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Author Archives: Andrea
At 27 years old, there are only a handful of canada goose montebello parka sale outlet that I’m entirely certain of: that you can be an effective human trough at only 110lbs, that Lauryn Hill is a hip-hop Queen and that some ‘Great Architect’ (be canada goose montebello parka sale outlet Jesus, Buddha, Allah, whoever) communicates with His creations through intentional relationships and tailored experiences. In other words, I don’t really believe in ‘chance’ encounters or accidents. I think we humans are pre-disposed to different narratives that were designed to bring out our very best or worst individuality, which is why I felt so fortunate to be at Invisible Children’s Fourth Estate Leadership Summit in LA last weekend. As I watched 1, 500+ hand chosen participants burst and bloom while learning about social justice and their identities in leading meaningful lives, I couldn’t help but bask in the glow of it all and wanted to share some key points of wisdom that I picked up:

Women will find liberty when they prioritize collaboration over competition

I’ve seen this scenario play out hundreds of times: a group of women meet and, by participating in self-depreciating banter, forge bonds based on insecurity instead of intellect and interests. And advertising/marketing giants – observant as they are – have taken note. They’ve leveraged our insecurities to sell their canada goose montebello parka sale outlet and have withdrawn insurance policies against our happiness by crushing it with image after image of what being a woman SHOULD look like. Women don’t dress for men; they dress for other women in an effort to obliterate the threat of being overlooked. Women struggle with complimenting or empowering one another because we’re somehow convinced that if we give too much love or knowledge away, there might not be enough left for us. This toxicity is rooted in competition, and until we learn to collaborate – to openly share the tricks of our collective ladyhood – we will forever suffer feelings of being inadequate. And that sounds really tragic to me. So hey, if you’re reading this and I’ve got something you need – email me. Call me. I’m a great listener and I bake a kick ass chocolate chip cookie.

Just kidding.
You’ll never be Steve Jobs and that’s a good thing, because I would maul you like a bear and ask you for 1 million dollars and a Macbook in return.

Oh, I know. It’s really, really, really hard to dump that Illustrator, Word or Final Cut Pro file into your desktop’s recycle bin. It’s god awful to torch that canvas, to erase your recording or divorce your storyboard. But do it anyway. Sometimes the triumph of a vision or the success of a mission has no room for what you perceive to be utter brilliance. Get comfortable with killing your babies. Be malleable.

The Most Powerful Stories Are the Ones That Curate Connection

If you watched this video, you are now connected to the 3+ million people who were moved alongside you, which reveals something pretty beautiful about human nature – that is, our solidarity within vast emotional geography and our propensity to explore it through the art of storytelling. When navigating the creative process, bare this in mind. Your work should reflect the brand of your heart.

Although this talking point was discussed in workplace context, I think the broader concept rings true for numerous scenarios. Anyone who isn’t a cyborg knows that life is hard to do. But don’t outsource it to someone else; wrestle with it. The hard stuff is where character and integrity are built.

I really wish you could have been there.

Since you probably weren’t, I leave you with this: a video of the weekend’s conclusion and ultimately, the ten minute time span where I LITERALLY overdosed on inspiration and simply weeped as a coping mechanism.

The summertime is cruel (and glorious) and cruel – if not for its face melting heat – for its tenacity in making beer SO impossibly provocative during the only season where one is most likely to bare their belly to the world. Mine, for example, is noticeably rounder from April through September and is more tanned than the rest of my body; probably due to its closer proximity to the sun when I lay on my back. BUT ANYWAY…

I share my affinity for these cold summer suds because it directly fuels my interest in The Oregon Public House, the Nation’s first non-profit pub where you can literally drink for the greater good of local charities.

The idea for the pub was leveraged by this: in an economy that is still suffering, many of Portland’s NPO’s have experienced drawbacks in financial support as individuals and corporations have been forced to re-prioritize their budgeting. Ironically, alcohol distribution and sales have gone up which got the Public House’s founder, Ryan Saari, thinking about a way to use one scenario to compliment the other. The result? A harmonious partnership between patrons and non-profits (like Habitat for Humanity and The Neo Fund) where 100% of net profits are donated to an organization YOU select (from a pre-determined list) when paying for your brew or bite. This basically means that it’s almost acceptable for your Friday Night Fun-Cru to feel somewhat self-righteous about drinking delicious, delicious beer!

So naturally, if you find yourself in Portland…you should go. And if not, you should still watch this video anyway because maybe you’ll want to steal this business model which is absolutely, unquestionably encouraged.

(note: photo above is not mine!)

Over old coffee and a greasy breakfast, I recently told my dear friend Jenn that I have become incredibly overwhelmed by the pressure to feel – and most of all BE – beautiful. This sense of anxiety begins from the moment I snap my eyelids open in the morning; as I analyze my nakedness in the shower, as I put on makeup to widen my small eyes, as I dress and undress myself with fear that my outfit isn’t quite put together. It continues when I catch a glance of my side profile in a window or mirror and silently re-affirm to myself that indeed, I have a biggish nose, and again when I’m too busy to jog the stairs or go to yoga – because I’m entirely convinced that my butt could use a lift. Ultimately, the only respite I get from these anxieties comes in the form of the cosmetics and clothing I use to cover them up. If you thought YOU had a spending problem, I invite you to look at MY bank statement…and to take special note to the missed loan and credit card payments thanks to my prioritization of beauty over responsibility.

I draw this confession only to reiterate the importance of the new video I’m about to share here, thanks to the folks at the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. It is an insightful account of the way women tend to perceive themselves vs. the way others see them, and more than that, it is a reminder that us women need to be gracious to ourselves as well as others. Maybe next time you encounter a beautiful woman, you’ll let her know?

In the United States of America (and no doubt Canada to some degree as well), there are between 1 and 2 million children who don’t exist in the eyes of the country they call home. Many of these immigrant kids will skin their knees on the same sidewalks American children have, will stumble through heartbreak and high school for that hint of pride in their parent’s eyes, only to find themselves in a life-altering predicament: submission to a life without equal opportunity – or worse – the constant threat of deportation.

That’s what these precious people in the video above are dealing with, which is really rather unfortunate given that in most cases, they were brought to the country by their mothers and fathers who had deeply-rooted faith in the notion of liberty and justice for all. This is why Immigration Reform is important. And it literally takes mere seconds to keep important dialogue going.

Watch this video.
Wrestle with it.
As Mark Moriel of the National Urban League says, “We see ‘Maria’ making our bed as we’re getting to our hotel rooms. We don’t give a hoot if she has papers, she’s just made our bed and we’re happy she’s there.”

Passion – by definition – indicates no ability to be divided by level or grade, and yet I can assure you that the passion I’ve seen pour from musicians and skateboarders is something greater; somehow more acute and not of this world. A love like that, divided and shared, could play such a vital role in the building up of young people across the globe, which is why I’m so damn hopped up on the increasing hype surrounding Skateistan. Not only does the organization perform as a catalyst for change by developing the skills and confidence of youth in Kabul through skateboarding, but it also engages them in leadership development, civic responsibility, multimedia, and creative arts – shaping an environment that transcends social barriers and promotes a general sense of ‘togetherness’. OH, and how great is it that nearly 40% of Skateistan’s students are girls (giving Afghanistan the highest rate of female skate participation in the world)? In a place where females are considered quite oppressed, it’s encouraging to see that opportunities are all inclusive.

Introducing itself to the Sundance Film Festival – and the world – in 2011 with the short below, Skateistan demonstrates the empowerment of one of the ‘western’ world’s most beloved activities through the eyes of some of Afghanistan’s most marginalized children.

As one of many Roadies for Invisible Children back in 2009, it was my job to become affluent in African conflict, bloated on information about Joseph Kony and obsessed with strategy surrounding his capture. Even after I left my life on the road and the office walls that housed my tender fingertips, I felt this sense of responsibility to keep the LRA conflict at the forefront of our generation’s attention…and I got a big leg up once Kony 2012 was unleashed to the world. In less than one week, the documentary traced its way across 100 million sets of eyeballs and transcended mere popularity to absolute phenomenon. I was inspired to see that strangers cared, that they’d made this conflict their own and that years of unrewarded work by IC’ers had fi

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