Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens


Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens, founder of Luxetips.com, a lifestyle online magazine dedicated to providing women all over the world “luxetips” in beauty, fashion, travel, automobiles, and kids items. Latoicha is also an attorney and founding partner of the firm, Phillips Givens LLC. Her practice includes representation of start-ups, small, and mid-sized businesses in intellectual property matters. She was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met Latoicha at the first Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. Ananda attended Latoicha’s session on“Possibilities and Pitfalls of Having YOU on the Net.”  A few months later, Latoicha appeared as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio. Since then, they have reconnected at the BlogHer conferences and at the Digitini  event sponsored by Everywhere in Atlanta.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2007.

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

It has allowed me to gain greater exposure as an intellectual property attorney specializing in legal issues in social media. It has also allowed me to meet extraordinary people and expand my network nation and worldwide.

4) 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.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Social media has given me a platform to showcase my intellectual property law practice through my blog, social media accounts and speaking engagements at social media conferences.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

Women have become role models, business leaders, and motivators to other women by using social media tools.

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

I play the role of an educator, helper, and a resource for people who need help in navigating legal issues in social media.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

I have learned to be successful in social media through engagement with others; always creating and sharing good content; and paying it forward by helping others become successful in the social media space.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

I have plans to continue to do more speaking engagements and webinars to educate individuals on the legal pitfalls of social media.

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

Renee J. Ross: Renee is a wonderful success story. She has been able to build a huge social media network in a short period of time. She is now a consultant and a leading mommy blogger in social media circles.

Angela Benton: Angela is a leader and innovator in creating content from an African American perspective. She has used her success to now help minorities gain visibility and investors in Silicon Valley.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

  • Put out great content.
  • Help others by sharing their content.
  • Develop your craft and become an expert in their field.

Digital Sisterhood Founder Ananda Leeke Headed to Spelman College/WIFTA’s Digital Doyennes event on April 12


I was honored and excited to receive Spelman College’s invitation to participate in the Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation. Why? That’s a no brainer for me because Spelman embodies digital sisterhood, the feminine currency women 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.

Since 2008, I have been researching women in social media (for my next book project Digital Sisterhood, a memoir) and tracking the unique ways Spelman uses social media and technology to promote its mission, academic programs, research, students, professors, alumni, social justice efforts, and community activities.  What I learned is Spelman has become a social media and technology trailblazer for women of color!  As an institution, it uses a wide an array of social media tools including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, ezines, and webcasts.

Guess what tool is a big hit at Spelman?  Twitter.  Spelman’s Admissions Office, academic programs like the Music Department, LEADS program, Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development, Museum of Fine Art, Digital Moving Image Salon, women of color conferenceSisters Chapel, Alumnae Affairs office, alumnae association and chapters, and student organizations such as the Student Government Association and Spotlight newspaper use it.  Recently, Spelman President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum joined the Spelman Twitter bandwagon.

Technology also plays a major role at Spelman.  In October 2010, AT&T announced Spelmanites Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller won the 2010 AT&T Big Mobile on Campus Challenge with their HBCU Buddy, a mobile application created to educate and inform users about Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States.  Keels and Miller received $5,000 each, a mobile device of their choice, a lifetime development license for Spelman, and all-expense paid trips to the AT&T Higher Ed Board of Advisors meeting and the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

Did you know Spelman is located in Atlanta, the second most socially networked city in the United States according to Men’s Health (DC was ranked first — had to give my city a shout out)?  Men’s Health published its socially networked city rankings in March.  The Atlanta metropolitan area is also home to a dynamic blogging community of women including:

Social media savvy women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses such as Clutch Magazine/Sutton New Media LLC founder Deanna Sutton, Tyler New Media co-founder Ronnie Tyler,  Jacqui Chew, Latoicha Givens, Shannon Nash, Jonnice Slaughter, the Blog Rollers, and Everywhere are located in the “ATL.”  Several key conferences such as Blogging While Brown, Blogalicious, and lavish! were held there too.

While I am in Atlanta, I will get to see my attorney, best friend, and Howard University School of Law classmate Lauren Medlock Smith, founder of Catch the Verve, LLC.  Lauren is currently serving as the sponsorship chair for Women in Film & Television Atlanta, a co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.

I also hope to spend time with my digital sister and fellow Heart of Haiti tripster Danica Kombol, a managing and founding partner of Everywhere, another co-sponsor of the Digital Doyennes event.

So now you can see why coming to Spelman and Atlanta in April is a digital sisterhood dream come true!