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).
January 29: The day after the event, I reached out to my fellow social media leaders on LinkedIn. As a result, I received an invitation to meet up with Jason Nellis, OverAchiever Media founder and a DC social media leader I missed meeting at the White House. We agreed to meet in person the following week to discuss our #SOTUSocial experiences.
I also gave my #SOTUSocial digital sisters a special #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday shout out on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter that featured a collage of several women I met during the event.
January 30: The next day I wrote my first blog recap post about being a digital citizen and my journey to the White House, and recorded a podcast that discussed my definition of a digital citizen. I shared the blog post with my social media network and retweeted, shared, and commented on blogs, photos, and tweets by my fellow social media leaders.
I updated my #SOTUSocial Pinterest board with links to the social media leaders’ articles, blogs, and photos. I also visited WhiteHouse.gov and found blog posts and videos to add to the Pinterest board.
February 3: I met Jason at Tynan Coffee & Tea and we recorded a podcast about our #SOTUSocial experience. Click here to listen (3 minutes).
I explored the WhiteHouse.gov blog to see if there were any ways I could deepen my social engagement this week. Guess what I found? A notice inviting social media leaders to apply to attend the White House French Arrival Ceremony Social (#WHSocial) on February 11. Since I am a Francophile (have been since my first French class in high school) and a digital diplomacy fan, I applied. You can too. The deadline is February 5 at 6:00 p.m. EST. Click here for details.
I also wrote a Tumblr blog post about my passion for France and desire to participate in the February 11th #WHSocial where President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome French President François Hollande to the White House.
What’s Next: This week, I’ll be writing blog posts celebrating the dynamic women I met (for Digital Sisterhood Network’s blog), featuring the #SOTUChat highlights, and lessons I learned from the #SOTUSocial.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Are you celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week”? How?
To learn more about Digital Sisterhood, visit Amazon.com. The book is available for Kindle and as a paperback or hardback book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.