Angela Patton captured the hearts and imaginations of hundreds of thousands of online viewers with a TED talk describing an unusual (and uplifting) father-daughter dance—between incarcerated dads and their young daughters. The dance was the fruit of a girl-led social-change project convened by a grassroots organization Patton began in Richmond, Va. In every setting, Patton brings a palpable enthusiasm, a drive to connect and uplift that I wish I could bottle up and spread around. She’s . . .
I gave the Senior Convocation Address for Richmond Public Schools this year and I count the experience among the great privileges of my life. I accepted the challenge of addressing 2,000 (2,000!) people—graduating seniors from eight city high schools and their friends, family and teachers—because of a William James quote that sits on my desk: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” Dressed in regalia from robe to mortarboard and flanked by school and city officials, I took in the . . .
Leadership and service. When I started blogging, I imagined these two topics—and their intersection and interaction—would inspire the bulk of my posts, spurring me and my readers to action. There would be inspirational accounts of women who sacrificed for others and musings on my own (albeit halting) efforts to lift as I climb, as well as stories of women business leaders. After all, nothing motivates women (me included) more than women forging successful paths and reporting back . . .
Most of the women I’ve interviewed on this site are very successful in a traditional sense. They’ve worked hard, climbed the corporate ladder (or entrepreneurial jungle gym) and racked up obvious markers of career stature—big titles, material comforts and earning power. Tamika Lamison illustrates a very different, but intriguing, path—the journey of a woman who hasn’t yet figured out how to make a great (financial) living from her work but has enjoyed her own esoteric brand of . . .
I have walked by Barkley Hendricks’s painting “Sisters (Susan and Toni)” in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts more than once. But I never paused long enough to fully consider it … until today. Its subjects always struck me as cool—fashionable and aloof, but not much more than that. They are two black women, set against a matte black background, in not-quite-life-sized proportions, with only the glimmer of jewelry and some pops of blue and green to draw notice. I saw the women, . . .
I was honored to join a group of Richmonders that Marc Cheatham of The Cheats Movement assembled to discuss black history and leadership. He asked some thought-provoking questions that I hope will spark a broader community dialogue and fuel greater collaboration and progress. Check out the teaser below to see some of our non-answers. Enjoy! . . .
Years ago, I volunteered with an understaffed nonprofit that struggled to recruit hands-on board members willing to pitch in beyond scheduled meetings. I vividly recall a colleague relaying the tale of how a longtime donor shot her down when she invited him to join the board. He declined, saying: “I give my time or my money to organizations, but not both.” His strange pronouncement just killed the conversation. Put in a tough spot, she couldn’t jeopardize his financial contribution . . .
Today I had the pleasure of taping a public service announcement that encourages Richmond-area parents to register their children for kindergarten on April 10. I'll post the video once it launches. In the mean time, check out these behind-the-scenes photos from my trip to the Community Idea Stations on Sesame Street. Also, scroll down to read some notes from Smart Beginnings on the importance of kindergarten readiness. (If you saw this Throwback Thursday post, you know I'm . . .
Patience Salgado is known as Kindness Girl to the many readers of her popular blog, which launches "kindness missions" designed to spur generosity and community. But her first role is “mom” to her four children ages 5, 8, 11 and 13. Salgado says that incorporating the two is an important goal for her. “I don’t want my kids to grow up and think, ‘Kindness ruined my life; My mom was never accessible.’” . . .
Glennon Doyle Melton has two God-given gifts: storytelling and shamelessness. Or so she declares early in her memoir, “Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed.” “I decided that’s what God wanted me to do,” she writes. “He wanted me to walk around telling people the truth. No mask, no hiding, no pretending. That was going to be my thing. I was going to make people feel better about their insides by showing them mine.” She then spends the rest of the book’s 266 pages putting her . . .