DC Area Digital Sisters Attend AARP Decide.Create.Share. Event for Women & Long-Term Planning on September 17


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

Do you know about AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. Initiative and the 40 Day Pledge for women and long-term planning?

AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative is designed to help women do three things: 1) Decide what kind of future they want for themselves. 2) Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals. 3) Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives. The 40 Day Pledge offers you an opportunity to make a commitment to complete a Living Longer, Living Smarter plan for your future. It covers four critical areas of your life—your home and community, your health, your finances and your wishes. This summer

This year, the Digital Sisterhood Network became a blogger ambassador for AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. Kitchen Cabinet because the initiative promotes our mission of inspiring women to live well and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a blogger ambassador, we used our digital platforms to educate and encourage women to take the 40 day Pledge. If you missed reading the blog posts click on the titles below.

Next week, Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke will attend AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. event for women and long-term planning on September 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Living Social in Washington, D.C. If you are in D.C., join her at the session or come to an earlier session to learn more about the program. See the details below.




Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative.

Summer Reading for Caregivers


AARP Blogger Kitchen Cabinet #CareSupport campaign

AARP Blogger Kitchen Cabinet #CareSupport campaign


Summer is a great time to read. If you are a caregiver, en route to becoming a caregiver for your loved ones, or someone who is interested in learning more about the caregiving and/or how to take better care of yourself so that you are able to help your future caregivers understand how to provide support, check out the books listed below.


Martha Stewart’s Living the Good Long Life offers an honest and practical guide on preparing to age successfully. She offers rules for successful aging that can help you understand your needs as you age and the needs of loved ones you care for. They address healthy eating, fitness, brain activity, outlook, daily living practices, looks (physical appearance, skin care, and makeup), home decor and organization, wellness, and self-care while you care for others.


In Passages in Caregiving, Gail Sheehy writes that her intention in writing the book was “to illuminate the challenges and rewards inherent in the caregiving passage-to identify universal patterns in the chaos and give the journey a form that makes sense.” Sheehy also covers the eight stages of caregiving, which she calls “Turnings.” She also offers strategies for solving the problems associated with each stage.




Dennis McCullough’s book My Mother, Your Mother draws on his experience as a family doctor and geriatrician and his practice of “Slow Medicine.” McCullough’s “Slow Medicine” recommends caregivers use a less-aggressive and compassionate approach towards their elderly loved ones. The approach is shaped by kindness, compassion, and common sense that helps everyone involved in the caregiving process understand, care for and help the loved one in their final years.



The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent by Barry J. Jacobs offers an honest and compassionate guide to families who are caring for aging parents and loved ones. Jacobs encourages family members to clearly communicate their level of commitment in the caregiving process. His book also helps caregivers reaffirm emotional connections worn thin by the routine of daily care.

Photo Credit: AARP.com

Photo Credit: AARP.com


If you are a caregiver or have family members, friends, or colleagues who serves as caregivers, please encourage them to visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center. The web site has great articles and tips that caregivers can use to support their wellness journey as they care for their loved ones. FYI – When you travel, you can now access AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center on your iPad !

AARP is a nonprofit organization that helps people who are 50 and over turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities, and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security,  and retirement planning.

Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s #CareSupport Campaign.


Celebrating 28 Black Women’s Digital Sisterhood Leadership in Creative Crowdfunding Projects


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

Black History like Women’s History is made every day. During the month of February, Black History celebrations are held online and offline to recognize the contributions of Black people in America. Today, Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle, and Living Well Initiative is celebrating 28 Black women who are making history as they use crowdfunding platforms to bring their creativity and dreams to life with art, books, blogs, creative learning opportunities, dramatic performances, films, music, photography, social entrepreneurship, webisode series, and travel experiences. These women represent the best of Digital Sisterhood Leadership. Their efforts are AMAZING because they inspire and empower others to dream and act bigger. They embody our 2013 theme, “Too Bold for Boundaries = Fierce Living.” See the list below.

We encourage you to get to know them and their work by visiting their web sites and blogs regularly in 2013. Talk about them to your network. Support their creative efforts. Follow them on Twitter. LIKE them on Facebook. Connect with them on Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, YouTube, and other social media sites. Celebrate their beauty, brilliance, courage, creativity, and leadership in the digital space!

About Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is a web-based financial model that allows individuals to network and pool their money in community to support projects and ventures initiated by other people and organizations. gofundme, indiegogo, and Kickstarter are three of the most popular reward-based crowdfunding platforms. PayPal is also another platform people use to collect crowdfunding donations. To learn more about crowdfunding, click here to see Ananda Leeke’s Crowdfunding Pinterest board of resources.

Celebrating Black Women’s Digital Leadership in Creative Crowdfunding Projects:

Photo Credit: girltank.org

Photo Credit: girltank.org

1) Crowdfunding Projects You Should Know About



2) gofundme Campaigns



3) indiegogo Campaigns



4) Kickstarter Campaigns

NOTE: This post is an excerpt from Ananda Leeke’s Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013). If you would like Leeke to facilitate a workshop, give a presentation, or speak about crowdfunding, please contact her at kiamshaleeke@yahoo.com or 202.607.3509. Visit www.anandaleeke.com.

Digital Sisterhood Network’s #CareSupport Campaign Honors National Family Caregivers Month in November

Photo Credit: AARP

National Family Caregivers Month logo

Happy November!

This month, Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is honoring National Family Caregivers Month by participating in the AARP Blogger Kitchen Cabinet #CareSupport Campaign. The annual observance was established by the National Family Caregivers Association in 1994 during the week of Thanksgiving. In 1997, President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation. As interest grew in family caregiving issues, National Family Caregivers Week became National Family Caregivers Month. The Presidential Proclamation that President Barack Obama signed on November 1, 2012, describes the essence of National Family Caregivers Month:

“National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day. As we offer our appreciation and admiration for their difficult work, let us also extend our own offers of support to them and their loved ones.”

Photo Credit: AARP & Ad Council

Women represent a large percentage of today’s family caregivers. They are the daughters, mothers, aunts, sisters, spouses, partners, friends, and neighbors who answer the call of helping relatives and loved ones. As sheroes, they give selflessly as they devote countless hours in service as they parent, cope with their own health challenges, work full-time in careers, and run businesses and organizations. Their efforts bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love. They make their families and communities stronger. But who cares for them? Who makes their lives easier?

Badge created by Dariela Cruz

Those two questions are two of the main reasons DSN adopted the #CareSupport Campaign as its first campaign for the Leadership, Lifestyle & Living Well Initiative. Since DSN launched as a media channel that serves as a self-care, self-discovery, and social justice movement for women in social media, we have encouraged women online and offline to take care of their emotional and physical health by embracing “living well” as a necessity in their lives. DSN founder Ananda Leeke has also promoted self-care practices in women’s lives through her work as a Reiki Master practitioner, speaker, workshop facilitator, and yoga teacher in one-on-one clients sessions, online video series, yoga classes, conferences, and workshops. Beginning next week, Leeke will use DSN’s #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday weekly Twitter celebration to bring awareness to family caregiving and promote AARP’s #CareSupport Campaign resources. Be sure to join @DigitalSisterhd on Twitter on the following #DigitalSisterhood Wednesdays: November 14, 21, and 28 from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Many of these resources will be posted on DSN’s Facebook page. In addition, Leeke will share some of her personal experiences with family caregiving, the lessons she has learned, and the importance of women seeking resources to help them provide better care to themselves and loved ones later this month.

AARP RESOURCE: Visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center for more information.

DISCLAIMER: All opinions mentioned in this post represent the views of Digital Sisterhood Network.