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Influences | Books

As Lianne Raymond says

These are my teachers, “known and unknown” (meaning they don’t necessarily know me nor would they necessarily agree with everything I say or do — and vice versa — but at critical points in my career, their work has fed me and become part of my flesh):

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Here are some of people + books who have

grown me:

Dr. Barbara Bryant Solomon:

Whose social and academic work on black empowerment appears to be  one of the first articulations of “empowerment”; her textbook has been my touchstone.

Mr. Beech:

Who was the first teacher in my life to show me the gap between our democratic goals as a country and the harsh, oppressive realities (I did not take it kindly and I’m still mortified at my 14 year old self).

Lianne Raymond:

For being a feminist wise woman who knows things and has always sent resources my way and greeted me with compassion even when she doesn’t agree with my thinking or work.

Danielle LaPorte:

For seeing something in me nine years ago and championing me privately and publicly on before anyone knew of me or my work; and for materially helping me get started, online. I still get business because of her early support — and the significance of one woman using her influence and sharing her knowledge to help another woman develop a sovereign, sustainable livelihood can never be underestimated.

Dr. Lindo Bacon:

For their life-altering books, Health at Every Size and Body Respect (co-authored with Lucy Aphramor) and unending personal + professional generosity. HAES helped me stop hating myself and for this I am truly grateful.

Dr. Barbara Arniel:

For hiring me to be her research assistant while I was still an undergrad (!!) and mentoring me even before I realized that mentoring was a thing.

Toi Smith:

For her expert Online Business Management, her influence on the direction of my career, her unwavering friendship, and her capacity to be direct and say what needs to be said. That’s love and culture-making in action.

Gwynn Raimondi:

For opening me to the possibility of embodiment and helping me regulate my central nervous system on the daily and ESPECIALLY in times of trial (2017 was an unrelenting, 12 month inferno).

Jennifer McClanahan-Flint:

For coaching me into new culture making possibilities, for underlining the value in my analysis and the book I’m working on, forcing me to look at how many hours I *really* have available to work so that I finally saw the necessity of shifting my business model and raising my rates. What I learned with her emboldened me immeasurably in my culture making AND tripled my business income in a year.

Anna North:

For publishing me at Jezebel and Salon and being a possibility model in the professional world of words.

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Vicki Saunders, CV Harquail, PK Mutch, Meghna Majmudar, Tanya Geisler, Pam Singh, Astarte Sands, Dawn Serra, Justine Musk, Erin Lee Kaufman,  Dr. Danusia Malina-DerbenUna de Boer

For being points-of-inspiration, friends, or mentors along the way– in person and from afar.

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Thinkers, writers, speakers — culture makers! — who’ve formed me:

Chantal Mouffe, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Maya Angelou, Rebecca Solnit, Kate Harding, Marianne Kirby, Melissa Toler, Roxane Gay, Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw, Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones, adrienne maree brown, Sarah Schulman, Lindy West, s.e. smith, Rukaiyah Adams, Sonya Renee Taylor, Naomi Wolf, Susan Faludi, Jia Tolentino, Cedar Barstow.

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Can magazines be formative influences?

Because they have been:

Ms. Magazine and the early iteration of Sassy. But especially Ms. Magazine, my friend and feminist mentor since I was eleven years old.

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prah

As a possibility model. Although sometimes I feel like Oprah should come with a warning label for her views on dieting and weight loss, I often say I worship in the house of Oprah. I’m only half-joking. I feel like I grew up with her show and it shaped me. Of course, like most of the “unknown teachers” on this list, she has no idea I exist.

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S. Lawrence, S. Kelly, A. Young, J. Neufeld and F. Rostant:

For their love across the years. 

Dr. David Doolin:

For his friendship at a pivotal moment in my life, for helping me learn copywriting and trying to teach me about SEO. I say tried because I basically refused. Despite myself, I did absorb some critically useful stuff. I’m grateful.

Every week, I send you a

Sunday Love Letter

I write them so that…

  1. You remember your culture-making power
  2. You have the inspiration + tools you need to grow a business that generates money AND justice

Let’s create a future in which we all flourish.

Are you in?