My new calling — Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project

In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.” Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings:

  • Eight-seven million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online.
  • Sixty-nine million women use social media weekly.
  • Eighty million women use social media monthly.
  • Fifty-five million women read blogs monthly.

These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. When women marry their power and presence, they give birth to digital sisterhood, the feminine currency they 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.

They also become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online. In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes,

“Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others. Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

The Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project was established to explore, document, and celebrate the creative ways social media women express their leadership abilities and experiences online and offline. The Project will have a soft launch in May. Its official launch will occur in January 2013. The soft launch for the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project began with a Digital Sisterhood Radio interview with Dana Theus, founder of InPower Women on May 1. The interview focused on the leadership roles social media women play and tips on how to establish a personal leadership brand with social media. Click here to listen the audio recording of the interview.

The launch also includes a series of #DSLead Twitter chats on May 2, 9, 23, and 30 from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. See the list of Twitter chat topics below. Make sure you follow @digitalsisterhd and use the hashtag #dslead to track the conversations on Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Tweetchat or Tweetgrid.

  • May 2 @9:00-10:00 pm ET: The Leadership Roles that Social Media Women Play
  • May 9 @9:00-10:00 pm ET: How Social Media Women Develop Their Personal Leadership Brands
  • May 23 @9:00-10:00 pm ET: Social Media Women as Community Builder Leaders
  • May 30 @9:00-10:00 pm ET: Social Media Women as Social Good Leaders

In addition, the Project will feature a series of guest blogger interviews with Digital Sisterhood Leaders in May, June, July, August, September, October, and November. There will be more surprises especially during Digital Sisterhood Month in December. So stay tuned for more news in the coming months!

digital sisterhood Digital Sisterhood Network Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project

Happy May and Saying Goodbye to April

Happy May! Happy Tuesday! Bye Bye April!

It’s a brand new month. What are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to warmer weather, pedicures with royal blue painted toes, taking photos when I walk in my neighborhood, hanging out with friends, going to the movies at the Landmark Theatre, practicing yoga outside, going to the gym to do my core and strength training exercises, writing my Digital Sisterhood book, the soft launch of the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (today and all month), running the Race for Hope DC 5K to raise awareness about brain tumors on May 6, watching Kerry Washington in Scandal on, reading Marney K. Makridakis’ Creating Time book, taking my mother to dinner for Mother’s Day, traveling to Atlanta to speak at Spelman College’s Women of Color Leadership Conference on May 16-17, seeing my digital brothers and digital sisters while I am in Atlanta, meeting with my MasterMind Group each week, conducting a social media 101 training for my MasterMind group members, working at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, attending the People of Color Buddhist Meditation Sangha’s monthly meeting, checking out new art exhibits at several local galleries, spending time at the Sunday Drummers’ Circle in Malcolm X Park , decluttering my home, finishing my homework from my financial advisor (finalizing my will, living will, healthcare power of attorney, and legal power of attorney), and visiting with family during Memorial Day Weekend.

April was a BUSY month! What were some of your highlights?

My April highlights are below (links to audio blogs are included).

  • Enjoyed many mornings with sun salutations and evenings with kind and gentle yoga. My home yoga practice got JUICY!
  • Danced to Esperanza Spaldings’ new CD a lot! What great jazz!
  • Identified a few new writing spots in my neighborhood.
  • Found a fabulous pair of denim jeans that fit me WELL. Thank goodness for Ann Taylor Loft. Our love affair continues!
  • Purchased a great pair of Ann Klein patent leather ballerina flats from Macy’s. FINALLY!
  • Enjoyed a sweet Good Friday service at All Souls Church.
  • Worked with an amazing group of wounded warriors on creative projects at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
  • Spent time looking for Mother’s Day, graduation day, and birthday cards.
  • Mailed my taxes and received a nice refund that is going straight into my IRA.
  • Got some great spring lipsticks and jewelry from Target.
  • Treated myself to a scented lotion trip to Bath & Body. Love the orange ginger body lotion and shower gel.
  • Started eating oat bran with raisins as an afternoon snack. Helps fight off the hunger pains and sweet tooth desires.
  • Went to the DC screening of Scandal, a new ABC TV show featuring Kerry Washington. Loved it!
  • Received so much wisdom from Sara Olivieri’s workshop for the DC Fabulous Women Business Owners.
  • Discovered the Farmer’s Market crepe at DC Scoop on U Street.
  • Attended the Public Meeting for the Northeast Region of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (my sorority) at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Initially, I came to the event to support my mother and soror, Theresa Leeke, the event chairwoman. Little did I know that I would walk away inspired by motivational speaker Willie Jolley and the Duke Ellington Choir. What a powerful night!
  • Reconnected with my former coach and mentor C’s Little of the UDL Group. C’s mentored and coached me during the 90s. He invited me to join his MasterMind Group which meets each week. So far, the group is helping me stay on track with my fierce living commitments, fitness program, 5K trainings, Digital Sisterhood book writing, and home decluttering. I AM SO GRATEFUL!
  • Had a lot of fun running the 5K Race to Stop the Silence on April 29 at Freedom Plaza in DC. The race raises awareness for child sexual abuse. It was a great way to jumpstart my Spring fitness program. Now I am on fire to run, train, and strengthen my body! Click here to listen to my audio blog after the 5K race.
  • Finished reading Dr. Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection. It helped me get back on track with my Digital Sisterhood book writing. Deep bow of GRATITUDE! Click here to listen to my audio blog which features my takeaways.
  • Began reading Marney K. Makridakis’ Creating Time. The book is a game changer because it is helping me slow down and appreciate my own sense of time. I so needed to read this book as I write my own book! Click here to listen to my first review of the book and a present moment poem.
  • Hung out with friends at local cafes. It was fun to shoot the breeze!
  • Took photos of Springtime with my digital camera.
  • Decided to launch the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project.
  • Maintained my digital diet for most of the month. It was eye opening. It helped me set some important boundaries with my online time.

National Poetry Month May Update Writing April Update Ananda Leeke Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Digital Sisterhood Creativity

My Digital Sisterhood book writing journey gave birth to the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project

My Digital Sisterhood book writing journey continues to amaze me. It just gave birth to a new passion and calling called the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project. What a magical and messy creative process I have! Hold tight for more details on the project! I wanna give you the backstory first.

Photo Credit: BlissDom logo

In an effort to maintain balance and stay on track with my writing, I have decided to pause today since it’s Digital Sisterhood Wednesday and share what’s been happening. Read on … For the past four months my writing journey has invited me to witness and take notes about the powerful ways social media women practice leadership. I had many lightbulb moments about women’s leadership during the BlissDom 2012 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in February. My BlissDom experience exposed me to a leadership model called “Community Leaders.” The BlissDom founders Alli Worthington and Barbara Jones along with their team created the Community Leaders model so that seasoned bloggers could use their extensive experience to facilitate hands-on, small-group discussions during each session. The Community Leaders also:

  • Helped new bloggers and first-time conference attendees navigate the BlissDom experience.
  • Offered inspiration and encouragement.
  • Shared their blogging wisdom, best practices, and tips.
  • Engaged in one-on-one conversations that offered listening ears and brainstorming moments.
  • Gave hugs (especially during my Fierce Living from Your Creative Heart workshop).

The role they played was PRICELESS. I call it Digital Sisterhood Leadership, my newfound passion that I will pursue fully in 2013. I say “pursue fully in 2013″ because I am mindful of my need to set boundaries as I take time this year to complete my book.

So what’s next? Drum roll please!!!!

Photo Credit: Digital Sisterhood Network’s DC Women in Social Media Focus Group Series on Nonprofit Women Leaders, October 2010 @ MLKing Library

May is going to be an exciting month for the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN). Click here to learn why. The link will direct you to my audio blog update about the new DSN initiative, the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project. It will have a soft launch in May that includes #DSLead Twitter chats on May 2, 9, 23, and 30 from 9:00 pm ET to 10:00 pm ET. For more details, visit the DSN web site later today.

Guess what’s else is happening?

The DSN web site will feature a series of interviews with Digital Sisterhood Leaders in May, June, July, August, September, October, and November. Look for a mini celebration during Digital Sisterhood Month in December. The mega launch will be held in January 2013!

So what do you think about my new passion and calling?

Thanks for stopping by!

Digital Sisterhood Network Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project