Headed to the U.S. Department of State’s 3/4 #IWOC #StateMeetup

Photo Credit: State.gov
Photo Credit: State.gov

Greetings All,

I am celebrating National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day today by attending the #StateMeetup for the International Women of Courage (#IWOC) Award Ceremony which will be hosted by Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and First Lady Michelle Obama. Ten amazing women from around the globe will be honored for their exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk.

  • Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul
  • Ms. Roshika Deo, Feminist and Political Activist, Be the Change Campaign (Fiji)
  • Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop, Evangelical Baptist
    Church of Georgia (Georgia)
  • Dr. Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, Tribunal President, High Risk Court, (Guatemala)
  • Laxmi, Campaigner, Stop Acid Attacks (India)
  • Ms. Fatimata Touré, Etude, de Formation Femme-Action (Mali)
  • Dr. Maha Al Muneef, Founder and Executive Director, National Family Safety Program (Saudi Arabia) *To be awarded in absentia
  • Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova, Director, NGO Perspektiva Plus (Tajikistan)
  • Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko, activist and pop artist, (Ukraine)
  • Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer (Zimbabwe)

Click here to read their full biographies. To learn more about #IWOC, check out my Pinterest board of resources.

After the Ceremony, I will attend a private policy briefing with a State Department official about U.S. engagement on international women’s issues.

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

I’ll be live tweeting about the event and sharing photos, podcasts, and videos from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, and VoiceBo (podcast). I’ll post a blog recap of my adventures and lessons learned later this week.

Click here to watch the State Department’s live coverage of the #IWOC Award Ceremony at 11:30 AM EST. Follow @StateDept on Twitter and use the hashtags #IWOC to participate in the conversation.

Happy Yoga Monday: Honoring Female Yoga Teachers During National Women’s History Month


Happy Yoga Monday! Happy March! Happy National Women’s History Month!

The power of Shakti, the feminine creative life force that keeps me going (known as chi or prana), continues to inspire my yoga practice and studies. While chanting the Shakti mantra MA (means mother) during my morning yoga practice, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for my female yoga teachers. So I decided to dedicate my yoga practice and Yoga Monday blog series to honoring my “yogini sheroes.” Click on the link to hear today’s podcast about my first yoga teacher, Gloria – http://voicebo.com/iTpreo.

Who are your yogini sheroes?

Ananda gives an author talk on the March 4th episode of Ananda Leeke Live UStream.tv @9ppm EST

Greetings All,

Celebrate National Women’s History Month on March 4 by tuning into Ananda Leeke Live! from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST for an author talk about the power of the sacred feminine, goddesses, sisterhood, feminism, and womanism in my artwork, poetic memoir That Which Awakens Me, and debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One.  I will also discuss her new book project Sisterhood, the Blog: Soundbytes from the 21st Century Woman’s Online Revolution.  Click here to watch the live show: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live.

FYI – If you miss the live show, you can always watch a recording: www.ustream.tv/channel/ananda-leeke-live.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for the Sacred Feminine,


Happy National Women’s History Month – Celebrating the Obama Women with a poem from Ananda’s new book

Greetings All! Happy March! Happy National Women’s History Month! 

The 2010 theme of National Women’s History Month is “Writing Women Back into  History.  Click here to learn more: www.nwhp.org/whm/index.php

Who are your sheroes? 

Desiree Rogers & Valerie Jarrett

Susan Rice

Lisa Jackson

Today, I am celebrating my sheroes called the “Obama” women.  They are the African American women serving in President Barack H. Obama’s Administration.  Last year, I wrote a poem about the “Obama” women and included it in my new book That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self Discovery (available on Amazon.com – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg).  See the poem below.

Do you have a favorite Obama woman?

My three favorites are Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers (who will be leaving her position as White House Social Secretary in a few weeks), Susan Rice, and Lisa Jackson. Click here to read a Washington Post article about the Obama women from March 2009:  www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/17/AR2009031703744.html.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, and Gratitude for women who paved the way for me to be who I am today,


POEM – Copyright 2009 by Madelyn C. Leeke

Sista7: The Obama Women

When I checked my email this morning, I had a message

from my father, a 24/7/365 supporter of President Barack H.


Daddy’s email greeted me with positive news.

It was a Washington Post article about the brilliant, bold, and

beautiful Black women in the Obama administration.

What a way to start a Wednesday in March during Women’s

History Month!

The article profiled the Sista7.

Valerie Jarrett, a Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President

for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison.

Desiree Rogers, White House Social Secretary.

Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador.

Cassandra Butts, deputy White House counsel.

Mona Sutphen, the first Black woman to serve as deputy chief

of staff.

Lisa Jackson, the first Black person to head the Environmental

Protection Agency.

Melody Barnes, the first Black woman to run the Domestic

Policy Council.



They represent something new in Washington: the largest
contingent of high-ranking Black women to work for a


Trailblazers is the word that captures it all for me.

These phenomenal women have emerged from the margins of

American society to the position of gatekeeper in one of the

greatest countries in the world.

Each one is a household name in my life.

Tracking their efforts on the Internet is one of my favorite

things to do.

Watching them in action inspires me.

They have become an affirmation of what’s possible for Black

women in America.

That’s why I claim them as my sheros.

That’s why I continuously celebrate their presence, passion,

and power.

May we all do the same.