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?

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Live Tweeting at White House on 1/28 & Using Uber for Transportation

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

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Guess where I will be next week on Internet Geek Tuesday, January 28? Live tweeting at the State of the Union White House Social. Yes I said the White House. And I’ll be using my smartphone to access the Uber app to arrange my transportation home from the event.

Photo Credit: Uber.com
Photo Credit: Uber.com

Have you heard of Uber?

Uber is a digital lifesaver for urban dwellers that was launched in 2009. Uber connects riders to drivers through its smartphone apps in over 50 cities in the United States and around the world.

Click here to sign up for Uber and download the app to your smartphone by 12 noon on Wednesday, January 22. Use my code when you sign up: BAL975455.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Celebrating Get Real On the Internet Week

Photo Credit: www.realsimple.com
Photo Credit: http://www.realsimple.com

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

This week, I am celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week” created by Real Simple magazine. I am using this week and several articles from Real Simple‘s January issue to explore how I am going to express my Flowista spirit by incorporating more digital wellness moments into my life this year. The first article I read, “Finding Balance in A Wired World,” asked me if I was addicted to my digital devices.  I was close to saying YES because the month of December was super busy due to Digital Sisterhood Month and then I reminded myself that I did slow down at the end of the month. I used two yoga workshops to slow down and recharge. They helped me settle into reflection mode where I was able to enter a period of stillness that opened the door to some juicy journaling sessions. Looking back, I can honestly say I was close to being addicted to my digital devices. Now that’s not something I want to get close to in 2014.

Would you describe yourself as addicted to your digital devices?

Photo Credit: RealSimple.com
Photo Credit: RealSimple.com

Today, I pulled out a Flowista collage I made while writing my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. Flowista is a Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetype I identified and have used to remind myself to unplug from my digital devices and online activities.

Photo Credit: Ananda's Flowista collage
Photo Credit: Ananda’s Flowista collage

The words and phrases on my Flowista collage are powerful reminders of my intention to be real on the Internet with self-care practices and regular unplugging moments.

Photo Credit: RealSimple.com
Photo Credit: RealSimple.com

Are you celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week”? How?

9781491706398_COVER_FQA.inddTo learn more about Digital Sisterhood, visit Amazon.com. The book is available for Kindle and as a paperback or hardback book.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! Using My Digital Footprint to Support Andy Shalal’s DC Mayor Campaign

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

This year, I am celebrating my 10th anniversary as a blogger and social media leader. In honor of my 10th anniversary, I am using my digital footprint to support campaigns, causes, and organizations focused on making my community and city better, creativity, education, health, people of color, social justice, affordable and accessible technology, and women.

Photo Credit: www.andy4dc.com
Photo Credit: http://www.andy4dc.com

For the next several months, I am using my blog and social media sites to share information about Andy Shalal’s campaign for Mayor of the District of Columbia (DC) . I support Andy’s campaign because he is committed to making DC an affordable city that works for all of its residents, businesses, community organizations, government agencies, schools, colleges, and universities.

Photo Credit: www.andy4dc.com
Photo Credit: http://www.andy4dc.com

As a long-time entrepreneur, founder of Busboys and Poets and Eatonville restaurants, activist, and artist, his fresh approach to leadership will:

* Make affordable housing truly affordable for all income levels.
* Fund more programs for adult literacy and job readiness.
* Reduce poverty by creating good jobs with a living wage and paid sick leave.
* Help small businesses prosper.
* Put the public voice back into the public education.
* Improve government services like the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs.
* Provide more assistance to returning citizens.
* Reform the tax code.
* Reduce wasteful government spending.

Click here to learn more about Andy’s campaign. Be sure to follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Using My Digital Influence to Fundraise for ZuriWorks

Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Tomorrow marks my 49th birthday. This year, I am using my digital influence to raise money for ZuriWorks for Women’s Health, a nonprofit organization that offers beauty, arts and health programs to enhance the quality of life for women of color impacted by cancer. ZuriWorks also works to educate women of color about their health and to improve their survivorship rates.

Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

I learned about the organization from my digital sister Xina Eiland, President of X+PR, when she began working with its founder, Andrene Taylor on several events earlier this year. I became an instant fan after watching Andrene’s moving video about her cancer journey and the amazing support ZuriWorks has been able to provide to women of color living with cancer. These women reminded me of my two grandmothers, Dorothy Johnson Gartin and Frederica Stanley Roberts Leeke, who lived with breast cancer. I wish they had access to ZuriWorks’ programs.

That’s why I am using the next two weeks (from December 17 to December 31) to invite my family, friends, and digital community to make a donation to ZuriWorks in honor of my birthday and the holiday season. Click here to make a donation. Any amount counts ($5, $10, $15, $20, $25 or more). Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Celebrating My Favorite Mobile Apps in 2013

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

As we get closer to the final days of 2013, I am reflecting on my favorite digital experiences and tools. Today, I thought it would be great to share my two favorite digital tools for 2013: Pandora.com and VoiceBo mobile apps. First of all, I am so grateful that both of these apps are FREE to use.

Photo Credit: Pandora.com
Photo Credit: Pandora.com

My love affair with Pandora.com started a few years ago. This year, it intensified as I started using the app on my iPad at home (during my yoga, meditation, and writing practices) and when I traveled.

Photo Credit: VoiceBo
Photo Credit: VoiceBo

VoiceBo and I are in a very affectionate stage where I am relying on it more and more to create audio content for Digital Sisterhood Month’s morning reflections. I discovered VoiceBo last year when Cinchcast, my audio blog main squeeze, shut down. Click here to listen to my VoiceBo recordings (all are less than 5 minutes).

What are your favorite digital tools for 2013?

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: BlogHer Call for Ideas Due by December 2

blogher13icon

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

BlogHer is one of my favorite blogging conferences to attend because it offers a variety of sessions that quench my learning thirst, networking opportunities, great keynotes, the Voices of the Year featuring incredible bloggers who read their amazing blog posts, fun parties, yummy vegan and vegetarian food (especially in Chicago and San Diego), and a fashion show featuring bloggers of every shape, size, and color.

Photo Credit - Photo Collage from the session, "What Kind of Social Media Leader Are You?" held on July 26.
Photo Credit – Photo Collage from the session, “What Kind of Social Media Leader Are You?” held on July 26.

I started attending the annual conference in 2009 and have been fortunate to serve as a speaker in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Speaking at BlogHer has allowed me to share my expertise in blogger wellness, peer-to-peer mentoring, podcasting, and social media leadership through the lens of Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetypes. It has increased my confidence as a thought leader and exposure as a speaker. In addition, it has inspired me to share more of my thought leadership at other conferences and events.

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In 2014, BlogHer will celebrate its 10th year anniversary conference. I will be celebrating my 10th year as a blogger. I plan to attend the conference. In preparation, I am working on my conference speaking proposals this week and next week.

BlogHer is always looking to feature new and diverse speakers. So I encourage you to submit your original ideas. Click here to learn more about the BlogHer Call for Ideas. The deadline is December 2.

Hope to see you at BlogHer 2014!

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Headed to Atlanta to Speak at Women Interactive on November 9.

Photo Credit: WomenInteractive.net
Photo Credit: WomenInteractive.net

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday,

This week, I am headed to Atlanta to speak at the second annual Women Interactive Creative Technology Conference that will be held at Spelman College on November 9. I am giving a tech talk on “Digital Sisters + Digital Citizens = Social Media Leaders.” My talk is rooted in one word: SERVE. It is an acronym that I call my secret ingredient for being an authentic Digital Sister, Digital Citizen, and Social Media Leader. Check it out below.

•S – SEE yourself as a social media leader. If you have at least one person who follows and/or interacts with you through your blog, web site, and/or social media sites, you have a platform of influence. Your influence impacts people in your online network. That makes you a leader. The moment that you see yourself as a social media leader, you begin to own your identity. Once you own your identity as a social media leader, you are faced with some important choices in how you interact online and offline in your relationships.

•E – EMBRACE digital civility practices in your online and offline interactions and relationships. Digital civility includes being respectful of others, especially in the midst of any disagreements. Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
•R – REMEMBER to UNPLUG from your digital life and practice SELF CARE by creating and following a digital wellness plan. Take breaks from your digital life. It will give you an opportunity to recharge and rest.
•V – VISIT and participate in a diverse group of online and offline communities to broaden your knowledge base and network.
•E – EXPRESS generosity in all you think, say, and do. Give back to others. Your generosity creates social capital in your online and offline relationships. Social capital is that warm, fuzzy feeling or positive impression you create about yourself in people’s hearts and minds. It paves the wave for unexpected blessings that manifest as collaborations, invitations to events, learning opportunities, partnerships, relationships with key people in your local/national/international networks, revenue generating streams, speaking engagements, and other forms of blessings.
9781491706398_COVER_FQA.indd
My new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online discusses my SERVE secret ingredient in great detail. Click here to purchase a copy on Amazon.com.
Photo Credit: http://beeverywhere.tv
Photo Credit: http://beeverywhere.tv
If you are in Atlanta on November 7, join me for a Digital Sisterhood book reading from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. sponsored by my digital sisters at Everywhere, an amazing social media marketing firm headed by Danica Kombol. Click here to register for the event.
Photo Credit: WomenInteractive.net
Photo Credit: WomenInteractive.net

MORE ABOUT WOMEN INTERACTIVE:

Women Interactive is a two-day interactive technology festival for women who produce and share digital content with a special emphasis on women of color. It’s one of my favorite learning opportunities. I attended the festival last year and learned so much. If you are in Atlanta, join me at the event. Click here to register.

Happy InternetGeek Tuesday: Using My Digital Presence for Social Good & Zuri Works

Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

Happy Internet Tuesday!

Today’s blog discusses how I use my digital presence for social good and to support Zuri Works for Women’s Health, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that creates national beauty, arts, and health programs that enhance the quality of life, improve their survivorship rates, and increase the health knowledge of women of color impacted by cancer.  Click here to listen to my audio blog which includes a short excerpt from my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available on Amazon).

Zuri Works founder Andrene Taylor (in pink shirt) and her Zuri Works team; Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Zuri Works founder Andrene Taylor (in pink shirt) and her Zuri Works team; Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

Through its founder Andrene Taylor, a three-time cancer survivor and “THRIVER, Zuri Works does four things:

  • Empower women to prioritize their self care.
  • Collaborate, share knowledge, and partner with individuals, communities, and organizations committed to finding solutions to address cancer’s impact on the vulnerable populations we serve.
  • Develop creative, new ideas that address common and unique problems  of women in order to increase their use of screening, reduce their delays in treatment, and improve their cancer survival rates.
  • Use evidence-based solutions to engage women about their health and address health care disparities in their communities.
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

My Connection to Cancer and Why I Love and Support Zuri Works

I love the meaning of Zuri. It is a Swahili word that means beautiful. It reminds me of my beautiful, bold, and brilliant grandmothers, Dorothy Mae Johnson Gartin (“Nanan”) and Frederica Stanley Roberts Leeke (“Freddie). They both lived with breast cancer. A few years after my grandmother Freddie died of breast cancer, I searched for ways to honor her memory through my wire sculpture artwork. In 2001, I discovered the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a DC-based nonprofit health, education, and arts organization that develops and promotes healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental resources that lead to life-affirming changes for people affected by cancer. I started working as a Smith Center artist-in-residence in 2002.

Howard University Hospital
Howard University Hospital
Ananda working at HU Hospital in 2009
Ananda working at HU Hospital in 2009

My first artist-in-residency was at Howard University (HU) Hospital from 2003 to 2009.  During that time, I shared my gifts as an artist, poet, writer, Reiki practitioner, and yoga teacher with patients living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses.  I also conducted staff workshops with the HU Hospital nurses. Click here to read my Flickr blog and see photos of my work.

Interactive Breast Cancer Awareness Wall Collage at Walter Reed, 2012
Interactive Breast Cancer Awareness Wall Collage at Walter Reed, 2012

After my contract with HU Hospital ended, I began working with wounded warriors, their family and friends, patients, and staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. For the past two years, I have created interactive Breast Cancer Awareness Month wall collages (see 2012 collage above) for the Walter Reed staff to pay tribute to their family and friends impacted by breast cancer. Staff use the collage to write their thoughts about breast cancer and their loved ones.

Photo Credit: http://stephanieisfabulous.blogspot.com
Photo Credit: http://stephanieisfabulous.blogspot.com

In addition to my Smith Center artist-in-residence work, I have also taught yoga classes as a volunteer and used my digital presence to support social good campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, I was introduced to Zuri Works by Xina Eiland, my digital sister, PR coach, and publicist. I immediately fell in love with the organization’s mission and work right after I watched Andrene’s video about her cancer journey which began at 25 when she was a second year graduate student. Her story inspired me. Her cancer advocacy work that marries two of passions — health & art — moved me to donate a few hours of my coaching time to help Xina develop crowdfunding strategies for Zuri Work’s Indiegogo campaign.

Photo Credit: Indiegogo.com
Photo Credit: Indiegogo.com

The Indiegogo campaign will support The Exposures Project, a photo education exhibit shot by cancer survivors and THRIVERS which depicts survival stories of women that would otherwise go untold. Watch the powerful campaign video to learn more. I know you will be inspired like I was to give a financial donation. Click here today and make a donation before the campaign ends on October 24. Tell your family and friends to donate too!

Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org
Photo Credit: ZuriWorks.org

This week, I get to show my love for Zuri Works in person at its Big Chop to Stop Cancer Anniversary Benefit. It will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1200 in DC. If you are in DC, join me for an absolutely fabulous event. Register here.

What’s Next for Me & Zuri Works

In a few weeks, I will launch my fundraising campaign for Zuri Works. It will invite my family, friends, Digital Sisterhood Network, clients, colleagues, and social media network to make a donation in honor of my December 18th birthday. Click here to learn how you can create a similar campaign.