Alex In The City: V-Day 2014, Just LOVE

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I hope everyone had a wonderful V-Day!

I am not a Valentines day hating woman but I have spent my last 3 or four February 14th celebrating WOMANHOOD with VDay!

After performing in The Vagina Monologues at my University I found great interest in V-Day and dedicated time to it as an activist and as a feminist.

As I have shared before, my relocating to NYC has brought me closer to the home base of V-Day and in close quarters with the founder of V-Day,  Eve Ensler. This year I got to spend V-Day in the same room as her and a couple hundred other beautiful and generous women.

I completely fell in love with the works and words of Danielle Laporte, the Author of “The Desire Map.” Everyone at the Just Love event received a FREE, you read right,  a FREE  copy of The Desire Map Workbook when she spoke at the Just Love event. I cannot wait to dig into her books and blog and teachings and whatever I can find.

Spending V-Day with many many many beautiful and brave and outstanding women was more than I could have asked for.

The Hammerstein Ballroom was full of the love and energy that was filling buildings and hearts all over the world from Right here in NYC to The City of Joy in Bukavu!

Check out My pics below and visit http://www.onebillionrising.org/ to join the movement to end violence against women.

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RHA GODESS at V-Days JUST LOVE event20140219-160547.jpg

Danielle Laporte at at V-Days JUST LOVE event

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Eve Ensler at at V-Days JUST LOVE event20140219-160654.jpg

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Alex In The City: Hill Harpers “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother” Book Signing and Conversation at Brooklyn Restoration

20131113-193907.jpgThis weekend I got to meet one of my favorite people, for a second time! You may have heard of him, he attended Harvard with our current President, he is a NYTimes best selling author, an actor (Covert affairs and my personal favorites were his cameos on The Game and his role opposite my SISTER Dr. Kerry Marisa Washington in for colored girls) and an activist and advocate and probably 6 other awesome things I can’t think of right now but most of all he is close to me as a person that I look to for guidance and inspiration through his work so much so that when I decided to build my own outlet, this very blog, I used one of his quotes as the headline on the home page.

Hill Harper.

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I met Hill for the first time at Essence Magazines annual Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Hill was on a panel at the convention center and he took time after the panel to take photos and sign books. I have a funny story about how I got my book (The Conversation) signed that I won’t share the details of today but it was so worth it. When I heard hill was coming to Brooklyn I HAD to be there. Not to mention Brooklyn Restoration is so close to where I live.

I had just recommended Letters to an Incarcerated Brother to someone on twitter who was looking for a good read when I stumbled into the Greenlight bookstore to pick up a calendar of events that included Hills presentation. I immediately texted my friends inviting them to join because I was surely going and I was definitely buying the book.

What I love most about Hills books is that you don’t just read the book, you have homework to do afterward and you can always pass the book on and bless someone else’s life with it, unless of course its hand signed by Hill himself in which case you Share some integral passages via email with those you think my benefit from it in order to avoid having the person you loaned said autographed book to losing it without a trace (yes I’ve had an unanticipated parting with my first copy of the conversation).

Hills most recent book “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother” addresses the mass incarceration issue in the United States and more specifically in the African American and poor communities.

Hill began his presentation asserting that Mass Incarceration is an issue that no one talks about and later recounted part of his struggle with his publishing process was his fight with a publishing house that was convinced that this was an issue that Hills audience, or anyone for that matter, are not concerned with or interested in the issue.

He guided the audience to the first passage in the book; A letter from an imprisoned 16 year old boy that after reading Hills first book (Letters to a Young Brother) wrote Hill a very honest and moving letter from, but not in the usual fashion of moving and honest letters like we get from loved ones. The letter made it evident that the young man was writing and probably also reading at roughly a 4th grade reading level for an average American child. After reading the letter Hill recalled asking himself “Had he failed us or have we failed him.”

Thanks to Hills commitment to young men and women, to his community of readers and fans and his understanding of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. he admits to carrying with him “We are all tied together in a garment of mutual destiny” Hill took a pay cut and put up a fight to publish this book and make it an agent for change.  You can purchase the book HERE. The book includes a list of prisons to send a copy to via the warden for the Prison library.

Check out my throwbacks with Hill and a few Photos from Saturday night Below !

 

 

love!

 

Alexandria!
XOXO

 

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Alex in the city: DIANA NYAD SWIMMING FOR RELIEF

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Aside from Scandal one of my favorite shows to watch is Super Soul Sunday on OWN! It really is like my church sometimes.

Well this past Sundays episode put a spotlight of an amazing woman by the name of Diana Nyad.

If you’re not familiar with Diana, I wasn’t before Sunday, she is most recognized for her swim from Cuba to Florida at age 64 and a few attempts of that very swim before she succeeded.

What did this have to do with my Tuesday you ask? Well I got to see Diana in action yesterday as she swam in a two lap makeshift pool in Herald Square here in NYC. If Diana were not inspirational enough already she is completing a 48 swim as a part of the Swim for Relief campaign to help Hurricane Sandy Survivors.

A few other notable swimmers were also part of the relief swim including a cool guy, you might have heard of him his name is OLYMPIC MEDALIST RYAN LOCHTE!!!!!

I did not get to see Ryan swim but I did see Diana and write an inspirational message to her on the Tampax wall. (Could proctor and gamble not think of anything other than a Tampax wall, sounds like something not nearly as pleasant as it was). While I was there I took a few shots, check them out below!!!

Also check out more info on the swim for relief campaign here or send an inspirational tweet to Diana at her twitter handle @diananyad ! If you are in The City stop buy and cheer on the swimmers!

love!

Alex
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Thank you for reading! If you like it SHARE IT! You can pin my photos, share this blog on twitter, tumblr etc and even subscribe using the options below this post!!

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New Year, New Vision Board

I am opening up in a new way. I believe so strongly in my vision board and the law of attraction that I usually only create my board with those very close to me and it does not leave my room once it is up. I feel compelled to share my testimony and knowledge with others so I am sharing.

I always say that every genius (visionary) needs someone that they can trust their vision with and that it should be kept in a sacred place. I still hold that idea to be true and I am not spilling my guts here but I am sharing more than I ever have before.

A vision board is a physical representation of goals and aspirations and visions that we have for ourselves. Each board is created using magazines and newspaper clippings or anything else to create a collage of sorts with words and images that are a reminder of goals and personal beliefs and creeds, wise words, positive motivation, reassurance and affirmation all targeted towards ATTRACTING what what it is that we want from life. Your vision board should be put up in a place where you can see it everyday. I suggest creating a vision board in an environment that is filled with positive energy and friends or family but if you are more in tune when you are alone, do it alone.

I usually create my vision board at a vision board brunch with my closest friends and family. The brunch is complete with fruit and cheese snack-plates wine, mimosas, frittata’s, laughter, good conversation and positive energy!

I also recommend reading or watching or listening to the secret or any other books that share the intricacies of the law of attraction. The concept is not simply about putting the glue and scraps on the $.79 poster-board, without context and knowledge and belief in the power of what you are creating it really is not what you intend for it to be. Read some literature on the subject when you get a chance.

I hope this informs and inspires someone that needs it!

Stay beautiful people!

Made with Love!

-Zan

Keep your face to the Rising Sun

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Being that I am deliberate and sometimes overly analytical I decided to take my own approach to buying my 3-year-old cousins birthday gift. I am not a parent yet but I love children and I’ve had my fair share of time being a part of the village it takes to raise a child. Through that time and through time spent reflecting in my younger years and how they helped mold me into the person I am today by creating an OK base for me to build on I have come to understand how important it is for young children to be handled carefully and wisely. I try to be a positive contribution to that process with my younger family members and I was especially glad to do so this weekend when I found what, to me, is the coolest Barbie of all time!

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Yes, that is a President Barbie! Yes, they even had her as a woman of color! I was delighted, to say the least to be gifting this amongst other things to my young cousin. Even if she doesn’t understand or even realize, I was giving her more than just a doll. I felt like I was giving her something that helps her increase her positive self image, something that lets her know what possibilities life holds and let her know that I believe in her, myself, other girls and women no matter where they come from or the color of their skin. Not to mention the recent re-election of our President, who happens to be a man
Of color making history, this was a really fun gift to give. A huge thanks to the White House Project and Matel for helping put such a great product on the shelves, and one of my favorite retailers, Target, for having it in stock!

I hope my little bitty birthday gift does at least a little something special for the young queen!

I also got her a book, I am, of course a huge advocate for early childhood development, parental engagement etc etc, so I got her one of the great books from my childhood; Brown Bear, Brown Bear!

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I am proud of my little cousin and I hope she enjoys her gifts. I look forward to seeing her in the coming years as she blossoms and spreads her wings learning to love life as a young Queen, to live it to the fullest and to never be afraid of how great she is becoming.

Love
-Zan

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