What does it take to be a #balancedblackgirl? As I discussed with @balancedles at her #iambecoming book club meeting, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. For me, a big part of achieving balance is being connected to a community of women—soul sisters who are always there to lean on, and with whom I can just kick off my shoes and be myself. I'm talking about the kind of friends who are always there to lift me up, affirm me for who I am, and remind me that in order to do any good for anyone else, I’ve got to be good to myself and practice #selfcare. What does being a #balancedblackgirl mean to you? I can’t wait to hear your answers!
Over the years, I’ve developed a real connection with a couple of girls’ schools in London. I see myself in these girls, and always have since I first visited the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in 2009. One of these young women is Nusrath Hassan. I first met Nusrath in 2009 and we caught up again last year when I visited London for my book tour. Today, she's about to graduate from law school, and she’s been fighting for women’s rights in the community she grew up and around the world. I am so proud of Nusrath—she’s using her voice not just to benefit herself, but to lift up girls everywhere. #iambecoming#womenshistorymonth#flashbackfriday
Today I stopped by one of Portland's locally-owned bookstores, @broadwaybooks, and spent time with a group of young professional women who are juggling careers, relationships, and children, and trying to find a little time for themselves too. We talked about the importance of self-care and finding a group of women to support us through all our ups and downs as we try to manage our chaotic lives. And you don’t have to be here in Portland to take part in this conversation—let me know what you and your book clubs have been discussing!
Recently I sat down with some of @youtube’s #booktubers and creators to talk all things #iambecoming. We covered everything from marriage advice, to what it means to swerve, to my favorite books. Watch the full discussion at http://goo.gl/oggoh2.
We’re halfway through #womenshistorymonth, and today I’m highlighting one of our country’s incredible military spouses—Kiesha Yokers, who came to my show in New York City in December with @bluestarfamilies. She’s a mother to two beautiful children. She’s a Navy wife. She’s an advocate for adoption. And she’s passionate about helping women of color build healthier lives. Like so many military spouses, she’s got a lot on her plate. After years of moving around the world with her Naval husband, Keisha stopped teaching elementary school to raise her two children. Soon enough, she decided to change her career path. Kiesha took the leap and started @greenandwellbeauty with the desire to see women of color live longer, healthier lives. It's become an inspiring and safe place to talk about issues close to Kiesha’s heart. Do you have a "swerve moment" that changed your path in life? Share in the comments below! #iambecoming
While in Milwaukee, my friend Conan O’Brien and I surprised some high school juniors from across the city who were meeting with @reachhigher2020 to talk about their college dreams. We told them how proud we are of them, and we reminded them that so many people have their backs!
To the incredible young people out there, don't forget that I'm rooting for you every step of the way. I can't wait to see what you achieve! #reachhigher
It was such a treat to sit down with two book clubs from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area for a conversation with women from so many different walks of life. But as so often happens, rather than focusing on surface-level differences, we talked about so many things we all share. This week, I hope you’ll try to do the same. Strike up a conversation with that coworker or neighbor you haven’t really had a chance to meet yet. By sharing our stories—our little joys and struggles—we can see what unites us. #iambecoming
This beautiful smile belongs to Eliakunda Kaaya. I sat down with her and several of her peers for a conversation on girls' education last fall. Eliakunda comes from a family of nine children in Tanzania. She once said, "My own brothers would say… that it was a waste of time and waste of investment to…[send] me to school, because a woman is meant to be married.” But Eliakunda never believed that. She became the first person in her family to go to high school—and then the first to go to college. After she graduated she became a @shesthefirst Fellow and she launched a project called "Her Journey to School,” which builds on her own experience by reaching out to parents about the importance of sending their daughters to school. Eliakunda's story shows us the power of education—and the promise inside every single girl around the world. #internationalwomensday
Few things in life inspire me like young people taking action. This week, I visited with the #obamascholars, who have spent the past few days connecting and learning together in D.C. Already, they’re making profound differences in their home countries, from expanding peacebuilding operations in Colombia to fighting for gender rights and marginalized communities in Pakistan. Now, through the @obamafoundation, the University of Chicago, and Columbia University, they’re taking their work to the next level with a world-class education. The work they are doing is remarkable, and the best resource they have is each other—because work like this is impossible in isolation. I know that in the years ahead, these young leaders will make their communities better, and in turn, that makes the world a little brighter for all of us.
As I read through your feedback on my book, one theme that keeps popping up is how to empower the women around us—whether that's our girlfriends, coworkers, or the women we see at the gym or at happy hour. Empowering each other is a big question and can take a lot of forms, but one thing I know is that it's up to us to be there for each other—especially those who often feel overlooked—because when someone shows genuine interest in your growth and development, it can make all the difference in the world.
So for#womenshistorymonth, I want you to let me know how you’re making an impact on another woman's life. Whether that’s joining a mentoring program, asking your boss about how they’re planning to get more women’s voices at the table, or simply taking 10 minutes to lend an ear to your coworker over coffee, I want to hear what you’re up to! Let me know in a short video or in comments below. 👇🏾#iambecoming#wellnesswednesday