Post Background Top

That Tanzanian Heart of Gold

I had the priviledge of attending the Gala in NYC for Room to Read last year, an organization I am a very proud ambassador for.  At this Gala, I was fatefully seated across from a woman who turned out to have traveled from Tanzania to be there.  Her name was Neema.

I was completely taken by her.  Her energy was beyond anything I had come across in a while.  She was so full of life and excited…about everything!  Infectious is the word.  She had me at hello.

Turns out, she is a social mobilizer for Room to Read who had flown in to speak at the Gala.  A social mobilizer is one of the great and many aspects of why Room to Read is so very successful.  They are the people who are mentors for the students outside of their classrooms.  They are the people who walk into these students homes, meet with their parents to understand their home environment, all to make sure nothing stands in the way of them continuing their education.  They are the ones who stand along side students who are at risk of dropping out of school.  They are the sounding boards for their students.  It’s an emotional job.  One which requires patience, passion and most importantly, love.  Love for the students they mentor and love for their families who may be going through a numerous amount of hardships.

I learned Neema had her own hardships in life and an uphill battle to get an education.  To me she exemplified a selflessness in humanity because after achieving her goals she turned around to make sure other people facing their own hardships had someone to break down barriers for them.

Dearest Neema, you fill my heart with joy knowing there is someone like you out there.  You are all that is right in this world.  You inspire me.


You’ve begun your career working as a social mobilizer for Room to Read. But I know that this is more than a regular job for you and you have had quite the journey becoming a social mobilizer and role model for the girls you mentor. Will you tell me a bit about your life and what took you here?

I’m one of six children who was raised by a single mother. As a primary school teacher, my mother struggled to raise six children and my two other family members. It was a daily struggle, living in financial hardship without support from my father or anyone else. My mother always did her best to make sure we could survive, but like I said it was a struggle.

When I was in primary school, I watched almost half of the girls drop out. Most dropped out as a result of early pregnancies, early marriages, poverty, and divorce or family separation. Of the 100 girls in my primary school, I was the only girl from my class who completed secondary school and then went onto college.

What was one of the hardest challenges you faced, while you were trying to achieve your dreams and how did you deal with it?

Apart from mother, no one else believed that I could achieve my dream. As such, I wanted to prove to them that my mother was right and they wrong and that I could finish school and go onto college. I did (and am still doing) everything to achieve my dreams, and here I am today.


As a social mobilizer, what do you do on a daily basis? Why is your job so important?

As a social mobilizer, I mentor girls from Grade 6-12 to encourage them to work through obstacles and stay in school. I facilitate life skills trainings that help girls negotiate key life decisions and make choices that work best for their lives, even if they are hard decisions. I also work closely with parents and my larger community to advocate for girls’ rights and their education.

When I was younger, I saw countless friends drop out of school – and all of this made me want to change my situation. I couldn’t take my family and friends back to school, but I believed I could help change the lives of the next generation. So, I decided to use my passion to help girls study hard and reach their educational goals. I saw how many girls’ dreams were crushed by getting pregnant at a very young age and how these girls were treated in our community and knew I could help them.

For me, working with girls in Room to Read’s programs has given me a real sense of purpose. I am able to give other girls something that I have already been given—an education and an opportunity to overcome challenges and succeed. I hope I am living proof to Tanzanian girls that they, too, can fulfill their dreams. Seeing girls inspired and working towards their goals is my greatest purpose in life.


If you had to give one piece of advice to one of the girls you mentor, what would it be?

I would say that “It’s okay to have more than one dream”.

If we were to go to Tanzania, what’s the number 1 thing you would suggest us doing?

I would suggest you climb mountain Kilimanjaro, it’s an amazing experience being on the roof of Africa.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?

My mother. Her ability to overcome all the challenges of being a single mother, while never letting us feel like we were a burden to her, always stands out to me. She is my super woman.

What is your most proud accomplishment?

Being a mother to my very beautiful daughter.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Take peoples’ pain away.


If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you pick and why?

Ellen DeGeneres!

I started watching “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” when I was in college in 2009.  The first thing I loved about her show was and still is, her slogan  “BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER”. It made me want to do better and be nicer to people like she is. I really try to never miss her show, but if I do, I’ll watch the videos she posts on YouTube.
She is very genuine, kind and positive, which is amazing considering what she went through in her career and life. She could have been bitter from those experiences but she chose kindness, and I admire that. So I try to act similarly because if she can still smile and treat people so positively,  then I can certainly be kind. I just really love Ellen.

What kind of music do you like?

Gospel Music

What’s one thing you’d do differently if you had the chance to restart your life?

I would not change anything, I am grateful for the lessons and the blessings I have experienced in my life. From them, I can learn from different lesson and have an understanding of how to improve myself as I move forward.


Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Climbing Mountains, Creating Music

Last year, I was invited to a cocktail hour.  In a room full of incredibly gifted, driven and kind women, Jennifer Lee Snowden stood out.  There was something about her spirit.  Something open, vulnerable and generous.  So I decided I wanted to get to know her better.  I’m so glad I did.

Jennifer is a phenomenal woman.  She is wise, caring, intelligent and definitely funny.  When you sit down with her you feel like you can just be yourself.

She is a classically trained pianist who started her training at 5 and now writes her own music no less.  Talk about magical.

From all of this, what you wouldn’t know is that Jennifer has also already beat cancer, twice.  I can’t even wrap my head around that.  Your 30’s are when you should be planning momentous occasions in your life not fighting cancer.

The reality is, no one expects to get the news they have breast cancer, especially when they are so young.  As a woman you think, well it’s something I am going to have to think about, but later in life.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case here.  Shockingly breast cancer is detected more and more in young women today.  More so than you would think.

Instead of letting this experience get the better of her, she decided to learn and grow from it.  There’s an inner strength to that level of awareness I’m not sure a lot of us can grasp.

Jennifer, I’m so glad I met you.  I’m so glad to call you my friend.  Thank you for your generosity in being a part of my blog and for opening yourself up.  I know someone out there reading this is going to walk away stronger.


Getting the news you have breast cancer had to be shocking to say the least. By the time you were 35, you had already gone through it twice. You can now proudly call yourself a survivor.

What was one of the hardest mountains you had to climb, personally, during this journey?

One of the difficult things about cancer is that there are rarely any certainties. No one can tell you why you got it in the first place or whether they’re 100% sure they’ve gotten rid of every rogue cell. Even though I was diagnosed with a very, very early stage the first time around, I still had a small local recurrence 2 years later even after undergoing a double mastectomy.   I’m lucky enough to have beaten it a 2nd time and to be declared cured and cancer-free. But doctors don’t often say those words with great confidence, which can send your mind down a bit of a rabbit hole if you let it. I’ve often said that some of my toughest battles were fought not with my body, but with my mind. Fear grows like weeds and it is a daily practice to root it out, to remain focused on the present moment, to trust in your healing and to plant seeds of gratitude and love in its place.


You’re keeping a blog and sharing your experience for other people who are fighting cancer as well.   It’s not easy baring your soul, especially after traveling such a road. Why was this important for you to do?

I felt it was important for me to share my story because there are just so many women going through this. And even if you haven’t gone through it yourself, you likely know someone who has. It is such a life-altering journey and it can be comforting to hear how others express their emotions, both positive and negative. There are also so many things that come with the package as byproducts or side effects that don’t often get talked about. A lot of people suffer in silence believing that they are alone in their experience, when in reality, thousands of others are wading through the same muddy waters. The more we are willing to share, the more others feel comfortable to open their hearts as well, a conversation begins, deeper understanding can be found and that’s when really beautiful things start to happen.

I also feel that there are tremendous lessons that get learned when facing a life-threatening illness that can help others ask themselves the hard questions too easily avoided in life. Things like, “Am I truly spending my time on this planet in a way that fulfills me? And if not, what do I need to change?” What you value most has a way of snapping into focus when you are forced to consider your own mortality, but we should all be asking ourselves these kinds of questions every single day. Because the truth is, even though we don’t like to think about it, tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Every single day is a gift.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who may have just gotten the news for themselves, is in the midst going through treatment, or is now on the road to recovery but still has a lot of emotion and trauma of illness to deal with, what would it be?

Stay in the present moment as much as you possibly can. When your mind starts to wander and cling to thoughts from the past or paint terrifying pictures of the future, bring it back to the here and now. Cherish each moment as much as you can. Even in the painful and difficult ones that are full of discomfort, view them as opportunites to lean on and draw closer to the people you love. Meditation helped me immensely.

Also, when I was diagnosed the second time, I made a promise to myself that I would use the challenge as an opportunity to grow and to become stronger. I stopped trying to resist and instead invited the entirety of the experience into my life to teach me the lessons that I most needed to learn. And through doing this, I was able to transform so much of the pain and trauma into gratitude and power. Cancer was no longer something that was thrust upon me, that I just had to endure. I embraced it for all it had come to show me and allowed it to shake my very foundation so that I could rebuild on more solid ground. And while there were some incredibly difficult weeks and months, I can actually say that I am profoundly grateful to have gone through it. It made me stronger, more compassionate and more certain about the kind of life I want to continue living.

When it comes to family members and friends who are seeing their loved one on such a difficult road, what advice would you give them? What did you need the most as someone in the center of it all?

There are so many ways to answer this question but one thing is for sure; ASK! ASK how they are doing. ASK how they are feeling, ASK what you can do to support them. So many people are afraid to ask because they don’t want to bring up a tough subject. But in my experience, most people who go through hard times don’t want to avoid the elephant in the room. Show them that you are strong enough to handle the truth and that you aren’t just the kind of person that’s only there when times are good.

You’re now getting back to your music! As you plan your future, what is your vision for your work?

I want to be bolder with my work now. Less concerned about fitting into a specific box and more willing to just play. I’m really excited to put something new into the world and cultivate it. After spending a few years in the corporate world, I have the exciting opportunity to start at the beginning again, rediscover my sound and what I want to say as an artist. I also don’t want to focus too heavily on what the endgame looks like. Before it was so much about trying to get a record deal and “make it big.” But now I want to focus on the work and leave room for the universe to surprise me with how things develop. I have goals of course; certain venues I’d like to play, placing a song in a TV show or film and performing for a fashion show. I really want to perform for a fashion show! I would be great at that.


Chicken or egg?

I love eggs, so egg!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would love to speak every language of the world fluently. The ability to communicate with anyone and everyone would be tremendous!

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

My parents and my husband. All three of them have shaped every facet of my life and the person that I am today. They are my biggest supporters and have undoubtedly made me a better person. And through the most difficult times of my life, they continue to clear the path in front of me so that there are a few less obstacles along the way.

What are you most proud of?

That life knocked me down more than once, but I got back up each time…and never let it keep me from singing and celebrating.


Do ghosts exist?

I have no idea, but I know there is so much more to the universe than what we currently understand in this three-dimensional reality….so I certainly think it is possible.

Being a musician yourself, what kind of music do you like? Who are you inspired by?

This list is so long and it changes regularly. I just love music. Sometimes I listen to Classical, sometimes Rock, R&B, Rap, Pop, Alternative and occasionally even a country song here and there. I can’t really say that there is one kind of music that I don’t like. It’s more about what you’re I’m in the mood for. I will say though, while it’s difficult to list my favorite artists because there are so many that I love…Bruce Springsteen will always hold a very special place in my heart. Some of his lyrics are so profound and man, The E Street Band was really something!

If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be?

Definitely Jesus. Regardless of religious views, I think it would be incredibly interesting to meet the man that inspired a worldwide, centuries-long belief system.

An existential question, if you got the chance to do life all over again, would you? And no, you can’t start with the lessons you’ve learned this go around.

This is a tough question when you really start thinking about it. The short answer is that I’m really happy with the life that I have, so I don’t feel like I would need to re-do it. But if I was like a cat and given the choice to have a couple of lives…yeah, why not. Living is beautiful thing. I’d be happy to do it again.


Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Connecting the Dots

Geetha and I met a little over a year ago. I as a Room to Read Active for Education Ambassador and Geetha as the new, incoming CEO, we wanted to get to know each other.  Already knowing some of the people who work at Room to Read, I expected Geetha to be incredibly intelligent and passionate about her work.  What I didn’t expect was to hear her story and see so clearly how the dots of her life have connected. This, of course, being acheived through brutal hard work and instinct.

Upon meeting Geetha, I could tell right away she was a force to be reckoned with.  I mean, she’s a statistician by training and can throw it down with the best of them in any given room. What really struck me was Geetha’s story. How her mother fought child marriage, gained an education, joined the Indian Army, came to the States as an immigrant on a nursing visa, only to send money back home to make sure her family members earned their education as well. Family members who I might add have gone on to do incredible things in their own right. She then made sure her children had the same level of an education as she did, if not better.

So, here I was sitting in front of someone who is the product of that boulder lifting sacrifice. This person knows exactly whose shoulders she stands on. She’s taken that baton to not only make something exceptional of herself but is now passing that baton onto millions of children. Geetha never expected to become the CEO of Room to Read but she followed her heart and swerved —as Michelle Obama would say. How beautifully poetic that her path has led her to be at the forefront of making sure others receive the very education her mother faught so very hard to gain.

Geetha, you have had such a vivacious life. And I say that because of what I know about how incredibly accomplished your mom is and how she fought the grain to stand up for herself and do what she wanted to do. A rebel in her own right. Would you go please elaborate for those reading this?

My mom has always been a bit of a revolutionary. Her family had a tradition of early marriage – my grandmothers were married by 2 and 14, but my mom refused to get married too soon. She graduated high school at 13 and remained adamant that she would not marry, even in the face of constant pressure. Instead, she joined the Indian army and trained as a nurse, paving the way for her to move to the US on a nursing visa, put herself through school, get a doctorate, become a statistician and join the pharmaceutical industry. For years, my mother sent money to her younger siblings and other family members for their education, setting them on a path to pursue impressive careers spanning from medicine to the United Nations. Over time, her family assumed she would never get married, but she surprised them all and got married at 32 in a one-bedroom apartment in New York!

Geetha Mom

How did this set you on your path to now be CEO of Room to Read?

Without the role that education played in my mother’s fight for her future, I would not be dedicating my life to an education focused organization. My mom’s background meant that education was everything to her and that thinking became the foundation of my life from an extremely young age. Her story, my family history, helped me recognize that knowledge gives you the power of choice and dignity. That recognition drives my commitment to this work. Providing educational opportunities to young girls and boys gives them the chance to learn about opportunity, to seek it and reach their full potential.


If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to pave his or her own way, what would it be?

I have tended to shy away from the “follow your passion” philosophy and have always believed in the notion that you have to put in the hard work to become excellent at something that is important and valued. Learning and achievement can help you develop passions you never had on your radar. This is not to say, start on a career path and just work at it all your life – as I certainly did not, but rather ensure that what you’re doing is opening you up to new skills and experiences that can optimize your positive contribution to the world. I never had specific ambitions about leading an organization. To be completely honest, when I was young, I didn’t even know that being the CEO of a non-profit was a job to aspire to. I was on a direct path to a career as a statistician. But this is where I am now, and importantly, where I want to be. I know that your life trajectory can change as you grow and expose you to new possibilities. Once you have cultivated marketable skills and you can apply them, more opportunities and choices emerge for your future. That was the lesson I learned as I built my career.


Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

Without a doubt, my parents –from the second I was born to this moment. My parents were extremely focused on my future, especially in relation to education because they knew what hardships I might face without an education. The love, care, and time they devoted to my education and my ability to succeed in life have been instrumental in the life I’ve carved out for myself. I’ve charted my own path, but the foundational lessons my parents have taught me remain today and now are passed on to my children.

What are you most proud of?

When it comes to my career and work to date, there are so many things to be proud of. I’ve built a career that brings me joy every day, however, my truest sense of accomplishment lies in my family – specifically my children. I had my first child in 2004 as I was just finishing my dissertation and had a little flexibility between school and my next job. After having my son, I went through a personal struggle around whether I should have my second child biologically or through adoption. Through my work, I’d seen so many children in this world without parents to guide and nourish them, which made a lasting impression.

I ended up taking my family through a journey towards adopting our second child. It took us three years, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we needed to do it. That’s how our family was formed. My son is 14 and my daughter is 9 and adopting her is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.


What was one of the hardest mountains you had to climb, personally, while you were trying to achieve your dreams and how did you deal with it?

After getting my master’s in Biostatistics and working at pharmaceutical companies, I got a good sense of what a career trajectory in statistics would look like. I kept asking myself if I really wanted to do that type of work for 45 more years, and I realized I wanted something different for my life. I had just invested many years of my education in statistics and had a lucrative job. In order to make a shift to the social sector, I’d have to take a risk, go back to school, and acquire more hard skills and experience. This process took several years, including personal and professional sacrifice; but, in the end, my practice reflects my purpose, and I am contributing to the world in a way that makes me satisfied.


An existential question….If you had to do it all over again, meaning life, would you? And no, you can’t start with the lessons you’ve learned this go around.

No, I wouldn’t. I could never give up on the life that I’ve built and the lessons that I’ve learned. This life and the people in it are too precious to chance on anything, and I have so many things that I am currently looking forward to!

What kind of music do you like?

This question is hard as there are so many answers to choose from! I grew up as a dancer and I was exposed to many types of music, so that has made me a bit eclectic. I enjoy everything from jazz to classic rock to Carnatic music. But the artist I’d love to hear live is Andrea Bocelli. His voice is magnificent!


Do ghosts exist?

I hope so – that would make life interesting!

What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were to start this process over again?

When I was younger, I wouldn’t have been so singularly focused on grades, but would have taken the time to enjoy the learning process more.

Chicken or egg?

Chicken. Nobody ever asked if the egg wanted to cross the road, did they?

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Time-travel: I can show the world how our actions today can have a significant impact on our future.


Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Got Soap?

Ever gone on vacation and have been inspired enough to stay and start a non-profit?  That is exactly what Samir Lakhani did.  I’m so impressed with Samir as a human being.  He saw children without soap, in risk of disease, and got the idea to ask hotels to give him their used soap, instead of throwing it away.  Not only did he figure out how to get these establishments to hand over their used soap, he figured out how to recycle that soap, and he now employs almost 150 women at Eco-Soap.  Think about how many different ways this little gem of an idea is now helping communities, families.  The ripple effects of his impact is astonishingly impressive to me.  It’s no wonder he was a CNN Hero.  Samir has definitely taken after his mother, Dilshad Lakhani, The Giving Dentist, who I wrote about a couple of months ago.  What a great lead to follow.  Take a read and #beinspired.


So, what made you decide to go out on your own start your own non-profit?

About four years ago, I saw something devastating—and I just had to act.

While volunteering in Northern Cambodia, I witnessed a scene in a village which still haunts me to this day: a village woman bathing her newborn son, scrubbing his skin with laundry powder.

I wanted to help, to do something. Anything. But, I didn’t know how to help in a lasting, meaningful way. I felt completely powerless.

But then, something incredible happened. I returned to my hotel room, stepped into my bathroom and noticed that my housekeeper had thrown away a bar of soap that I had barely touched. It was in that moment I knew what I could do.

That’s the story of Eco-Soap Bank and to date we’ve been able to provide soap and education to over 720,000 people in 10 countries—all because of a single experience and a solution waiting to be activated.

After seeing the hotel room soap in the trash, what were some of the first initial steps you took in making your idea a reality? How did you even know where to start?

Like many, the path is not immediately clear. (For me, it was even quite comedic!) I was so excited about the prospect of saving soap that the very next morning after realizing the idea, I went on a bicycle in the 100+ degree heat to meet with general managers of hotels in suits. Sweaty and tired, I asked for their used soap. They look puzzled, but as they began to realize that this initiative could save lives they joined in a heartbeat.


What was one of the hardest mountains you had to climb, personally, while you were trying to achieve your dreams and how did you deal with it?

You need tough skin to do something new, to innovate, and to go where others haven’t. Initially when I came up with the idea of “recycling soap” – many people and groups scoffed at me. They said it would never work or that hotels would never join.

Personally, I had to continue the momentum and push through the skepticism. But, over time, our partnerships began to grow. With partners, such as Diversey, this year we’ll reach 1 million people.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to pave his or her own way, what would it be?

Positivity. Stay unwaveringly positive. As Michelle Obama says: when they go low, we go high. Optimism creates solutions, breaks barriers, and overcomes all.

However, in order to grow, learn to invite constructive criticism. Give and take criticism cheerfully.


Chicken or egg?

Not sure – but I’ll never look at an omelet the same way again.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To rebuild. I see so much devastation in the Middle East and all I want to do is help rebuild demolished homes so people can return to their countries, their lives, and their families.


What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were to start this process over again?

Lean in. I would have asked for more support and not felt the least bit shy about it. Eco-Soap Bank does important work and I would have been more forthright in asking people to get involved and to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.

So, if you’ve found something worth fighting and advocating for, don’t equivocate.

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

My parents. They have come from East Africa to a life of prosperity and philanthropy. They are my single biggest inspiration in life.

What are you most proud of?

The women we employ. Never before have they been given the platform to transform communities, to affect lasting change, and to improve health. They are champions and I’m so proud to have played a small part in employing nearly 150 women and providing them with free education. They provide the energy and goodwill Eco-Soap Bank contributes to communities around the world.


Do ghosts exist?

Nope. Oh wait, I think I feel a chill…

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you pick and why?

Malala Yousafzai – because I wish to learn from her how she turned pain into hope. She is one of the most important voices of our generation and to carry her message forward would be the honor of a lifetime.

What kind of music do you like?

Radiohead! Doesn’t everyone?

Looking back, would you take this journey to form Eco-Soap all over again?

Yes, absolutely. It’s a privilege to know that your efforts directly help people. That is a satisfaction which is unrivaled and no amount of money could convince me to do otherwise.


An existential question. If you could come back and redo life over again, without having any of the lessons you’ve learned this go around in your arsenal, would you?

Absolutely. Discovery is a beautiful thing. Travel is an outstanding way to stretch your perspective and mind. Meeting new people is the stuff of life. Sharing our humanity makes this life worthwhile.



Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Maxine, The Shoe Designer

My incredible friend, Maxine is the definition of making your dream come true with nothing less than hard work.  Like all newbies in the work force, she started her professional career in the world of fashion by putting in long hours and learning from the ground up.  It eventually led her to realizing she needed to follow her heart and start her own shoe line, Maxine Shoes.  Most people would have let the thought sit and day dream about it.  Maxine did exactly the opposite.  She worked herself to the bone to launch this line.  I know because we FT’d two weeks before her launch. The girl was down to the wire and she still took time to have a chat with me about my own project. That’s how incredible she is!

Just this month, she was one of only two winners chosen to have her designs sold in a boutique in NYC and have them showcased for Fashion Week in NYC and Paris.  It is an exciting milestone for anyone just starting out.  She has been generous enough to share her thoughts, her road and lessons learned, so far.  So dive in.  #besinpired


It is such a difficult thing to do, and unless you’ve done it, I don’t think people quite grasp what it means to start something on your own and then build its legs. So, what made you decide to go out on your own start your own business?

I have always had a soft spot for shoes, but only realised during my time in NY that starting a shoe brand was what I really wanted to do. The fashion industry has changed a lot in the past years, not only product offerings, but the way products are offered. Consumers are increasingly interested in sustainability and ethical aspects of businesses.

I think realising that most big brands are past the point of pivoting to truly sustainable processes, I felt a certain urgency to offer a well- and responsibly-made product.

Not having much of a work-life-balance back then was not easy and I noticed over time that my relationship with what had been my passion and work had changed…it was mostly work and I felt habits sticking. Something I was taught is not what one should aim for professionally. I guess this was the very moment I knew I had to move on in order to grow and contribute more in a different way.

Just recently, you have definitely hit a milestone.  Tell us about it.

Since February I have been showing at designer showrooms during London and Paris FW. A few weeks ago I participated in a competition for young designers. They chose 2 winners, who would be sold in a boutique in NY (Flying Solo) starting this season (not charging any commission or wholesale prices, but providing us with the full retail amount to reinvest). When I found out I was one of the winners, I was also told that they have a catwalk in NY (and as I just found out in Paris also) showcasing their community of designers. We are an international bunch and were around 50 designers collaborating, resulting in 320 looks. The show was at Pier59 studios and my shoes were used for 3 designers; in total 24 looks. In a few weeks a similar event will take place in Paris with a smaller selection (total of 37 designers).So it’s been super exciting! Happy to send you pictures this week once I have them – waiting for the final ones from backstage and the runway.


What was one of the hardest mountains you had to climb, personally, while you were trying to achieve your dreams and how did you deal with it?

I think doubt and anxiety were (sometimes still are) my two big challenges. There were days, sometimes weeks – especially in the beginning – when I questioned everything, especially myself.

Starting a label is an incredibly personal endeavour. Not only is it a financial and professional risk, but as a designer you open your heart to the public. The aesthetic of the brand and every single design reflects me. Which is the very reason why it was hard not to take feedback and critique personally in the beginning.

Starting my business with the help of a fashion incubator program based in London was the best decision I could have made. Having a life coach and mentors was incredibly helpful not only for the building of my brand, but my personal growth. Being open and honest about struggles is key to moving passed them and improving.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to pave his or her own way, what would it be?

I think setting goals is incredibly important. Aiming high and visualising your definition of success helps to stay positive and those of us who have read The Secret know it will do us favours… But most of all change goals along the way, have milestones and reward yourself for even the smallest success. I really noticed how my motivation and also my pride grew as I took in even the tiniest success and felt joy and gratitude.

Chicken or egg?

Absolutely egg. Being a atheist (and having watched Big Bang Theory too much as a student) I believe in science and a something pre-eggy evolving into an egg as we know it.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would love to be able to create through thought. If I could create objects and feelings through visualisation…that’s the dream!


What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were to start this process over again?

Probably I would go on a holiday before I start the business. I got so caught up since business plan stages that I was too excited to even think about a holiday. I love travelling for work, but its not the same. I wish I would have enjoyed the quiet before the storm a little more. Over all I think there is no perfect preparation, and whilst I don’t have a regret, I think it’s important to take everything in and enjoy even the craziest times of building the foundation of the business. Looking back, these days were still slower than the ones now and it’s a very special period that doesn’t last forever. Its like a honeymoon phase with yourself that hits once you start breathing and living your brand.

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

My family! I know this is (gladly) the answer of most women, but I cannot thank my family enough. I grew up assuming being a female entrepreneur was no less realistic or hard than being a male one, as I was surrounded by my parental grandmother and mother both being entrepreneurs.

My grandmother taught me that a right mindset will get you anywhere, my mother is responsible for my work ethic, and my father – probably the biggest feminist of all of us – taught me how to make things happen for myself and not let anyone answer for me. And my sister of course, apart from having to stand up for myself from an early age, she has taught me positivity. I truly would not be anywhere close to where I am now without their support and advice, which I still make use of multiple times a week.

What are you most proud of?

I am not a very proud person, it usually hits me months past others told me to be proud of something. Looking back I am proud to have grown and nourished industry relationships independently. Having built my career without any support has given me wonderful and kind mentors and friends, who have been by my side during this journey.

Do ghosts exist?

No – but I do think that we are able to feel the spirit of someone even once they have passed. Whether it is triggered by a sense or memory, I believe we want to see and feel loved spirits until we are ready to let go. When my grandmother passed, I could feel her in the house, her scent, I heard her voice, it was like she was still there. I think only once we are ready to let go, spirits fade.

What kind of music do you like?

My parents raised us with an attitude that we could do and achieve anything, which was great. Except I got bored quickly, so I learned a lot of instruments and went to choir practice. I still play the saxophone, but piano, guitar and drums unfortunately are not really my strong suits anymore.

I enjoy various genres, but especially jazz and soul can make my day. I love how music influences our emotions, I think that is absolutely beautiful.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? And no, you can’t start with the lessons you’ve learned this go around.

Big fat YES! I have never been happier. Probably not more tired either, but my excitement levels have also never been higher. Since my e-launch it has almost been 1 year and I could not be more ecstatic about what has happened since. It’s such a privilege being able to start my own line, I could not be more grateful and joyful!

Insta: @maxine_shoes


Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

The Giving Dentist

I have known Dilshad Sumar Lakhani (yup! same first name) or as I call her, Dilshad Aunty, for a minute now. I was always taken by her kind-heartedness even in how she would say normal, every day hellos.

We had lost touch when low and behold, I ran into her during a recent trip to Atlanta. What are the chances of that? Out of the blue, in a city and setting of thousands of people, I run into her. We caught up for a bit. She told me about pseudo-retiring…she still teaches part-time…and starting a foundation with her husband. I was so very touched and asked her to be a part of my blog. Luckily, she said yes! Here are the questions I threw her way and her answers from which we can all learn so much from.

I’ve always thought we are surrounded by heroes, in our every day lives. Well, here is someone I know personally, who is that hero. We can all become better human beings because of people like her. I know I can. Happy Reading! xx


Most people tend to retire and enjoy themselves in spending time in the sun, pursuing hobbies, etc. Instead you and your husband started the Sumar Lakhani Foundation. What was your inspiration to pursue creating your own non-profit?

I was born in Tanzania – a country in East Africa. My father was a merchant and had a variety-store some 70 years ago. Life was difficult, and I remember him working very hard. We, the children were loved, but we had only the bare necessities to live on and grow. We belonged to a very progressive religious community which meant we focused heavily on education and gaining independence. With this philosophy, we studied hard as children and received scholarships to study abroad. I became a Pediatric Dentist – where I was able to treat children every day and provide for my family.

My husband had a similar background from Uganda. He is a physicist by profession. He studied at Makerere college in Kampala, Uganda. He went to Brown University to complete his studies and get his PhD in Physics. He is now a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist – with one goal in mind: to make the world better for women and for children.

We always gave to charities, but my husband knew the importance of making a sustainable difference – not just a handout. This was the founding principle by which Sumar-Lakhani Foundation (SLF) was born.

What does the Sumar Lakhani Foundation focus on?

The Sumar-Lakhani Foundation is involved in many projects. This includes education, health programs, and social enterprises. Since we cannot physically go to all the places where we are involved, we got involved with organizations with the experience to implement projects. They report to us on a regular basis as to the progress they were making with their projects and we regularly discuss with them methods to improve and scale.

To read more about our work here.

I have been involved with Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Cambodia – a nonprofit hospital providing free health and oral care for over 150,000 patients annually. After our intervention, the hospital is now thinking of prevention rather than restoration and treatment. New ideas have been developed where parents are taught how to brush their children’s teeth and about nutrition preventing them from making costly trips to hospitals.

Knowing that my efforts have done good for rural Cambodian children and families fills me to the brim with pride.

Another important partner in our portfolio is Smile Train – an NGO who provides free cleft palate surgeries for children. Cleft Palate is a disfigurement condition which affect speech, eating, and oftentimes, patients with this condition are the victims of stigma. We are on a mission to restore smiles to those who cannot so they can lead healthy and prosperous lives.

My dream is to try and help women get out of poverty, educate them and make them self-sufficient and independent.


If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who is trying to pave his or her own way, what would it be?

If I had to advise somebody who is trying to pave his or her own way to make a difference around the world, I would say:

  1. Have a heart or be compassionate: Put yourself in that person’s shoes and feel the pain or distress that person is feeling. One may not always be able to help in a material way, but some kind words and a listening ear would help.
  2. Read about people who are going through difficulties. Read books, articles, and biographies of people who have overcome their difficulties with the help of charity organizations or accounts social workers give when they report their findings. An example would be Melinda Gates – she is a visionary.
  3. Do your homework. There are a lot of untrustworthy organizations around who would take what you give them, and you do not see them again. Before opening your heart and your wallet make sure you speak to them and at length. If you hear/see red flags, they probably aren’t the most reliable group to fund or support.

For those of us who are on the search of what to do to help and with there being so many overwhelming issues in this world, can you share how you pinpointed, for yourself, which avenue to pursue?

As Emerson says:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

I wanted to be useful and therefore the avenue I pursued was in dentistry because I knew it was a craft that I could learn to make me effective, to make a difference. I use my skill in treating not only children but training communities to implement sustainable oral interventions themselves. What I would suggest for those searching for a path is develop the competency in a trade or craft in order to teach it to others. Then sustainable change can occur.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

If I had a Super Power, I would make all women independent somehow like rescuing women out of bondage especially those who are being trafficked and being abused. That is my wish and hope.

Chicken or Egg?

I do believe there was always something innate within myself that propelled me to help others. In that sense, my answer is Egg. However, that is not to say that people cannot become humanitarians. The first step in doing so is to step out of your comfort zone, see the world (if able), and connect with others that you normally wouldn’t meet. That is the foundation of empathy and therefore a good place to start a lifetime of service. 

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?

The biggest influence in my life has been my husband. He believed in me and gave me the liberty to progress as a Pediatric Dentist and supported me throughout my career. He was the one to think about setting up Foundations and how to make good judgement when disbursing resources to projects which will make a difference in people’s lives. He was the one who believed in my need to share with ones who needed help.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my 2 children. Samira who is part of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). She is change maker in her part of the institution. And my son who is the founder of a non-profit organization – Eco-Soap Bank. He is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people and children in the developing world.

Do ghosts exist?

I do not believe that Ghosts exist outside of you. They exist inside you in the form of bad thoughts or negativity. The point is: be positive, optimistic, and always believe in yourself.


What kind of music do you like?

I grew up listening to Indian Music, it is nostalgic and meaningful to me. When it plays, I am filled with vibrant memories, smells, and emotions.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? And no, you can’t start with the lessons you’ve learned this go around.

If I had to do this all over again, I would do exactly what I am doing in Philanthropy in a heartbeat but starting earlier and with more gusto. There are so many people who still need our help. I know there will be generation of change makers that come after me as well – and this gives me great pride and hope.


Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Gnat & Corky!

I am always in awe of people who pave their own way, write their own stories.  Why?  Because the climb is steep and there are a lot of places where you can lose your grip, fall.  And fall, you surely do.  So it’s all about what it takes to get back up.

That is exactly what this storytelling duo, Courtney Kotloski and Natalie Sorrentino, otherwise known as Gnat & Corky have done. They teamed up to write and illustrate their own children’s books, on their own terms.  The catch?  Each of their characters is based off of a real life child.  The goal?  To tell universal stories through these little beings.  For me, Courtney and Natalie are heroes because they use their talents to highlight someone else’s heroism.  So check out my two new #wcw and let yourself be inspired by these two beautiful ladies.

Gnat and Corky

You could have written about anything, so why base your characters on real children?
Children have a perspective that we sometimes forget still exists in all of us. Although these stories are about kids, there is something that everyone, at any age, can find and hold onto. This series is for dreamers- and children, of all people, seem to be able to bring a light back to anyone that has dimmed. The stories transcend age. The hope is that everyone can see himself or herself in the paint and hear themselves in the words.

Addison and Aasher Woods

What was one of the biggest challenges along the way and how did you deal with it?
Rejection- it’s always there. It’s a fear we all have, especially when you’re putting your heart and soul on the line. But, when you believe in something, you have to silence the negative thoughts, take a “no” graciously, and keep moving forward. Some of the greatest artists and writers we have ever known have had a seemingly insurmountable amount of “no’s”. Looking at his or her life story and the inspiration they bring, is tremendously insightful and can bring hope to anyone who is trying to fulfill a dream.

You had a specific vision about how you wanted to bring these stories to life. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone about to embark on a similar path?
Keep your soul. Don’t sell out. Work hard. Be humble and always be kind. (and drink the wine)

Chicken or egg?
Love- love always comes first.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Corky: Cure disease
Gnat: Time travel

Who has had the biggest influence in your life?
Corky: From a writing perspective- Shel Silverstein. I used to memorize his stories and poems and share them for show and tell. He was just a fearless, quirky, irreverent, funny, and unique man. I love all of his stuff. For the rest of it- I am honestly influenced by everything around me, because I’m probably the most sensitive person on Earth.
Gnat: It’s SO hard to pick one!  From a creative perspective, I will say, Jim Henson.  As a child, I would disappear into his world… the quirk, sweetness, sadness and at times, a little spooky.

Gnat and Corky Rendering

What are you most proud of?
Corky: My children- I still can’t believe I made them and with the love of my life!
Gnat: Ditto on above…My beautiful babies with the love of my life & soul-mate.

If you didn’t have to worry about making money, what would you do with your time?
Corky:  This.
Gnat: Continue painting & add some travel with the fam in there!

What’s one thing you’d do differently if you were to start this process over again?
It’s funny- there have been some bumps and some oopsies, but we ended up right where we need to be and we are still learning and growing. It’s a constant process of re-evaluating, strategy, leaps, and new horizons. We wouldn’t change a thing and we are so hopeful that world loves this series and these kids as much as we do!

What special qualities did you look for in the children you have chosen to write about?
Every child has something special to share. We wish we could write a story about every single kid who submits. Sometimes it’s just a really funny answer or an insight that needs to be explored deeper. Sometimes we go after a particular story because of the social impact and relevance. The responses to our questions are so funny and profound that we have created a book, “The Book of Answers” that will be published in the middle of the Gnat & Corky Series. This will be a sweet little book that shares the answers from the children that have submitted on our website (

Book Photo

Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

Doing Good in Rwanda

 I met Ayla Schlosser a couple of years ago at a conference at the UN.  Ayla had already started her ground-breaking organization called Resonate, which helps women gain strength and confidence through storytelling.  From the very start, Ayla’s passion has shown through.  She is a social entrepreneur through and through and I admire her greatly.  I hope to one day, be able to visit Rwanda and see Ayla in action.  

Changing things up a bit, I’ve asked Ayla to speak about Resonate herself.  I hope reading about what Resonate stands for and the positive impact Ayla’s work has had on women inspires you as much as it has inspired me.  With Love, Dilshad

What is Resonate?

Resonate uses storytelling to empower women and girls to build self-confidence and unlock leadership potential. We believe that, in addition to external skills, women also need the internal resources to be agents of change in their lives and their communities. The confidence gap exists globally – and in Rwanda and throughout East Africa that gap translates to missed opportunities for social and economic advancement. We partner with organizations teaching skills and education, and integrate our leadership training into their programs. Through this combination women not only get access to the skills and tools they need, they also develop the confidence and leadership to put those skills to use.


What inspired you to start Resonate?  Tell us about your personal journey which brought you here.

I grew up in a household with a strong feminist mother, a supportive father, and with the understanding that I could do anything I put my mind to. I got good grades, I played sports, I stood up for my friends, and I loudly voiced my opinions. I considered myself strong and in control. Yet I was unable to recognize or admit to myself or others that I was in an abusive relationship during college until almost 7 years after it ended. I was able to extricate myself from that relationship, but it changed my perception of strength and the origin of confidence. Despite my comfortable upbringing and feminist values, as a 20-year-old I didn’t have the ability to stand up for myself.

It wasn’t until I discovered the Storytelling for Leadership framework while working as a community organizer that I was able to fully understand the difference between standing up for an idea, and having the confidence to stand up for myself, and I knew that I couldn’t keep that important revelation to myself. We know that it is smart economics to invest in women, and that they have the potential to be drivers for social and economic development. Yet providing access to skills is not enough; in addition to hard skills and education women also need the internal resources required to take action. I want to contribute to a world in which every woman is confident and empowered to reach her full potential, and to create the changes that she wants to see in her own life, her family, and her community.

Why Rwanda?  Had you ever been before or did you arrive for the first time with the purpose to stay on?

After learning about the Storytelling for Leadership model in the US, I was intrigued by the power of the tool, and eager to use it to unlock the biggest pool of latent leadership potential: women in the developing world. When I discovered that no other organizations were using this model for women’s empowerment I knew I had to try it. I decided to pilot the program in Rwanda because of it’s unique situation regarding women’s leadership. 64% of Rwanda’s lower parliament is female – yet on a local level women are underrepresented in leadership roles. Resonate’s programs are designed to move participants from opportunity to action, and this is an incredible environment to demonstrate what is possible when top-down policies are coupled with grassroots efforts to close gender gaps.

Tell me about your initial steps to create Resonate.

Shortly after moving to Rwanda to pilot Resonate I met my co-founder, Solange Impanoyimana. Our backgrounds were incredibly different, but we had both independently arrived at the same passion: supporting women to reach their full potential. Solange was instrumental in helping me adapt US community organizing tools to the Rwandan context, and together we built out a program that suits the needs of our end-users.

What advice can you offer someone who is looking to make a positive change in this world?

At Resonate, one of our five core values is:

Believe in yourself: We engage in our work with confidence, knowing that each of us brings unique skills to the table. We see strength in authenticity and lead with the best, most honest version of ourselves.

Each of us has a unique capacity to make change, but the first step to doing so is recognizing our strengths and believing that we can. It sounds simple, but it’s supremely important, and it’s the same spirit we are trying to cultivate with the women we work with in our programs. If we allow the magnitude of the problems in our world to stop us before we even get started, we will never find solutions. There is no perfect time, and no perfect way…the most important thing is to just get started.

Or as we might say at Resonate…be like the hummingbird.

Did you know Resonate was going to be your end goal or was it an evolution through trial and error?

When I started Resonate really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had a crazy idea a way to use a proven methodology in a new context, and really didn’t know whether or not it would work. When I first moved to Rwanda I planned to go for six months for a pilot program…now it has been 3.5 years and we have conducted leadership training with more than 2,500 participants across East Africa!

Tell us about some of the positive impact Resonate has had…the fruits of your labor, so to speak…inspirational stories.

To me, the best part of my work is hearing the stories of the women we work with. As an example, we worked with a community in a coffee-growing region in Rwanda that had never had a female council member. Six months after our training two of our program graduates, Francine and Caritas, ran for and were elected to village council. Another past participant, Egidie, gained the confidence to start a shoe business and provide for her family, while Josette used her story to persuade a hospital to let her adopt a baby girl. Diane broke a long period of unemployment by using her story to win a prestigious job at UNHCR, and Aline now speaks so confidently about herself that she was offered a job at UAP Insurance. As these examples show, Resonate’s alumnae start businesses, join the workforce or improve their pay, join or start savings groups, put their children back in school, and invest in land purchases– to name just a few of the positive outcomes of our programs. Our success is in our ability to support the positive changes that our participants make in their own lives and communities.

Hear participants talking about their experience with the program here.


Describe a Resonate workshop for us.

Our core Storytelling for Leadership workshop usually takes place over 2 to 3 days. During that time, participants learn how to reframe how they think of themselves, and communicate in a way that reframes them in the eyes of others, and opens doors for new opportunities. In an overview format, participants:

      • Redefine leadership. We see leadership as a way of being: proactive in the face of a challenge
      • Identify Values. By examining how those values  influenced choices in their lives, participants  see themselves as agents of change in the trajectories of their lives.
      • Personal Story. Participants take one of those moments and use it to tell a personal story of a time when they have overcome challenge – after our redefinition of leadership this allows them to see and talk about themselves as leaders.
      • Inspire Action. Finally, participants learn to use that story as a way to get support or inspire action in an academic setting, community, or professional environment.

What are your next steps on your journey?  What goals do you have for yourself?

We have big goals for Resonate in 2017. After three years of operations we are still a startup, but it’s time for us to start getting serious about our long-term planning. We are embarking on a 3-year strategic planning process, and through our participation in the GSBI Accelerator build the systems and infrastructure necessary to scale our programs throughout East Africa and support more women leading change.

I hope you enjoyed this read!

Keep exploring and learn more about Resonate through their website and Twitter! #BeInspired xx

Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

The Women Who Fought Honor Killings

For me, storytelling is a powerful form of inciting change.  It can reach people in ways that facts, figures and news stories don’t always succeed in doing.  An incredible example of the type of storytelling I am talking about is the Oscar winning documentary short, A Girl in the River:  The Price of Forgiveness by director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.


This documentary shed light to honor killings in Pakistan in a way that had never been done before.  It resonated with so many people that political pressure mounted and forced Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, to speak up against honor killings and about closing the Forgiveness Loophole in the law which let murderers off the hook.  This set the ground for two women, from two very different backgrounds to be able to work together to close this loophole.

Let’s start with the documentary.

The documentary follows a young, 18 year old girl, Saba, who was shot and thrown into a river by her father and uncle.  She married a man whom her parents originally did want her to marry.  However, they changed their minds but Saba had already fallen in love with her original match.  The two married and Saba moved in with her in-laws.  (In Pakistan, it is traditional to move in with your husband’s family after marriage.)

Under the guise of supporting the marriage Saba’s father and uncle persuaded her to come home so they could give her a proper send off.  Instead, they stopped on the side of the road and attempted to kill her.  Somehow, Saba survived and her father and uncle were arrested.  Saba vowed never to forgive them.

When I watched the interviews with Saba’s family, I was taken back by their self-righteousness.  This included the mother and sister, as well.  They stood by the shooting.  They blamed Saba, saying she had brought this upon herself.  They spoke of her as an object.  Something they owned.  It was all eye-opening and shocking.  I couldn’t help drawing comparisons to domestic crime and rape victims.  There are lots of stories out there about honor killings, but rarely do we get to see this level of insight into the mentality behind honor killings.

Honor killings do result in arrests.  However, there is a large loophole.  If the family or in this case, the victim forgives the assailant, then the assailants are free to go.  Sometimes the families are given money to compensate for the loss of life and the assailant is free to go.  In the case that the family resists, there can be enormous pressure from the village elders and others within the community to put the issue to rest.  To move on with life so to speak.

That is what happened with Saba.  She did not want to forgive, but did so after enormous pressure was mounted on her and her husband’s family, by the village elders.  Her father and uncle were ultimately released from prison.

Enter two lawmakers from completely opposite sides of the aisle.  Their names are Shugra Imam and Naeema Kishwar.

When Sughra Imam joined Parliament, people began coming to her about women who had been killed in the name of “honor”.  Women who were forgotten about because they didn’t receive any media coverage.  Sughra started to draft a bill against these killings which would protect these women.  She wanted to do away with the forgiveness clause all together.  Her party being the majority, she knew she could get the bill passed, but she knew that in order for the new law to be enforced amongst law enforcement she would need the backing of the religious party as well.  Ultimately, her bill, though making it through the Senate, was lost in the National Assembly.


Naeema Kishwar is a conservative who has been consistently fighting for women’s rights.  She agreed with Sughra that “honor” killings should be punished but she believed in the forgiveness clause.


Together, Sughra and Naeema needed to work together to find a compromise.

By the time Naeema entered the picture, Sughra was no longer a member of the Senate.  It came upon Naeema to act as the go between, between her party and the government.  She knew taking out the forgiveness clause was something her party’s leader would not agree to.  She had to tread carefully.

Eventually with Sughra and Naeema at the helm, a compromise was reached.  Honor killings would carry a mandatory 25 year sentence.  However, the death penalty could be avoided through forgiveness.

You can read more details of how things unfolded here.

Thanks to the storytelling of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy which received worldwide attention, the atmosphere was prime for change.  It only took Sughra Imam and Naeema Kishwar coming together to fight for that change to take place.

So many women have lost their lives to this barbaric act.  My heart is with Saba and every woman whose only crime was to try to live their lives for themselves.  To do what makes them happy.  To question, defy and break societal chains meant to keep them tamed.

With this posting, in my own small way, I honor every woman in every country who is fighting for something as simple as a voice of her own in this world.

With love to each and every one of you. xx

Post Background Bottom

Post Background Top

My letter for you…

Ghandi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I believe these words could not be truer today.

Like a great many Americans I have been dealing with tears and a palpable fear. Fear that the very institutions and pillars, which are there to protect our basic human rights, are in danger. Unfortunately, I have not been proven wrong.

Grappling with this, I have come to realize that this will the toughest challenge yet. But where do we fall in this? What can we do? The greatest challenges define us.

What I have LOVED is seeing the outpouring of support and solidarity. People’s kindnesses in the face of hate. The simple hellos to and from strangers, seeing a gentleman carry a chair for an elderly lady, people checking in with those in their lives asking how they are holding up and letting them know that they are not alone.

Well I am here to tell you, you are not alone. I may or may not know you, but I know your pain and I know your fear and I will stand right beside you.

We each have a voice. We each have a choice. What we do with it is ours.

I will continue to write on my blog to raise awareness about incredible people so that we can learn about the greatness and goodness in human beings. So that we can learn from them and in their example know how powerful we can each be.

I will be factually informed and spread knowledge to the best of my ability.

I will stand up to bigotry and prejudices of all forms with love, kindness, awareness, knowledge and positive action. 

I will support organizations, which are in place to give voice to those who have none.

We will all come out on the other side of this. It’s what we do on the road there, which will define our humanity.

With Love, Dilshad

Post Background Bottom