Digital Sisterhood Network Lean In Circle Update

Greetings Digital Sisters!

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today we thought we would give you an update on the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) Lean In Circle that DSN founder Ananda Leeke launched as a part of Digital Sisterhood Month in December 2013. Before we dive into the update, we thought you might like to know what inspired Leeke to “lean in” and create the Circle.

BlogHer interview with Sheryl Sandberg

BlogHer interview with Sheryl Sandberg

She read Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, over the course of one weekend last year. She found Sandberg’s book filled with several golden nuggets of wisdom she could use in her life and share with other women. Reading the book inspired her to write and submit a case study entitled “Lean In and Listen to Yourself” for the Hot Mommas Project that was included in her book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

Several months later, she attended the 9th Annual BlogHer Conference and listened to Sandberg’s interview with Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder and COO. Her key takeaways from the interview included:

  • Believe in yourself.
  • I am unapologetically a feminist (inspired by Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and one of my virtual mentors from the 1990s).
  • Reach for any ambition.
  • Ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid, and then reach for those ambitions.

At the end of the interview, Sandberg challenged audience members to write what they would do if they weren’t afraid on paper signs her provided, take photos with the signs, and tweet and post the photos on Tumblr. Check out the statements Leeke wrote below.

Ananda Leeke at BlogHer 2013 Conference with her Lean In statement

Ananda Leeke at BlogHer 2013 Conference with her Lean In statement

Writing these statements helped her get clear on what she really wanted to do with her passion, gifts, energy, and time. That experience inspired her to establish the DSN Lean In Circle as a support group for Washington, D.C. area women seeking greater accountability on their dreams and goals in 2014.

Launch of DSN Lean In Circle at Teaism in DC, December 2013

Launch of DSN Lean In Circle at Teaism in DC, December 2013

The kickoff meetup for the Circle was held on December 15 , 2013, at Teaism, a woman-owned tea café. Seven women attended the meetup. As they sipped tea and ate Asian-inspired food, they discussed their reasons for joining the Circle, Lean In experiences, 2014 goals, and expectations for the Circle. At the end of the meetup, the group selected their 2014 meeting dates, established its January discussion topic, and agreed to invite a small group of women to join the group in January with the caveat that it would be closed to new members after the next meeting.

During the January meeting at The Mediterranean Spot, a café owned by a wife and husband team, two new members joined the Circle. Members gave updates on their 2013 top accomplishments and challenges, discussed their 2014 goals and accountability needs, reviewed a list of education meeting topics, finalized 2014 meeting dates, agreed to create a Facebook private group since most members were not using the Mighty Bell web site, and decided to post Facebook group status updates about their goals, challenges, success news, and requests for assistance on Thursdays.

The group returned to The Mediterranean Spot for its February meeting. Challenges and how to overcome them were the main topics of discussion. Group members listened to each other and provided constructive feedback and resources for each member’s challenges.

Judyth Weathers, Ameriprise Financial Advisor

Judyth Weathers, Ameriprise Financial Advisor

The March meeting will be held this weekend. It will feature Judyth Weathers, an Ameriprise Financial Advisor, as the education speaker. Weathers will give a talk on “Financial Wellness for Women.”

PS: Read Lisa Bonos’ Washington Post article, “A year after ‘Lean In,’ these are  Sheryl Sandberg’s truest believers.” It features a quote by Leeke.

Join 12/15 Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) Lean In Circle Meet Up at Teaism (Penn Quarter)


Calling DC Metro Area Digital Sisters!

Come celebrate Digital Sisterhood Month 2013 and the launch of the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) Lean In Circle Meet Up on Sunday, December 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Teaism, 400 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC (a few blocks from the National Archives Metro Station on the Yellow/Green Lines). Teaism is a woman-owned tea café.

Click here to register on Eventbrite. The group will meet on the lower level. Please make sure you purchase at least one beverage to support Teaism during the meet up.

Photo Credit: and

Photo Credit: and

Photo Credit: Sheryl Sandberg

Photo Credit: Sheryl Sandberg

The DSN Lean In Circle will serve as a support group for women seeking greater accountability on their dreams and goals in 2014. The group will use  Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In book and the principles and meeting ideas as inspirational guidelines for its 2014 meet ups.

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

Cover Art by Dariela Cruz

The group will also use excerpts from Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online during its meet ups. A few copies of the Digital Sisterhood book will be available for sale ($23.99 — credit card payments are welcomed and will be processed via Square). You can also visit and purchase a copy in advance. Be sure to bring your copy of the book and have it signed.


Download the Circle Kickoff Kit and bring it to the December 15th meet up.

-Click here to join the DSN Lean In Circle on

Digital Sisterhood Month Adventures @ DC TED Women Event on 12.7.10

Amy Martin, Nicolette Pizzitola, Michelle Hoffman, Ericka Hines & Ananda

The first week of Digital Sisterhood Month 2010 ended with me attending a local DC TED Women event – on December 7, 2010. The event was co-sponsored by Melanie Spring, Amy Liz Martin, and Nicolette Pizzitola at Nicolette’s offices. These three women brought together a group of approximately 13 digital sisters and one digital brother to watch the TED Women’s webcast which featured a group of dynamic women a and men speakers who gave short talks about how women and girls are reshaping the world. It was an amazing afternoon and evening. It was just the kind of Digital Sisterhood Month outing I needed to keep myself moving through December!

Click here to listen to my audio blog re-cap about the speakers I admired.

Click here to see photos of the DC TED Women event.

I have included some of my favorite tweets by women who attended the DC TED Women event and photos of several TED Women speakers (photos were taken by James Duncan Davidson for TED).

Favorite TED Women Tweets:

  1. @TEDWomen: E Lesser started listening to mystics to avoid what Einstein called “the optical delusion of everyday consciousness” #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:59:48 PM via HootSuite

  2. @tbdunmasked: Tony Porter – thank YOU for breaking out of the Man Box and inviting others to do so. #TEDWomen first standing ovation. Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:59:08 PM via HootSuite
  3. @TEDWomen: Elizabeth Lesser is deeply disturbed by the way cultures are demonizing “the other” #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:43:35 PM via HootSuite Retweeted by NicPiz
  4. @NicPiz: Elizabeth Lesser suggests new movement to counter our habit of ‘otherizing’ – the take the other to lunch movement Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:46:47 PM via TweetDeck
  5. @TEDWomen: Tony Porter: My liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as a woman. #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:41:48 PM via HootSuite
  6. @Sisarina: When a coach says ‘you play like a girl’ why does it destroy a man? What are we teaching guys about girls? #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:32:56 PM via TweetDeck
  7. @Sisarina: .@monaeltahawy learned that Orthodoxy was much kinder to men than women so she became Liberal Muslim. #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:08:28 PM via HootSuite
  8. @Sisarina: I totally can’t do @monaeltahawy justice. She’s ridiculously incredible. #TEDWomen#WOW Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:08:06 P via
  9. @kristasande: Mona Eltahawy #TEDWomen: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be a Muslim woman.” Tuesday, December 07, 2010 6:05:50 PM via web Retweeted by NicPiz and 1 other
  10. @NicPiz: Sheryl Sandberg is so on target – love hearing a C level exec with this message! Tuesday, December 07, 2010 5:50:57 PM via TweetDeck
  11. @NicPiz: Messages 4 women who want to stay in the workforce:Sit at the table.Make your partner a real partner.Don’t leave before you leave. #TEDWomen Tuesday, December 07, 2010 5:48:29 PM via TweetDeck
  12. @NicPiz: Courtney Martin, Feministing #TEDWomen mother told her “I will not stand for your desperation.” 5:37 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck
  13. @NicPiz: Courtney Martin, Feministing – “we don’t want just one hero.” #TEDWomen – YES! 5:35 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck
  14. @healthpolicygrp: Pres Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: I’ve been a *Victor* of circumstances. #TEDWomen Video Q&A posted ht @TEDxDeadSea @NicPiz 3:36 PM Dec 7th via Mobile Web Retweeted by NicPiz and 1 other
  15. @Sisarina: Embrace the differences between women & men. It’s not either/or. Embrace the balance. Just do good business. – Halla #TEDWomen 3:44 PM Dec 7th via HootSuite
  16. @jbhertel: Lisa Witter: “Women want to give because they want to feel connected.” #TEDwomen 3:34 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck Retweeted by NicPiz
  17. @NicPiz: Halls Tomasdottir #TEDWomen. We believe in profit with principles. We care how we make profits. 3:26 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck
  18. @NicPiz: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – I’ve been a victor of circumstances #TEDWomen – brilliant! 3:20 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck
  19. @NicPiz: Hanna Rosen #TEDWomen forget the glass ceiling – the high bridge is a better image. (spot on!) 3:06 PM Dec 7th via TweetDeck

TED Women Speakers I Admired:

Courtney E. Martin – Photo Credit James Duncan Davidson / TED
Iyeoke Ivie Okoawa – Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED
Elizabeth Lesser – Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED
Sheryl Sandberg – Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED