It is what it is


Design by BlackPaint Studios

Until you’re resolved it’s not.

The time is now.

What it is, is not the way forward for women, girls and families.

Backbones. Not wishbones.

Voice your perfectly perfect resolve to be the change you want for the world.

Rise up. Be Visible.


13-year-old girls

What words pop into your head?

As a mother, maybe, Caring or Trouble or Sensitive or Shy or Passionate or Kind or Daring or maybe even Yikes!

How about this word?    Activist.

It’s likely the word activist is one Mary Beth Tinker’s mother may have used when describing her daughter.

In 1965 Mary Beth Tinker was 13. She and her friends made history – by being activists.

Armband Advocacy

Armband Advocacy

This young group of friends wore black armbands to school to mourn the Vietnam War dead and support the Christmas peace truce being urged by Robert Kennedy. Mary Beth was suspended as were others. Yet her 13-year old activism resulted in the landmark free speech Supreme Court Case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District.

In a few short weeks, on January 21st, people will gather for Women’s Marches in cities across the country showing their advocacy, their fortitude and their strength – just like Mary Beth Tinker did in 1965.

And just like Mary Beth Tinker, my daughter and I will be wearing our black armbands in the Women’s March on Madison on January 21st.

Thank you Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for working with women owned BlackPaint Studios to create this powerful reminder of advocacy while allowing us to support the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care.

How will your perfectly perfect 13-year-old heart, advocate for the issues and rights that are important to you?


Click here to order your Mary Beth Tinker inspired armband.


Silence is golden until it’s not.

Silence can harm.

Silence can violate.

Silence can shame.

Brave voices are needed to break through silences that destroy others.

Samantha speaking at the 2015 Marin Luther King rally calling for an end to sexual violence against women and students in Milwaukee.

Samantha Collier – a brave voice for sexual assault victims

Excessive silences surrounding human injustice represent your golden opportunity to let your heart speak-up and speak-out.

What does your brave heart have to say today?

Stop the show

Before understanding right from wrong, being good from being bad, we knew as young babes how to effectively advocate – so much so, sometimes requiring the attention and action of multiple adults.

As we begin to learn how to speak and learn societal norms – the yes pleases, the no thank yous, the yes sirs and no mams – the trade-off for some, seems to be less effective advocacy.

Not the case for pre-teen Nina Simone as shared by the National Women’s History Museum:

Nina Simone - Singer, Pianist, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist (1933–2003)

Nina Simone – Singer, Pianist, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist (1933–2003)

In 1945 when singer and pianist Nina Simone was just 12 years old, her parents tried to sit up front to see her piano recital. They were moved to the back to make room for white guests. Simone refused to play until her parents were moved back up front and her lifelong involvement with civil rights was born.

It takes courage and fortitude to advocate for your values whether you’re 12, 32, 62 or 102. Advocating for your values is not for the faint of heart. You will lose friends. You will be called names. You will be ridiculed. You may be threatened.

Having the courage to stop the show insures the music you value will play on for a lifetime and beyond.

Let your perfectly, perfect voice sing your beautiful song because no one can sing it like you can!


(Photograph by Jack Robinson, the Jack Robinson Archive, LLC;

Jump up!

FullSizeRender-55Ooh Baby, Baby, you’ve got to jump out of your safe zone and take the floor when it’s your turn to dance.

Especially when the floor is radiating with those standing up for women and families including:

  • FullSizeRender-58Cecile Richards, tireless advocate and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Dr Willie J Parker, reproductive justice advocate and the physician plaintiff in the federal lawsuit preventing the closure of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, a case currently in

    With Dr Parker

    request for hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court

  • Salt-N-Pepa the female hip-hop duo who use their art and their voices to deliver messages of safe sex, independence and respecting yourself as a woman

When it’s your turn, “shake your thang” and let your light shine. Your perfectly, perfect self is needed on the dance floor of advocacy and change on behalf of women, young people and families across the globe.

With Salt-N-Pepa dancer

With Salt-N-Pepa dancer

Jump on it!

Mirror image

What happens to your big dream when you go along to get along?

What happens to the outcomes of your first high profile project when you go along to get along?

What happens to your personal values when you go along to get along?

When you go along to get along, who do you see reflected in the mirror? Is she your perfectly, perfect brilliant self or someone else?

Get stuck!

My husband and I worked on a project several years ago for a non-profit. Creating refrigerator magnets with the words Love, Care, Serve was one way the project took shape. In order to save a few dollars, an inexpensive magnet backing was selected for the trio of magnets.

"Care" trashed

“Care” trashed

Earlier this week I walked into our kitchen to discover that “Care” had succumbed the same fate as the “Love” magnet had several months ago – the less expensive magnetic material had lost its efficacy, no longer sticking to the refrigerator. Unceremoniously into the trash went “Care” to eventually join “Love” at the landfill.

Yet the intention for the project was to keep all three magnets – Love, Care, Serve – front and center as an ongoing reminder of the non-profit. A reminder of encouragement as well as a reminder to support the organization with time and money.

Magnetic efficacy #fail

Magnetic efficacy #fail

If you want your project to “Serve” for the long haul with all of its components in place, you’ll need to ascertain just how committed you are. Are you willing to invest the time, energy and resources to make your project have magnetic efficacy, to have your project stick?

Are you willing to invest time, energy and resources into the people who will make your project thrive?

Are you willing to stay the course once the attorneys get involved with their “devil’s advocate” scenario building? Or, will the “devil’s advocate” suppositions compel you to abandon the project, and the people who have invested their love and care in the project? Will you go so far as to abandon your own values and fortitude for the project once legal-ease is spoken?

How magnetic is your project? How magnetic is your own resolve?

Love, Care, Serve with magnetism – make it stick!

Je Suis Charlie

Charting passion along a spectrum, you might expect to see such elements as:

  • Mind
  • Commitment
  • Strength
  • Energy
  • Soul
  • Heart
  • Altruism

How deep and how far along the spectrum does your passion extend for your work, your projects and the things you value in the face of adversity and opposition?  Êtes-vous Charlie?

Vive la France.

Oh, I insist!

Insistence – a determination. Digging in. Dogged. Relentless. Intent. Passionate. Vocal.

What do you insist upon?

What do you stand-up for?

What do you kneel in front of?

What do you get noisy about?

What do you insist upon when it’s uncomfortable, messy and people are watching?

Insistence.  When fueled by who you are at your core and your own north star, electrifying, radiant things evolve when you insist.  You find yourself taking a risk.  You find yourself making a difference in the world.  You find yourself advocating.

Give it a whirl.  Try it on.  I insist!

That Girl – she’s you!

Yesterday, as a family, we had the opportunity to catch a movie we’ve wanted to see since it opened in November: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. It was the perfect movie for New Year’s Day – a movie full of energy, inspiration and social justice.

Within the first few minutes of the movie there is an exchange between the characters Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) after President Coin has met the Mockingjay herself, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). The dialogue goes something like this:

Coin: She’s not the girl you described.

Heavensbee: People don’t always show up like you need them to.

Hmmmm. People don’t always show up like we need them to, do they?

Or, then again, maybe people do show up just like we need them to – we just don’t always recognize it in the moment. We’ve been culturally conditioned to expect that flawless girl with the “S” on her chest to appear.

Every day that girl has the opportunity to show up as her best self bundled with her perfectly perfect flaws and imperfections – the gorgeous flaws and imperfections making her best self all the more spectacular.

Every day that girl has the opportunity to show up as her best self to give the world all the love she has.

Every day that girl has the chance to make a difference.

Be that girl you love – she’s extraordinary. Show up and make a difference!

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