0 comments on “#BlackHistoryMonth Celebration of HBCUs & Black Sororities and Fraternities in My Novel Love’s Troubadours”

#BlackHistoryMonth Celebration of HBCUs & Black Sororities and Fraternities in My Novel Love’s Troubadours

HBCURising

Have you seen the documentary film, “Tell Them We Are Rising” that explores how historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have shaped American history, culture, and national identity? It was created by filmmaker Stanley Nelson and covers almost 170 years of history. You can watch it online on the PBS website until March 22.

“Tell Them We Are Rising” reminded me why I chose to attend Morgan State University and Howard University School of Law. As a proud HBCU alumna, I made sure the characters in my Lorraine Hansberry-inspired novel Love’s Troubadours are HBCU alumni. Love’s Troubadours main character Karma Francois is a graduate of Morgan State University just like me. Her twin sister Violet is a graduate of my alma mater, Howard University School of Law. Her mother is an alumna of Xavier University. Her cousins attended Spelman College and Morehouse College.

The documentary film also discussed the importance of Black sororities and fraternities. In my family, we have members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. I celebrate these organizations and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in Love’s Troubadours.

Spoiler Alert: My main character Karma pledged the Beta Tau Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority at Morgan State University like yours truly. Her mother is also a Sigma (like my mom, great-grandmother, and great-aunt). Her cousins are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (like my great aunt) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Her best friend is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (like my grandfather, great-uncle, and cousin). Her uncle is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Her aunt is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

 

0 comments on “Happy #FierceLiving Friday! My Evolving Definition of Fierce Living”

Happy #FierceLiving Friday! My Evolving Definition of Fierce Living

image

image

Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

Listen to today’s podcast that features my reflections on my evolving definition of Fierce Living. I shared it during my conversation  with Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, founder of Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman College yesterday. We had an opportunity to explore it and other topics including Digital Sisterhood and social media with an audience of college students from Spelman,  Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta College (see photo collage above). Click on the link to hear the podcast.
http://soundcloud.com/ananda-leeke/happy-fierceliving-friday

What is your definition of Fierce Living?

0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Digital Sisterhood and Fierce Living at Spelman College on April 10”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: Digital Sisterhood and Fierce Living at Spelman College on April 10

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

I am headed to Atlanta this week to participate in a conversation about fierce living online on April 10 with my digital sister, Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, founder of Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon. We’ll be talking about digital sisterhood and social media too. Copies of my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online will be available for sale. If you are in Atlanta, plan to attend the event which will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the NASA Auditorium in Spelman’s Science Center, 350 Spelman Lane, SW, Atlanta, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Proof and Provision
Photo Credit: Proof and Provision

PS: For Digital Sisters in Atlanta: Drop by the Digital Sisterhood Meet Up: Cocktails & Conversation on Creativity and meet me on April 9, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Proof and Provision at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree Street, NE. Click here to register on Eventbrite.

 

 

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

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.

0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

I am passionate about all things tech including learning how to code.  Learning how to code has been on my life’s bucket list since 2011 when I learned about Kimberly Bryant’s Black Girl Code organization and Women Innovate Mobile, read an article about Girl Develop It’s first ladies-only hackathon in Fast Company, and attended web pioneer Aliza Sherman’s session on mobile marketing at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference. As a result, I signed up for Code Academy’s free online coding classes in 2012. Unfortunately, I did not take advantage of the classes. I did, however, stay updated on women’s coding and tech projects, and attended the Women Interactive, a creative technology festival at Spelman College where I learned more about creating mobile applications, games, and webisodes. 

railsgirls-sq

railsgirls

This year, I started subscribing to the RailsGirls DC Twitter account and blog and reading them on a regular basis. That’s how I learned about the June workshop on how to build apps and other programs with Ruby on Rails. I applied to participate and explained how I wanted to create apps to support the Digital Sisterhood Network.  Guess what? My application was approved and I’ll be attending the June. Coding here I come!

What tech tools have you acquired or planning to learn this year?

0 comments on “Time for a Digital Diet After Everywhere’s Digitini Event & Digital Sisterhood Network Activities”

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!
0 comments on “Ananda speaks at Spelman College’s Leadership & Women of Color Conference”

Ananda speaks at Spelman College’s Leadership & Women of Color Conference

Social Media Panel featuring Roland Martin, Patricia Cesaire, James Andrews, and Ananda Leeke — Photo Credit: Lauren Brown Jarvis

Greetings All!

Last week was filled with Georgia peach sweet adventures during my trip to Spelman College’s Leadership and Women of Color Conference, a professional development opportunity for women aspiring to be leaders as well as those who are in leadership positions. The conference theme was “Leading with Purpose.” It was organized under the leadership of Dr. Jane E. Smith,  Executive Director, Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement at Spelman.  Click here to learn more about the conference.

My favorite moments from the conference included:

  • Hearing Dr. Beverly Tatum speak about composite mentoring during the conference opening.
  • Interviewing Tiffani Gatlin, founder of Tastemaker Magazine on day one of the conference. Click here to listen to the interview.
  • Attending the Book Fair and speaking with my digital sister Deborah Owens, “The Wealth Coach,” about her book, A Purse of Your Own (and having her sign my copy of the book!)
  • Hearing Dr. Tatum talk about H.O.P.E. = Having Optimism Produces Effort. Timeless wisdom!
  • Chatting with Dr. Nicole LaBeach and purchasing her book, A Woman’s True Purpose at the Book Fair (getting the Choose Yourself t-shirt too!).
  • Meeting people like Nicole Roberts  Jones, CEO of iDEFINE, during the Legacy of Leadership Awards Dinner.
  • Listening to the empowering words of the Legacy of Leadership awardees Shinae Chun,  Former Director, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor; Evelyn Lowery,  Founder, SCLC W.O.M.E.N.; Monica Pearson,  News Anchor, WSB-TV, Channel 2; and Vivian Stringer, Women’s Basketball Coach,  Rutgers University.
  • Chatting one-on-one with Vivian Stringer about social media after the Legacy of Leadership Awards Dinner.
  • Having breakfast with my new digital sister Lynn Shareef, a proud Spelman alumna.
  • Learning from Dr. Kym Harris,  President & CEO, Your SweetSpot Coaching & Consulting, during the Coaching Breakfast.
  • Being inspired by the Testimonies from the Field session featuring Kathleen McGhee-Anderson (Spelman Alumna),  Writer/Producer, TV/Film/Theater; Alisha  Thomas Morgan, Georgia State Representative (Spelman Alumna); Tisha Tallman, President  & CEO of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of  Commerce; and Jue Wong, CEO, Astral Health &  Beauty, Inc.
  • Attending a leadership development workshop facilitated by Tai Beauchamp,  CEO/On-Air Host, BluePrint Group, LLC.
  • Meeting Dr. Tatum, Dr. Jane E. Smith, and Patricia Cesaire, Director of Social Media at Black Enterprise.
  • Seeing the Faith Ringgold exhibit at the Spelman Museum of Fine Art during one of the breaks. AWESOME! Ms. Ringgold is one of my favorite artists. Love her memoir too!
  • Hanging out with some of my favorite social media peeps: Lauren Brown Jarvis (Spelman student), Lauren Thomas, and James and Sherrelle Andrews.
  • Sharing my experiences and lessons learned as a blogger and the Digital Sisterhood Network founder during the Social Media Panel.
  • Spending time with the awesome Spelman Media team: Tomika DePriest, Terrilyn Simmons, Joyce Davis, and Kia Smith
  • Meeting my new NYC sistalove Theresa at the end of the conference and chatting about our favorite moments.
Social Media Panel – James Andrews, Ananda Leeke, Patricia Cesaire, and Roland Martin

On day two of the conference, I served as a panelist for the Social Media Panel – Purposeful Posts: How Social Media Can Shape Your Leadership Brand.  Click here to learn more about the panel discussion.  Journalist Roland Martin moderated the panel.  Patricia Cesaire, Director of Social Media at  Black Enterprise, and James Andrews, Founder of SocialPeople.TV, served as panelists.  During the panel discussion, I shared my experiences as  a blogger and the Digital Sisterhood Network founder, insights on taking care of yourself online with a digital diet, tips on how to use social media tools, and the power of women online.

Check out several tweets about my comments below.

Lynn Shareef
Lynn Shareef@lynnshareef

#anandaleeke it’s about the quality of the social media conversation

SC Women of Color
SC Women of Color @SpelmanWOCConf

.@anandaleeke advises us to take good care of ourselves. You can overdose on social media. Go on a social diet. #SpelmanWOCC #fb

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Beverly Daniel Tatum@BDTSpelman

@TastemakerMag RT! @anandaleeke says sometimes you have to be on digital diet #SpelmanWOCC

Joyce E. Davis
Joyce E. Davis@enjoyceinglife

@anandaleeke scheds tweets & says shes #radioshack girl likes real cameras > #instagram, sold 4 $1B-@jamesandrews #SpelmanWOCC #SocialMedia

Spelman College
Spelman College@SpelmanCollege

@awarriorssoul: @anandaleeke determines her tools based on where she is, how much time available, quality of convo #SpelmanWOCC #socialmedia

Spelman College
Spelman College@SpelmanCollege

RT @JSmithSpelman: @anandaleeke says she has suffered from #tech schizophrenia but also goes on digital diets  #socialmedia #SpelmanWOCC

mikkdepriest
mikkdepriest@mikkdepriest

@anandaleeke says writing her first book led her to blog. #SpelmanWOCC

Dr. Jane Smith
Dr. Jane Smith@JSmithSpelman

#digitalsisterhood is the brand @anandaleeke has developed via her #digitalsisterhood network. #SpelmanWOCChttp://via.me/-17jmtak

Lynn Shareef
Lynn Shareef@lynnshareef

#spelmanwocc woman are a powerful presence in the digital world #anandaleeke digital sisterhood! 69million strong

Jacquie Hood Martin
Jacquie Hood Martin@Jhoodmartin

#AnandaLeeke says take time away from social media as not to become ‘a social media schizophrenic’ it’s ok to back away #SpelmanWOCC

Jacquie Hood Martin
Jacquie Hood Martin@Jhoodmartin

Women view the Internet like its ‘social tv’ we use it as a mean of community and connectivity says #AnandaLeeke #SpelmanWOCC

Here are more photos from the conference. Enjoy!

Ananda, Joyce Davis, and James Andrews
Roland Martin and Tomika DePriest
Tastemaker Magazine founder Tiffini Gatlin and Ananda
Tai Beauchamp’s Leadership Development Workshop
Ananda and Deborah Owens
2 comments on “Ananda is speaking at 8th Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference in May”

Ananda is speaking at 8th Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference in May

Photo Credit: Spelman College

Guess who is going to speak at Spelman College in May?  Yours truly!  I AM SUPER EXCITED!  It will be my second time speaking at Spelman.  Last year, I spoke at the Digital Doyennes event sponsored by Spelman’s Digital Moving Image Salon and the Women in Film & Television Atlanta.

So here are the details about my May visit.  I will be speaking on a panel with Patricia Cesaire of Black Enterprise, James Anderson of SocialPeople.tv, and Roland Martin of CNN, that will discuss how social media can help women shape their leadership brand at Spelman’s 8th Annual Leadership and Women of Color Conference on May 17. Check out the Pinterest board I created about personal leadership brand (will add more information in April and May).

The Leadership and Women of Color Conference begins on May 16 with an opening session on Leading with Purpose and the Legacy of Leadership Awards Dinner.  A networking breakfast, opening session with testimonies from the field, and panel discussions, and workshops will be held on May 17. Click here to see the full schedule.

Speakers include Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Dr. Jane E. Smith, Tai Beauchamp, Josefina Bonilla, Henna Inam, Angela Fletcher, Katherine Giscombe, Kym A. Harris, Nicole Roberts Jones, Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, Deborah Owens, and Andrea Riggs. Click here to register for the conference.

Be sure to follow Spelman and the Conference on Twitter @SpelmanCollege and @SpelmanWOCConf.

0 comments on “Ananda is headed to Spelman for the Digital Doyennes in April”

Ananda is headed to Spelman for the Digital Doyennes in April

Photo Credit' Atlanta WIFTA

I was honored and excited to receive Spelman College’s invitation to participate in the Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation. Why? That’s a no brainer for me because Spelman embodies digital sisterhood, the feminine currency women use to create relationship wealth through the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline.

Since 2008, I have been researching women in social media (for my next book project Digital Sisterhood, a memoir) and tracking the unique ways Spelman uses social media and technology to promote its mission, academic programs, research, students, professors, alumni, social justice efforts, and community activities.  What I learned is Spelman has become a social media and technology trailblazer for women of color!  As an institution, it uses a wide an array of social media tools including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, ezines, and webcasts.

Guess what tool is a big hit at Spelman?  Twitter.  Spelman’s Admissions Office, academic programs like the Music Department, LEADS program, Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development, Museum of Fine Art, Digital Moving Image Salon, women of color conferenceSisters Chapel, Alumnae Affairs office, alumnae association and chapters, and student organizations such as the Student Government Association and Spotlight newspaper use it.  Recently, Spelman President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum joined the Spelman Twitter bandwagon.

Technology also plays a major role at Spelman.  In October 2010, AT&T announced Spelmanites Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller won the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile on Campus Challenge with their HBCU Buddy, a mobile application created to educate and inform users about Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States.  Keels and Miller received $5,000 each, a mobile device of their choice, a lifetime development license for Spelman, and all-expense paid trips to the AT&T Higher Ed Board of Advisors meeting and the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

Did you know Spelman is located in Atlanta, the second most socially networked city in the United States according to Men’s Health (DC was ranked first — had to give my city a shout out)?  Men’s Health published its socially networked city rankings in March.  The Atlanta metropolitan area is also home to a dynamic blogging community of women including:

Social media savvy women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses such as Clutch Magazine/Sutton New Media LLC founder Deanna Sutton, Tyler New Media co-founder Ronnie Tyler, Jacqui Chew, Latoicha Givens, Shannon Nash, Jonnice Slaughter, the Blog Rollers, and Everywhere are located in the “ATL.”  Several key conferences such as Blogging While Brown, Blogalicious, and lavish! were held there too.

While I am in Atlanta, I will get to see my attorney, best friend, and Howard University School of Law classmate Lauren Medlock Smith, founder of Catch the Verve, LLC.  Lauren is currently serving as the sponsorship chair for Women in Film & Television Atlanta, a co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.

I also hope to spend time with my digital sister and fellow Heart of Haiti tripster Danica Kombol, a managing and founding partner of Everywhere, another co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.

So now you can see why coming to Spelman and Atlanta in April is a digital sisterhood dream come true!