#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Shout Out to #BlogHer15 Digital Sisters


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

Today, I am giving a special #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday shout out to my #BlogHer15 Digital Sisters who are traveling to New York City to attend the 11th annual BlogHer conference on July 16-18 at the Hilton New York.

#BlogHer15 Digital Sisters come celebrate the diverse beauty, boldness, and brilliance of our BlogHer community on July 16 from 8-11PM at the third annual #MultiCulti Party at the Hilton New York. I am co-hosting the party with two amazing Digital Sisters, Pauline Campos and Dwana De La Cerna.

Guess what? The first person who arrives at the #MultiCulti Party will receive a signed copy of my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

There’ll be other goodies too including the #MultiCulti Party signature drink (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) created by Pauline Campos, #MultiCulti food and cake, #MultiCulti music, and the “What’s On Your #MultiCultiMind?” Post-It Wall that allows you to write and share your definition of #MultiCulti.

Follow @anandaleeke, @pauline_campos, and @justdwana on Instagram and Twitter for updates. Use #BlogHer15 and #MultiCulti hashtags to stay connected.

#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday: A Woman With A Scarf Is A Woman With A Story

Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

I believe a woman with a scarf is a woman with a story. That’s why I’m launching the #ShopVIDAwithAL digital storytelling campaign to encourage women to share stories about their favorite scarves and promote my new collection of VIDA Voices scarves that bring ART TO LIFE.

#ShopVIDAwithAL campaign
#ShopVIDAwithAL campaign

When I partnered with VIDA, a woman-owned e-commerce platform, to create my scarf collection, I thought about the many ways scarves have helped me define my signature style and tell stories about my life, creativity, and travel experiences. I also reflected on my first scarf experience. It happened nearly 30 years ago when I was a first year law student at Howard University School of Law (1986).


My mother gave me a royal blue angora sweater from Lord & Taylor that celebrated our membership in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She suggested I find a scarf to wear with it. My mother was and remains my scarf icon!

With limited funds, I walked to a thrift shop and spent an hour searching for scarves. The owner brought me a brown and royal blue paisley silk scarf to look at. It had just the right amount of casual elegance I needed to flaunt my new angora sweater. Yes, it was scarf love at first sight! Nowadays, my favorite scarves give me that extra “ooh la la” feeling when I travel to the White House for meetings, book meet ups with fans, conferences, events, and London.

Do you have a favorite scarf story? Who taught you to wear scarves? Where have your scarves taken you in the world? I invite you to share your scarf stories along with a photo featuring you and your favorite scarf in the comment section below or on your blog and social media. Use the #ShopVIDAwithAL hashtag.

Click here for more information on how to purchase my scarves ($40 each) with the 20% VIDAVOICES code discount this week.

#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday: #DigitalSisterhoodat50 Lesson 4 CONNECTION


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

CONNECTION is #DigitalSisterhoodat50  Lesson 4. Last weekend, I experienced an abundance of soulful #DigitalSisterhood connections during the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon. On my flight to Portland, I sat next to author and blogger Mary Laura Philpott. We had no idea we were headed to the same conference until we landed and started chatting about why we were in Portland. And within seconds, I felt that special #DigitalSisterhood connection.


We both walked to baggage claim to meet Kathryn Presner, a WordPress developer, and to grab a cab to the hotel. Kathryn is a hugger, conversationalist, and has a groovy sense of humor. Our cab ride to the hotel cemented our #DigitalSisterhood bond.

A few hours later, I met Jen Mylo and Andrea Middleton, the phenomenal Press Publish organizers at the speakers meeting. My #DigitalSisterhood bond with Jen and Andrea was formed virtually during our first Google Hangout in February. Our face-to-face meeting was filled with an abundance of #DigitalSisterhood love. Both ladies are super kind, generous, nurturing, and organized. They really should run the world!


During the speakers meeting, I met authors and bloggers Cecilia Gunther and Christine Lee. They are powerhouses in their own right with lots of witty humor and conversation. My #DigitalSisterhood bond emerged after several conversations during the conference.

After the speakers meeting, I had a chance to finally thank Michelle Langston, a WordPress developer who helped me redesign my web site, in person. Our #DigitalSisterhood bond formed while we worked on the web site in March. Meeting her, participating and learning about new WordPress themes in her session, receiving her technical support in the Happiness Lab, and hanging out with her during the speaker dinner and trip to Powell’s bookstore was a blessing!


Throughout the conference, I met, chatted with, and formed #DigitalSisterhood bonds with Kronda Adair of Karvel Digital, author/blogger Kelly Bejelly, writer Jeanne Faulkner, doula/blogger Kendra Atkins-Boyce, Norma the “Naughty Poetess,” and so many more amazing women.


On Saturday evening, my #DigitalSisterhood connections expanded tremendously when I met and hung out with blogger Ariel Meadow Stallings and WordPress team members Marjorie Asturias, Josepha Hayden, Anne McCarthy, Grace Park, and Grace Jiyoung at the Press Publish dinner and visit to Powell’s bookstore. I left Portland with a new tribe of Digital Sisters.

Did you attend Press Publish?

Who did you form #DigitalSisterhood connections wth?

Photo Credit: Mary Laura Philpott

My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is Campaign Launches!

2012 Digital Sister of the Year Jessica Solomon
2012 Digital Sister of the Year Jessica Solomon

On the first day of Digital Sisterhood Month, Digital Sisterhood Network is launching the “My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is Campaign.” Check out what 2012 Digital Sister of the Year Jessica Solomon said about her Digital Sisterhood Community.

Jessica Solomon's sign for My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is Campaign
Jessica Solomon’s sign for My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is Campaign

My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is Campaign invites women in social media and tech to give shout outs to the Digital Sisters and women’s online and offline communities, groups, and organizations that nurture, support, and affirm them. It’s easy to participate. See the four easy steps below.

Campaign Materials

  • Get a piece of paper and something to write with (a pen or magic marker). Feel free to create a document on your lap top or computer.
  • Write or type the following statement on the paper and include the names and/or Instagram/Twitter IDs of the Digital Sisters and women’s online and offline communities, groups, and organizations that nurture, support, and affirm you in the blank: My #DigitalSisterhood Community Is ___________________.
  • Have someone take a photo of you and your sign. Be sure to SMILE!
  • Post your photo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the #DigitalSisterhood and #DSMonth hashtags. We’ll repost it on DSN social media sites.


Celebrate 5th Annual Digital Sisterhood Month in December!


Happy Digital Sisterhood Month 2014!

Did you know 2014 marks the fifth annual celebration of Digital Sisterhood Month (#DSMonth)? That’s right Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is celebrating FIVE years!!!!!

This year’s theme is “Gratitude for #DigitalSisterhood Communities.” Click here to read more about #DSMonth.

#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.
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.” 

Time for a Digital Diet After Everywhere’s Digitini Event & Digital Sisterhood Network Activities

Happy Thursday!

This morning I had a wake up call while I was biking my four miles in the gym. I realized that the past two weeks have been filled with lots of social media moments.  Some of my favorite moments happened during the Digitini Cocktails and Cupcakes event hosted by Everywhere (my favorite social media marketing firm!) on May 18 in Atlanta (huge moment was receiving the Atlanta #Digitalsisterhood Key to the City that Danica Kombol made!).  See the photos below.
Photo Credit: Terrance Gains and Everywhere Team (they created the invitation)
Photo Credit: Everywhere
Everywhere team with Ananda
Photo Credit: Everywhere’s photo of OMG Cup and Cakes & Ciroc’s Digitini Cocktail
Digitini Thank You Note
Photo Credit: Everywhere
Photo Credit: Everywhere
Photo Credit: Everywhere
Atlanta Digital Community – Photo Credit – Everywhere
To read more about my social media adventures at Spelman College’s Women of Color Leadership Conference and Everywhere’s Digitini event, click here:
2) Everywhere’s Digitini Event, May 18.  My Digitini adventures and Digital Sisterhood Network activities have been juicy sweet! Now it’s time to return to my digital diet where I take time off from the social media world.  Guess what? My summer and fall months are gonna be filled with lots of digital diet moments as I wrap up the final parts of my Digital Sisterhood book. I will be online on Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays and during BlogHer in early August and Blogalicious in late September.  Are you going on a digital diet or changing your online routine this month or summer? If yes, share how.  See you next week with my end of the month blogs! Enjoy your day and long weekend!