0 comments on “Happy #CreativityThursday: Honoring Dr. Maya Angelou, A Creative Shero”

Happy #CreativityThursday: Honoring Dr. Maya Angelou, A Creative Shero

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Happy #CreativityThursday!

Today I woke up hungry for the words and wisdom of Dr. Maya Angelou. So I reached for a book of her poems that kept me company during the second semester of my freshman year at Morgan State University in 1983. Her spirit guided me to her poem, “Thank You, Lord.”

Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) - RIP Dr. Angelou.
Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) – RIP Dr. Angelou.

Her words reminded me to say a thank you prayer for waking up another day and being inspired and influenced by her creative spirit. Her poetry and memoirs gave me permission to write and publish my own books.

How did Dr. Angelou inspire you?

0 comments on “Happy Fierce Living Friday: Being Surrounded by Fierce Living Women”

Happy Fierce Living Friday: Being Surrounded by Fierce Living Women

Happy Fierce Living Friday!

This week I have been surrounded by many Fierce Living women. The way they live their lives and the work they do inspire me. I have included photos of several Fierce Living women below.

Who are the Fierce Living women that inspire you?

International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama -- Photo Credit: State.gov
International Women of Courage 2014 Awardees and FLOTUS Michelle Obama — Photo Credit: State.gov

The 10 women who were named 2014 International Women of Courage (#IWOC) by the U.S. Department of State on March 4 and First Lady Michelle Obama are Fierce Living women in my life. The #IWOC awardees were honored for their exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk. See list of #IWOC awardees below.

  • Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul (Afghanistan)
  • 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.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders - Photo Credit: State.gov
FLOTUS Michelle Obama and the #IWOC Social Media Leaders – Photo Credit: State.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama has always been a Fierce Living woman in my life. Meeting her in person at the #IWOC Award Ceremony was an incredible experience.

Meeting, talking to, and working with my fellow #IWOC social media leaders Kelsey Glover, Salma Bahramy, Jen Charlton, Erin Dunne, Laila Alawa, and Katie Kaestner during the Award Ceremony and meetings with State Department officials gave me a chance to witness how fierce these ladies are. After one day together, they became Fierce Living women in my life!

Author Emily Parker at New America Foundation event
Author Emily Parker at New America Foundation event

On March 4, I attended the New America Foundation’s event featuring a conversation with Emily Parker, author of Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground. Listening to Parker discuss her experiences with political activists who blog and use social media in the midst of government imposed restrictions on free speech brought back memories of my own trips to Beijing, China and Havana, Cuba. As I listened to her share her experiences with Cuban online activists, I thought of one of my Cuban digital diva sheroes, Yoani Sanchez, a blogger activist and author of Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today. During the question and answer period, I asked Parker about her interactions with Sanchez. Her comments about Sanchez revealed a deep passion and commitment to telling stories that might not otherwise get told. In that moment, she became a Fierce Living woman in my life.

Me and Dartmouth Professor and Author Ella Bell Smith at the Center for American Progress Action Fund
Me and Dartmouth Professor and Author Ella Bell Smith at the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Today I attended the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Blind Spots and Double Binds: The Leadership Issues for Women of Color forum. I attended the forum to hear what Dartmouth Professor Elle L.J. Bell Smith had to say about women of color and leadership. Professor Bell has been one of my Fierce Living sheroes for several years. After the forum, I had a chance to meet and talk with her one-on-one. What a Fierce Living moment!

My Fierce Living mentor and friend Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder of A Silver Thread, Inc. (in all black outfit) at Center for American Progress Action Fund
My Fierce Living mentor and friend Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder of A Silver Thread, Inc. (in all black outfit) at Center for American Progress Action Fund

During the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s event, I sat next to Toni Dunton-Butler, Founder/President of A Silver Thread, Inc. Toni has known me since I was in high school. She has been a Fierce Living mentor and friend for numerous years. Spending time with her at the event and having a juicy lunch chat reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many Fierce Living women.

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

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. It is a day to honor Fierce Living women all over the world. One way you can do that is by participating in the State Department’s Instagram and Twitter #WeAreCourage campaign. All you need to do is post a photo of your woman of courage with the hashtag #WeAreCourage.

0 comments on “Headed to the U.S. Department of State’s 3/4 #IWOC #StateMeetup”

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
    (Afghanistan)
  • 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.

0 comments on “BlogHer13 Social Media Leadership – Meet Lifestylista”

BlogHer13 Social Media Leadership – Meet Lifestylista

BlogHer.com
BlogHer.com

Calling all BlogHer 13 attendees! Be sure to check out my 30 minute talk on “What Type of Social Media Leader Are You? on July 26 and 27. During my talk, I will introduce the seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetypes that have helped me understand the leadership roles women play in social media. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Lifestylista, one of the Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetypes.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com
Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

A Lifestylista is a woman who lives her life as a work of art; expresses it through her passion for beauty, entertaining, fashion, food, home décor, personal style, and travel; and inspires others to live their lives as works of art.

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During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012, the women listed below were named Digital Sisters of the Year – Lifestylistas. Recognize any familiar names?

Lifestylista Manifesto Collage by Ananda Leeke
Lifestylista Manifesto Collage by Ananda Leeke

While writing my upcoming Digital Sisterhood book, I created manifesto collages to better understand each leadership archetype. Check out the Lifestylista’s key phrases.

Do any of the words resonate with you?

Are you an Lifestylista?

0 comments on “I’m Talking About Social Media Leadership at #BlogHer13 – Meet Empirista”

I’m Talking About Social Media Leadership at #BlogHer13 – Meet Empirista

BlogHer.com
BlogHer.com

In a few weeks, I’ll be talking about social media leadership on July 26 and July 27 at the BlogHer 13 Conference in Chicago, Illinois. “What Type of Social Media Leader Are You? is the title of my 30 minute talk. During my talk, I will introduce the seven Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetypes that have helped me understand the leadership roles women play in social media.

Meet Empirista, a Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetype. Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com
Meet Empirista, a Digital Sisterhood Leadership archetype. Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley – http://www.leighmosley.com

Today, I would like to introduce you to the Empirista, a woman who thinks of herself as CEO of her own corporation, ME, Inc.; maintains an entrepreneurial mindset; and gives birth to ideas and transforms them into businesses, economies, institutions, networks, and organizations that add value to people’s lives.

DSoftheyear300

During Digital Sisterhood Month 2012, the women listed below were named Digital Sisters of the Year – Empiristas. Recognize any familiar names?

Empirista collage by Ananda Leeke
Empirista collage by Ananda Leeke

While writing my upcoming Digital Sisterhood book, I created manifesto collages to better understand each leadership archetype. Check out the Empirista’s key phrases.

Do any of the words resonate with you?

Are you an Empirista?

0 comments on “Happy Yoga Monday! – 5/13”

Happy Yoga Monday! – 5/13

Photo Credit: http://womenshealth.gov
Photo Credit: http://womenshealth.gov

Happy Yoga Monday!

In honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), I am celebrating the many contributions women yoga teachers make to women’s health and wellness. Sariane Leigh, a Washington, D.C.-based yoga teacher, health activist, blogger, writer, and wellness instructor uses her Anacostia Yogi web site, blog, podcasts, classes, and workshops to promote health awareness and yoga for women and individuals recovering from trauma-related experiences such as HIV/AIDS diagnosis, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and institutional racism. Leigh’s healing approach marries Hatha and Kemetic yoga principles to the psycho-social healing tradition from African-American women’s spirituality.

Photo Credit: AnacostiaYogi.com
Photo Credit: AnacostiaYogi.com

In October 2012, she wrote a guest blog, “Sisters of the ‘Yogic’ Yam: bell hooks and the Yoga in Self-Recovery” for TheFeministWire.com that discusses her healing approach.  To learn more about her work, visit http://anacostiayogi.com.

Who is your favorite yoga blogger?

OM #YogaMonday OM!

0 comments on “Happy Yoga Monday! 5/6/13”

Happy Yoga Monday! 5/6/13

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Happy Yoga Monday!

During an afternoon tea meetup at Teaism in February, my digital sister and fellow yoga teacher Julia Coney, founder of AllAboutThePretty.net, suggested I read The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life by Sara Avant Stover. I am so glad Julia made the recommendation because Stover’s book, e-newsletters, and web site have become a lifeline for me as I deepen my yoga practice and commitment to greater health. The Way of the Happy Woman offers easy and natural self-care practices including yoga and meditation that help women minimize their stress, become aligned with their natural cycles, and honor the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. I adore and have incorporated the yin and yang yoga practices for the spring season. They have helped me nurture my spirit, heart, mind, and body with greater care. Click here to learn more about Stover and her amazing work.

What books do you use to deepen your yoga practice?

OM #YogaMonday OM!

PS: The Way of the Happy Woman is a great book to read during National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18).

0 comments on “Watch video of Ananda speaking about Digital Sisterhood at Ignite DC”

Watch video of Ananda speaking about Digital Sisterhood at Ignite DC

Ignite DC logo

I just learned that Ignite DC posted a video my “Digital Sisterhood for DC Women Entrepreneurs” talk on Blip TV.  It was given on October 20, 2011. Click on the link to watch the video. http://blip.tv/ignitedc/ananda-leeke-presents-at-ignite-d-c-8-5736296.

Here’s the link to the SlideShare presentation (it was updated with additional slides on October 24, 2011).  http://www.slideshare.net/anandaleeke/digital-sisterhood-for-dc-women-entrepreneurs-9865081

What do you think about the video and presentation?

Thanks for your comments!

 

0 comments on “How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #3 – Become more aware of Haitian women’s lives by supporting the documentary film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy”

How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #3 – Become more aware of Haitian women’s lives by supporting the documentary film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy

Serving as a Heart of Haiti ambassador has reignited my interest in the lives of Haitian women which began in 1985 when I met my Morgan State University roommate and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sister Marie-Denise (Mirabeau) Simon and her mother “Mama Freda.”  Mama Freda is a no nonsense Haitian woman who loves the goodness of life. She can cook up a Haitian feast fit for Haitian queens too! During one of our many conversations, she told me about her early life in Haiti, how she studied nursing in Canada, and later moved to New York City to work as a nurse. Her stories were filled with moments when she reached into her spirit for courage and faith to live beyond any limitations people or society placed on her.  She always encouraged me to be a caring, generous, intelligent, and independent femme (woman) who uses her life to help others.

Ten years after meeting Mama Freda, my interest in Haitian women blossomed into a full blown passion during the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.  While in Beijing, I learned about the history of Ligue Feminine d’Action Sociale or Women’s League for Social Action, the first Haitian feminist organization that was established by Haitian women intellectuals, professionals, and activists from the middle and upper classes in 1934.  During their first 25 years of existence, Ligue Feminine d’Action Sociale focused its energy on gaining women’s rights  to vote, access to education, and equality for married women.  Since then, I have followed the work of Haitian feminist organizations Solidarité Fanm Ayisyen (SOFA, Haitian Women’s Solidarity) and Kay Fanm (Women’s House).

Photo Credit: http://www.potomitan.net

After the earthquake in 2010, I started looking online for women’s organizations and other efforts that support and tell the stories of Haitian women.  My online research led me to Poto Mitan, a documentary film about the compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women workers.   Join the Facebook Page to learn more about the film.  I plan to purchase the film’s DVD and share it with family and friends this year. Watch the YouTube video trailer below.

I also plan to pay more attention to the work of Haitian feminist organizations, launch an online fundraiser (or two) to support the organizations, and share more information about the lives and concerns of Haitian women on this blog and my Digital Sisterhood Network web site.

What are you planning to do to honor the people of Haiti this year?

PS: Be sure to listen to NPR’s Tell Me More’s report on Haitian women and the impact of rape on their lives after the January 2010 earthquake that aired today.

2 comments on “Re-Cap of DC Digital Sisterhood Focus Group on 12/12: How Women in Social Media Discuss Beauty, Fashion, Hair & Lifestyles”

Re-Cap of DC Digital Sisterhood Focus Group on 12/12: How Women in Social Media Discuss Beauty, Fashion, Hair & Lifestyles

 

Photo of Digital Sisterhood Focus Group Panel on 12/12/10

Day #12 of Digital Sisterhood Month was a special digital diva day for me because I moderated the Digital Sisterhood Focus Group on how women in social media discuss fashion, beauty, hair, and lifestyles at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. The dynamic digital sister panelists included:

1. LaWanda Amaker, Founder of L.A. Beaute Beat and Media Mingle;

2. Monica Byrd, Founder of Fashionista Flea Market, Pregginista, and Charm Chat, and DC Women’s Style Examiner;

3. Kelly Collis, Founder of City Shop Girl;

4. Glory Edim, Founder of I Hate My 9 to 5 blog;

5. Sheena D. Franklin, Founder/CEO of Bella Bush;

6. Aisha Massac, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, and Founder of I.C. Faces;

7. Courtney Powell, founder of ThinkandGrowChick.com;

8. Laquita Thomas-Banks, Founder of All Naptural blog and DC Natural Hair Examiner; and

9. Dana Williams-Johnson, Founder of The Art of Accessories.

Many thanks to Xina Eiland for serving as the event videographer, Sharon Malachi for serving as the event photographer, and Glory Edim’s mother Ms. Henrietta for making “Digital Sisterhood” cupcakes (they were yummy) for the ladies!

  • Click here to see photos from the event.
  • Click here to listen to my audio blog recap of the event.
  • Click here to watch a video (21 minutes) that introduces the panelists and their blogging passions.