Starbucks on 16th and U Streets, NW in DC
Jim Riccio making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Starbucks on 16th and U Streets, NW in DC
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Back from Social Media Break: Celebrate Digital Citizenship Month in July

 

Badge created by Dariela Cruz
Badge created by Dariela Cruz

Today I’m coming back from my summer social media break to share some great news. On July 1, I’ll be launching my next digital storytelling effort called Digital Citizenship Month. It’s fun and interactive. You’ll be able to participate in the My #DigCitizen Campaign. Click here for more information. on the link to learn more.

Photo Credit: Jeff Brooks, http://Photg4Naturals.com
Photo Credit: Jeff Brooks, http://Photg4Naturals.com
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Happy #FierceLiving Friday: Meeting #FierceLiving Hero President Obama at Tumblr #WHSocial

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Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

On June 10, I attended the White House Social (#WHSocial) featuring President Barack Obama’s first-ever Tumblr Q&A session on education, college affordability, and student loan debt reduction. I had a front row seat in the State Dining Room. Being able to see President Obama, one of my #FierceLiving heros, in action was a HUGE life moment for me. Click here to read about my favorite #WHSocial moments. Watch my Vine video too.

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After the event, I was able to snap a selfie with the President, say hello, and shake his hand. What a lucky woman I am!

Check out photos from my #WHSocial adventures below.

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Happy #CreativityThursday: Celebrating Photographer Jeff Brooks

Happy #CreativityThursday!

Yesterday I spent time working with Jeff Brooks, an amazing photographer and founder of Photog4Naturals, at his studio in Takoma Park, a groovy part of Washington, DC. Jeff invited me to participate in his natural hair storytelling book and video project. Little did I know when I accepted his invitation that I would have one of the best creative collaborative experiences of my life. Click here to sneak a peek at our work.

Photo Credit: Jeff Brooks of Photog4Naturals
Photo Credit: Jeff Brooks of Photog4Naturals

During our time together, I learned so much about Jeff and his passion for photography,  video, natural hair, and storytelling. He is truly living his purpose as a photographer and entrepreneur. His spirit is grounded in his calling as a connecter and community builder. His creative approach is AWESOME. His photos and videos tell stories that touch your heart and make you look with awe at his divine gifts. He teaches as he shoots (I learned about a photo and video app that is fast becoming my new BFF). Generosity, kindness, and a great sense of humor make him a joy to work with. Visit http://photog4naturals.com to learn more about him.

Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke took the photo of Jeff Brooks. Jeff took the photo of Ananda.
Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke took the photo of Jeff Brooks. Jeff took the photo of Ananda.

PS: Jeff let me take photos of him working during our breaks. Check out one of the photos above. He took the photo of me with my Samsung smartphone camera.

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Happy #YogaMonday: Mantra Magazine Inspiration

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Happy #YogaMonday!

Today I read an interview featuring Erykah Badu in Mantra Magazine. Erykah’s comments about her newfound love of yoga and mantras inspired me. Here’s what she said:

“I love yoga. I started taking yoga at a gym and I met the most wonderful instructor who teaches you in Sanskrit as well as in English. She repeats everything in Sanskrit. There’s something about the vibration of this language that really resonates with me and helps me to focus more on the breathing and not so much on the stretching.”

Her words made me think about some of my favorite mantras and how they have helped me strengthen my meditation, Reiki healing, and yoga practices. Click here to listen to Krishna Das chant Om Namah Shivaya which means “I bow to my inner self.” This sacred mantra helps me to surrender my ego to my highest self. It helps me live in the present moment. It opens my heart to Creator’s wisdom and blessings for my life.

Do you have any favorite mantras? How do they impact you?

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Happy #FierceLiving Friday: Celebrating Power of Education & Headed to White House on June 10

Photo Credit: BrainyQuote
Photo Credit: BrainyQuote

Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

Today I have been reflecting on the words of the late South African President Nelson Mandela (see above) and President Barack Obama (see below).

“You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have. Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life.”

Their wise words remind me how grateful I am to my parents and my ancestors for blessing me with the opportunity to receive as much education as I desired. The education I received as a student at Kenmoor Elementary School, Kenmoor Junior High School, Elizabeth Seton High School, Morgan State University, Howard University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center became my gateway for pursuing a diverse career path as a lawyer, investment banker, knowledge manager, business consultant, artist, author, nonprofit senior program officer, yoga teacher, Reiki practitioner, and digital communications professional. My education was a gateway to #FierceLiving … being too bold for boundaries.

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

I was truly blessed to receive financial support from my parents for my primary, high school, college, and law school education. I used a student loan to pay for my graduate law degree at Georgetown and spent several years paying off the debt. Those were lean years for me. Nowadays students are faced with enormous debt. College affordability is a huge challenge. These two factors create barriers for people to obtain a higher education.

Education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt are three areas I am passionate about supporting online and offline. My passion is rooted in who I am as a daughter of two educators and an aunt to a niece in college with student loan debt and nephews in elementary school who will most likely face student loan debt. They are the reasons I applied to participate in the White House (#WHSocial) Tumblr Social on June 10 where President Obama will engage with Tumblr followers in his first-ever Tumblr Question and Answer session on education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt. Tumblr CEO David Karp will moderate the session.

Guess what happened this afternoon?

The White House selected me to participate as social media leader in the #WHSocial. So be sure to follow me on my Tumblr blog and as @anandaleeke on Instagram and Twitter next Tuesday starting at 3:30 p.m.

 

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Happy #CreativityThursday: Celebrating Creativity of Natural Hair Entrepreneur Evette Chambers

Happy #CreativityThursday!

Today I am celebrating the creativity of natural hair entrepreneur Evette Chambers, my loctician for the past 10 years. Evette is the founder of City Kinks, a Washington, DC-based natural hair salon.

Photo Credit: Evette Chambers
Photo Credit: Evette Chambers

Her skills, style, and spirit are OUTSTANDING. She is a positive inspiration and a natural-born connector who believes in sharing the wealth. She supports her clients in many different ways such as facilitating health and political awareness sessions, encouraging people to follow their passion, sharing information, promoting client businesses and events, and hosting client gatherings. Her generosity of spirit and commitment to community building make her a true blessing!

Did you know that she was featured in Essence Magazine and its special hair issue?

What more can I say about her?

She rocks!

Photo Credit: Evette Chambers
Photo Credit: Evette Chambers

Check out my before and after photos from my session with Evette on Wednesday. My hair is healthy and beautiful because of her great work and teachings. For the past several months, I have been having a deep love affair with her creative expression of an elegant French braid. It is easy to care for and makes me feel “femme chic.” Also, I have received so many compliments on this style. It is definitely one in a million!

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Here is a photo of Evette’s creative interpretation of a classic bun that was taken in 2013. As you can tell from my facial expression in the photo, visiting City Kinks is always a fun-filled experience. She infuses her “joie de vivre” into everything she does!

Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke
Photo Credit: Ananda Leeke