0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Danyell Taylor”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Danyell Taylor

Photo Credit: Danyell Taylor
Photo Credit: Danyell Taylor

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Danyell Taylor, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande in February.

Meet Danyell Taylor

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a Communications Specialist at the Council of the Great City Schools, a nonprofit organization that focuses on education legislation. I’m from Plano, Texas, and currently live in Washington, DC. To stay updated on my social media adventures, follow me on Twitter: @IDreamInChanel.

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #WHSocial?

I love all things Parisian and volunteer with Alliance Francaise. I saw the #WHSocial as an opportunity to expand my cultural knowledge and social media influence.

3) Share the key moments you experienced while participating in the #WHSocial.

My key moments included:

  • Seeing school-age children vying to get a look at President Barack Obama.
  • Watching the 21-gun salute.
  • Being close enough to hear and see President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Attending the #WHSocial Meetup Happy Hour at the Old Ebbitt Grill and discussing our stroll down digital memory lane.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #WHSocial?

Instagram and Twitter

5) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #WHSocial?

Anything is possible. I can expand my digital knowledge both personally and professionally.

6) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship is learning and using online tools to explain and comprehend American and global culture, norms, and politics.

7) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?

I plan to stay engaged through mainstream newspapers and their digital presence.

8) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level.

  • Share your concerns, questions, revelations, and insights with your network.
  • Grow in your knowledge and don’t except the status quo in life, religion or politics.
  • Be curious about the world outside of your block, city, state, and country of origin.

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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Dr. Janet Johnson”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Dr. Janet Johnson

Photo Credit: Dr. Janet Johnson
Photo Credit: Dr. Janet Johnson

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Dr. Janet Johnson, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) in January.

Meet Dr. Janet Johnson

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. I study social media and the political process. To learn more about me, visit my web site and blog. Connect with me on social media (see web sites below).

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?     

I applied to participate because I study social media and the political process. Also, my dissertation was about the 2008 campaign blogs.

3) Share one to five key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

  •  I was standing in line for the U.S. Capitol tour the day before the #SOTUSocial and a young woman recognized me from Twitter. She was also attending the #SOTUSocial.
  • I was sniffed by the First Family’s dogs Bo and Sunny. Right place, right time.
  • Meeting Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer.
  • Asking a question during the #SOTUChat.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

My university promoted my attendance to the #SOTUSocial. Click here to read article. I was also interviewed by WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas. They did a Skype interview about my experience.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

  • The White House is very strategic.
  • The White House does not control the citizen’s messages.
  • Everyone at the White House was very nice and shared a lot of information about their jobs.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

No matter what political affiliation you are, you can participate and do it civilly. People tend to react instead of discuss issues over social media. We need to learn to listen and think before we type a message. Nothing will change if we are not forming effective messages that will actually help others understand our position. Civility is the key.

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I am always engaged and monitoring social media and politics. I am writing a research article about the #SOTUSocial. I am also going to apply for more White House Socials. I feel as if it’s a great opportunity to learn how the White House functions and how government works. It’s fascinating!
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
People can easily get involved. They can use hashtags of organizations, candidates or issues that they feel passionate about. Teach and learn through social media. Just don’t react and attack. Be a proactive citizen that contributes to the conversation–not stop it.
4 comments on “#DigitalSisterhood + Digital Citizenship = #IWOC #StateMeetup Application”

#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.
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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.” 
0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Jason Knoll”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Jason Knoll

Photo Credit: Jason Knoll
Photo Credit: Jason Knoll

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today marks the launch of the Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project’s profile series featuring social media leaders who participated in the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) and French Arrival Ceremony.

Meet Jason Knoll

1) Tell us who you are.

My name is Jason Knoll. I am a High School History and Government Teacher from Madison, Wisconsin. To learn more about me, visit my blog, http://jasonlknoll.com and follow me as @jasonlknoll on Twitter.

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?     

I applied to the #SOTUSocial to show my students that social media can be used an effective tool to engage with our elected officials and representatives.

3) Share one to five key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

  • I thought it was really cool to be able to connect with people beforehand using #SOTUSocial and then meet them and talk with them during the event.
  • I had a 15-30 minute conversation with my congressman in the airport as we waited to board our plane to come back home.
  • As a result of me live-tweeting, some of my students also live-tweeted, which led them to have interesting discussions with their classmates.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

Twitter

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

Yes for Reuters and The Cap Times Reuters.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

  • Social media is here to stay, so it is best to embrace it and learn how to use it.
  • Take a look at Twitter to see some really cool work being done in the field of digital diplomacy.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship means using social media to engage with others about serious topics (i.e. policy), whether it is with a friend or an elected official.  It also entails sharing information with others so that they can be involved in the public sphere.

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I’m comfortable right now using primarily Twitter and my blog to stay engaged, and that I do not currently plan on using any other major social media platforms.
 
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
 
  • Tweet to elected officials about an issue.
  • Participate in Twitter chats with government agencies.
Photo Credit: Twitter.com
Photo Credit: Twitter.com

PS: The first #digcitizen Twitter 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.

2 comments on “My Digital Citizenship Valentine: 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events”

My Digital Citizenship Valentine: 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events

My Digital Valentine
My Digital Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am using my blog to send a Digital Citizenship Valentine to the White House (WH), WH Office of Digital Strategy staff and interns, and my fellow social media leaders who participated in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony for President Francois Hollande on February 11.

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

The Office of Digital Strategy uses digital media to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda and policies. Through its efforts, the American people have been given an opportunity to do three things:

  • To see what’s happening at the WH on a daily basis via WhiteHouse.gov and WH social media channels.
  • To engage President Obama, WH officials, and other policy makers in conversation about the future of our great nation through WhiteHouse.gov Live events, Town Halls, Facebook and Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  • To express their digital citizenship by making comments and asking questions on WH social media channels, sharing and discussing what they learn with their digital network, and creating their own WH-related content to engage their network.

Four years ago, the Office of Digital Strategy began inviting Americans who serve as social media influencers and leaders in their online networks to participate in face-to-face Tweet Ups and #WHSocial events that support the State of the Union, Town Halls, and other WH events. The social media influencers and leaders have been able to expand the WH’s public outreach efforts. Their efforts reach many more Americans who get their news from social media. They have also worked to breakdown the barriers between the U.S. government and its citizens. Together with the Office of Digital Strategy, they are helping to make the Obama administration the most accessible and transparent administration in U.S. history.

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

In January, I was invited as 1 of 60 social media leaders (out of a pool of over 6,000 applicants) to participate in the State of the Union Social. Click here to read about my experience.

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

A few days after the event, I learned about and applied to participate in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony. To my surprise, I was selected to attend the event as 1 of 100 social media leaders (out of a pool of 2,500 applicants). Today, I took time to reflect on my experiences and came up with 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events.

#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14
#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14

1) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me a chance to meet, network, and build community with a diverse group of Americans from all over the country. That’s exactly what I did on Monday night when I organized and hosted a meet up for my fellow social media leaders at the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn --Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn –Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch

The next day, I reconnected with my #WHSocial BFFs and made new ones on the South Lawn of the White House, during the briefing with WH staff, and at an impromptu lunch at Cosi’s.

Photo Credit: yours truly -- Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: yours truly — Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Yours truly - Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs
Photo Credit: Yours truly – Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs

2) I love #WHSocial events because they energized and convinced me to step up my digital citizenship game. Next week, I will begin using my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series to discuss digital citizenship, launch and celebrate Digital Citizenship Month (yep I am creating it) in July to encourage Americans to use their digital presence to get involved and civically engaged at the local and national level, profile #WHSocial leaders and influencers, and discuss WhiteHouse.gov information and WH online engagement efforts.

My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources
My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources

3) I love #WHSocial events because they inspired me to use all of my social media platforms to get the word out about President Obama’s activities, policies, and programs. I used Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine video app, VoiceBo podcast app, and WordPress to share my #WHSocial adventures this week.

Check out my #WHSocial Pinterest board which contains over 50 pins filled with articles, blog posts, videos, and photos that discuss the French President’s State visit.

I really enjoyed creating Vine videos featuring my fellow social media leaders in action as they prepared for the #WHSocial briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Interviewing my fellow social media leaders with the VoiceBo app was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed using it to give updates about my #WHSocial preparation and reflections.

Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were probably my most favorite social media tools to use while live tweeting during the #WHSocial events.

Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14

4) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with WH staff. During the #WHSocial briefing, I asked Kori Schulman, Director of Online Engagement, how the Office of Digital Strategy was leveraging the support of people who have participated in the #WHSocial events. I suggested creating a #WHSocial Ambassador Program. Yesterday, I received an email indicating that a #WHSocial Alumni Program is in the works! And that’s just one more reason to love #WHSocial events!

Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my #WHSocial adventures. So drop by! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend!

2 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Headed Back to White House for #WHSocial French Welcoming Ceremony”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Headed Back to White House for #WHSocial French Welcoming Ceremony

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Great News! This morning, I’m headed back to the White House to attend the French Welcoming Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande.

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During the Ceremony, President and Mrs. Obama will welcome President Hollande on the South Lawn. I’ll be there covering the event with an amazing group of social media leaders. Follow me as @anandaleeke on Instagram and Twitter and use the #whsocial hashtag to track the conversation and see photos between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. EST. The Ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m.

I’ll also be participating in the #WHSocial panel discussion with White House officials from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Old Executive Office Building. The discussion will be live streamed on WhiteHouse.gov.

2 comments on “My White House Tour with #SOTUSocial Social Media Leaders”

My White House Tour with #SOTUSocial Social Media Leaders

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Greetings from the White House!

This morning, I joined my fellow State of the Union Social attendees for a White House tour. Each of us applied to participate in the State of the Union Social (#SOTUSocial) a few weeks ago. The White House selected us to serve as digital citizens and to use our online presence to develop and curate content, utilize the content to engage online communities, and live tweet at the #SOTUSocial (including the #SOTUChat panel discussion with White House officials and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez after President Obama’s address).

Guess what? Over 6,000 applicants applied to participate in the #SOTUSocial. Only 60 social media leaders were chosen to visit the White House and attend the #SOTUSocial. What an honor to demonstrate our digital citizenship through serving our country and communities with our digital presence!

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

During the tour, we had a chance to get to know each other. I discovered we are a diverse group of fun, friendly, passionate, and smart social media influencers and professionals, college students, public policy professionals, and teachers. We represented cities like Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Greensboro, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Washington,  D.C. Together, we looked and sounded like the America I love.

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After the tour and many photos, we walked to Starbucks for an impromptu meet up. I am so glad we spent more time connecting, sharing our experiences, and discussing what we hoped President Obama would highlight in his address.

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PS: I developed three digital resources (one Pinterest board and two Twitter lists) to prepare for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Click here to read more about them.

Since it was cold in DC today, I decided to wear what I call a “femme chic” winter warm outfit that came straight from my closet by way of Macy’s Petites (Alfani knit jacket, blouse, and pants).

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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Celebrating Get Real On the Internet Week”

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.

0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! – #BlogHer13 Recap #4 – Celebrating the Beauty & Power of BlogHer’s Multi-Culti Community”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday! – #BlogHer13 Recap #4 – Celebrating the Beauty & Power of BlogHer’s Multi-Culti Community

Ananda, Dwana, and Pauline -- Photo Credit: BlogHer
Ananda, Dwana, and Pauline — Photo Credit: BlogHer

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

While I was co-hosting the BlogHer Multi Culti party with my digital sisters Pauline Campos and Dwana De La Cerna on July 26 at the Sheraton Chicago, I had so many wonderful conversations with the dynamic members of the BlogHer community. The conversations reminded me how diverse we are as bloggers with different ethnic backgrounds, family histories, gifts, life experiences, opinions, perspectives, and talents. Check out some of the event photos below. All photos are from BlogHer.com. Click here to see the entire collection.

Did you attend the Multi Culti Party? If so, what were some of your favorite moments?

Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

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Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com
Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

The conversations I had also reminded me of author, blogger, and photographer Karen Walrond’s book, The Beauty of Different.

Photo Credit: Copyright by Karen Walrond
Photo Credit: Copyright by Karen Walrond

Walrond’s book celebrates the concept that what makes us different makes us beautiful — and may even be the source of our superpowers. Her book personifies how I feel about the BlogHer community.

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Our differences make BlogHer more beautiful and powerful. Together, we are able to tap into our superpowers as bloggers and give voice to what so many others may not have the access, courage, or right to say online and offline. And for that I am truly grateful!

What makes the BlogHer community beautiful and powerful to you?

2 comments on “My #BlogHer13 Conference Recap #1 – My “Lean In” Moment”

My #BlogHer13 Conference Recap #1 – My “Lean In” Moment

Connecting with new friends Pauline Campos and Sherri Good at the BlogHer 13 Expo Hall on July 25 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL
Connecting with new friends Pauline Campos and Sherri Good at the BlogHer 13 Expo Hall on July 25 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL

Happy August! Happy Friday!

Last week, I attended the 9th Annual BlogHer Conference held at the McCormick Place and Sheraton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. What a time I had! It was intense, inspiring, and informative. That’s why I decided to write several blog recaps.

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Today’s blog recap is about my “Lean In Moment.” The theme is based on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and the impact of her BlogHer Conference interview with Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder and COO, on July 27. For more information, watch part one and part two of Tracy Baim’s video of the interview.

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I read Sandberg’s book earlier this year. It took me a full weekend to inhale her words and wisdom. Her book was filled with many golden nuggets I have used in my life and shared with other women. It also inspired me to write and submit a case study entitled “Lean In and Listen to Yourself” for the Hot Mommas Project. As a result, I was recently named a 2012-2013 author for the Hot Mommas Project case study library.

Sheryl Sandberg and Lisa Stone
Sheryl Sandberg and Lisa Stone

When I learned Sandberg would be a BlogHer keynote, I was thrilled! Here are the key takeaways I received from her interview with Stone.

  • Believe in yourself.
  • I am unapologetically a feminist (inspired by Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and one of my virtual mentors from the 1990s).
  • Reach for any ambition.
  • Ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid, and then reach for those ambitions.

At the end of her interview, she challenged audience members to write what they would do if they weren’t afraid on paper signs her LeanIn.org provided, take photos with the signs, and tweet and post the photos on LeanIn.org Tumblr. I loved the challenge. Check out the statements I wrote below.

My "Lean In" Statement
My “Lean In” Statement

Writing these statements helped me get clearer on what I really want to do with my passion, gifts, energy, and time. My next step is to lean in and publish my Digital Sisterhood book (you know the one I have been writing since 2009 — what a journey!), create space in my life to write more books and create art, and plan when I will cut my locs and grow my Angela Davis afro (will probably happen during my 50th year on earth which is fast approaching in 2014 — maybe even 2015).

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What are you leaning into?

UPDATE: BlogHer posted a full video of Sheryl Sandberg’s interview. Click here to watch it. Also, check out a video of BlogHer’s Lean In Circles session held at the 2013 conference. Enjoy!