5 Tips for Effective Leadership During a Crisis

Posted by presspass on
5 Tips for Effective Leadership During a Crisis

To receive the Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Lisa Michaels, as a companion to the interview with Melissa Lamson and her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Managing Effectively in a Complex Global Business Environment that aired on June 30, 2020.


When a crisis hits, some companies survive and thrive afterward, while some perish. Often, what distinguishes these two is good leadership.

As a leader, your role is critical during a crisis. Everyone will look to you to help them make sense of the situation and lead the way out.

Below are some critical steps you should take to reduce the impact of the crisis and emerge stronger.

#1 Communicate with Transparency and Immediacy

Once an incident happens, be quick to communicate and provide much-needed details. Be transparent, no matter how dire the situation is. Transparency allows you to reestablish trust, while immediacy ensures people hear the unbiased news from you, not from others.

This type of communication is important for both your employees and people outside your organization. You will need to repeatedly keep people informed about developments.

Communicating the bad news early to employees is important as people need to be aware of the gravity of the situation to act accordingly.

A good example of effective crisis communication is when one Virgin Group spacecraft crashed, leading to the death of one pilot and the injury of another. The founder and head of the company, Richard Branson, quickly went to the scene of the incident and posted ample updates.

The company showed true concern for the pilots’ families. They then continued to work towards successfully achieving its mission in honor of the pilot’s life. These steps prevented reputational damage to the company.

#2 Lead by Example

You will be the one who sets the tone during a crisis. Your employees will often respond in the same way as you do. If you respond calmly and responsibly, your employees will follow suit. If you live in denial, then others will not likely feel any sense of urgency.

A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that self-discipline, or lack thereof, is contagious. If you find that someone on your team is panicking, it is better to talk to them privately and ask them to stay away from others until they can contain themselves.

It is also essential to maintain a hopeful attitude and not show despair in front of your team. Your team morale is your responsibility, and your behavior has a significant impact on it.

#3 Provide Support to Employees

Crises are said to hit organizations, but in fact, they hit people. As a leader, you need to genuinely empathize with your employees and mitigate the damage.

One German company showed wisdom in its approach to cutting costs in the face of the global financial crisis in 2008 without hurting the wellbeing of its employees.

The company offered its employees to work half time or less based on the actual demand for their services, instead of being laid off. The employees took it well and trusted the management team more.

Once the economy recovered, the company rehired the employees on a full-time basis. The lesson is that you should think about the well-being of people, and people will take care of your company.

Moreover, good leaders show responsibility and concern even if the crisis is not their fault.

An example is Johnson and Johnson’s response to the death of seven people who consumed Tylenol. The company knew Tylenol was not the cause, but it chose to recall the capsules, communicate actively, and establish a hotline to answer queries from worried consumers.

While the recall cost the company a lot of money, it kept the company in good standing. As a leader, you should act responsibly and do what is good for the majority of people involved. It will reflect well on your organization.

#4 Think Ahead to Maintain Operations During the Crisis

A crisis subjects your company to a harsh test. When this happens, people wonder whether the company will still exist after the crisis is over. This is why it’s important to conduct a business continuity planning exercise in advance.

The scope of business continuity planning includes steps to improve business resiliency in case a potential threat is materialized to ensure that operations continue during a crisis.

This involves all major systems which should continue to run in case of a major disruption. In today’s environment, the most vital system in most organizations is the IT system. Therefore, response plans for disruptions to the IT system should be established, and you should be able to migrate your databases if needed.

A good business plan usually includes a disaster recovery plan, but the two should not be confused. A continuity plan ensures that operations continue (or endure), whereas a recovery plan is a plan to come back from a major disaster, such as recovering a large dataset after it is lost.

The high failure rates of business following disasters, such as a fire or major hacking, show that both plans are critical for the organization’s resilience. Proper execution of those plans ensures that companies survive and people maintain their jobs.

#5 Develop Other Leaders

Good leaders empower other people to become leaders themselves, rather than gather followers around them. Good leaders request honest feedback and hear criticism. They are humble and realize that they are imperfect and can benefit from people’s views and opinions.

Moreover, true leaders democratize their organizations. They make others feel valued and empower them to become leaders themselves.

Unfortunately, those qualities are rare, but you can stand out as a leader and build a flatter and more resilient organization.

Final Thoughts

Crises are there to test what you are made of as a leader. You need to rise to the occasion, come up with solutions quickly, and lead your team through implementing them while staying compassionate.

You will also need to pay attention to people’s morale. You can be honest with your employees about the situation, while still offering hope at the same time.

It is often this honesty and hope that will empower the team to endure, and possibly offer lessons to other teams in the future.


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author


Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.


Photo source: Pexels

Pivots for the Planet with the Goddess Gardener

Posted by presspass on
Pivots for the Planet with the Goddess Gardener

garden mirror.jpg

“I should like to enjoy this summer flower by flower as if it were to be the last one for me.” Andre Gide

Summertime and the living is easy! Or is it? 

This year will be a year like no other highlighted by the frightening health pandemic and sorrowful civil unrest. As the economy slowly re-opens, people are clamoring to shop, dine, socialize, get haircuts, and have their teeth cleaned. The line of masked individuals waiting outside reopened stores for their turn to enter is a testament to the yearning to gather. Protesters fill the streets across the country demanding needed national changes. It’s time to listen, re-evaluate, and educate ourselves. Connecting with the natural world is one prescription for finding healing and balance. 

Path through tagnerines and lemons.jpg

While I was researching grants to assist the literacy charity, Be the Star You Are!® ( financially survive during this crisis, I marveled at a constant question: How have you pivoted?  At first, I had no idea what that question meant. What did we have to do to pivot? Where were we supposed to pivot to? After many Zoom conferences, meetings, webinars, and phone meetings, I finally understood. 

BTSYA be a leader logo square.jpg

But how can pivoting apply to gardening? The entire world is experiencing chaos.  People who have spent minimal time with nature, who have never thought of growing anything, have become interested in planting and protecting. I’ve had emails from individuals from many walks of life who want to get their hands in the dirt as they are sheltering at home. As they decide to pivot, nature is a salve. When times are stressful, gardens become a refuge. Shoveling, digging, pruning, planting, and watching seedlings grow into something to admire or eat are therapeutic endeavors. 

Whether you decide to grow a few herbs on a windowsill, tomatoes on a balcony, or an abundance of your favorite vegetables, flowers, and fruit in a large garden, there is nothing better than a summer of flavor and colors grown in your personal paradise. When you pivot to your garden, you’ll slow down a bit and feel appreciation. Research consistently indicates that being around growing plants benefits you physically, psychologically, and emotionally. You’ll decompress, gain more muscle mass, increase aerobic endurance, reduce stress, and experience more joy. 

rosemary in bloom.jpg

Summer has always been my most favorite season because of the delightful warm weather and bountiful baskets of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs that I harvest from my orchard and potager. The plethora of glorious blooms constantly changes keeping my elation peaked. Unlike most people, I prefer not to travel in the summer months to other destinations. Instead, the beauty of my backyard becomes the playground for family and friends where we barbecue, engage in lawns games, watch the flamboyant sunsets, and wander the grounds watching the parade of wildlife.


Flowering plants are hummingbird, bee, and butterfly magnets while the seeds attract the birds. Agastache, echinacea, hollyhock, and roses enchant for months. In my orchard, the loquats, mulberries, tangelos, citrus, and plums are ripe. The birds, deer, turkeys, squirrels, and I skirmish for our fair share. Soon apricots, prunes, and peaches will be ready for harvesting and the wrangling will begin again. I adore these encounters with nature. There is abundance for all.

mulberries close up.jpg

My field of chamomile is richly fragrant and the petals when plucked and dried will make a comforting tea. The seeds from nigella (love in the mist) have scattered throughout the orchard creating a sea of blue. Bumblebees race from star-shaped blossom to blossom grabbing the sweet nectar. Roses mixed with osteospermum (African daisy) will provide continuous blooms into the fall with frequent deadheading. Lovely on the shrub, the blue hydrangeas are almost as stunning in a dried arrangement.

blue hydrangea.jpg

An intriguing plant is arum italicum, also known as Italian Lords and Ladies. In late spring, the creamy-white flower is cupped at the base of the plant resembling its relative, Jack-in-the-Pulpit. In mid-summer, striking red-orange berries rise in a columnar formation where the foliage has died back. This tuberous perennial plant self-sows and can become invasive if your yard is small. If you have a woodland area where bergenia, heuchera, or hellebores thrive, it is quite stunning. Beware, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Don’t let it grow in your vegetable patch!

arum italicum, aka Italian Lords and Ladies.jpg

This summer is destined to be unusual. I plan on adhering to Covid-19 directives to shelter-in-place while refraining from attending large gatherings or even small ones. I’m working from home, wearing a mask and gloves whenever I venture out, constantly maintaining a minimal six feet distance between others, and am continuing to sanitize everything. Hopefully, we won’t go back to what was considered normal in the past and instead take better care and be more aware, of one another and the health of our planet.

cynthia brian-green mask.jpg

This year I am happy and grateful to enjoy the summer flower by flower. My planet pivot is to play in my personal garden paradise.

What’s your planet pivot?

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Wash your hands. Cover your face!


Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

PIVOT for stress relief to your garden sanctuary.

PREVENT grubs (the larvae of June bugs) by treating your lawn with an organic granular treatment to get rid of larvae. Raccoons, skunks, and moles enjoy grubs as a source of protein.

BOND with children or a partner by planting edibles you will enjoy together. 

DRESS for the dirt by donning gloves, sunscreen, hat, and an apron. If you are doing heavy weeding, wearing overalls is a win.

DRY three to five sprigs of blue hydrangeas for a long-lasting summer arrangement.

chamomile i bloom (1).jpg

COLLECT the white blossoms of chamomile for a soothing tea.

PLANT Lilliputian miniature roses in a container for a moveable dash of color.

miniature roses, oseospernum.jpg

PICK a basket of mulberries if you are lucky enough to have a tree.

GROW citrus to maintain a constant supply of vitamin C. Dwarf varieties of lemons, limes, tangerines, tangelos, oranges, and grapefruit are available to be grown in half barrels.

ciron lemons, loquats (1).jpg

PREVENT fires by removing debris, dead branches, and refuse from around your home and yard. 

CUT all tall grass and keep lawns and shrubs watered.

SAVE rose petals to make bath balms and rose water splashes.


SUCCESSION planting is the key to a plentiful supply of summer greens including lettuces, arugula, beets, carrots, and radishes. Sow your favorite seeds every three weeks as you consume.

CHECK yourself for ticks after every outdoor excursion. (To date, I’ve removed three!)

ADD hydrogen peroxide to fountains to purify the water without harming the birds.

MAINTAIN social distancing and wear a mask when you leave your home.

TAKE care of Mother Earth. 

purple statice (sea lavendar).jpg

BE SAFE on Independence Day. 

Photos and more at

Happy gardening. Happy growing. Have a flowerful 4th of July!

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at 

cyntha brian with books.jpg

Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.



Posted by presspass on

“It was a complete joy to be a guest on Dr. Jean Marie Farish’s LOVE LIGHT show. I was very impressed with her professional approach and her open hearted hosting style.  From start to finish I knew I was in excellent hands.  The dress rehearsal call a few weeks before the show as very helpful. I loved her suggestions as we went over the flow of the show and the questions.  The best part was the actual show where Jean’s interviewing style ignited joy with her welcoming and engaging questions! I felt like I was talking to one of my close friends that truly understood me.  She’s a true gem!  I’m hoping to get the opportunities to be a returning guest!”                 

-Dede Lyons, Author, Empowerment Coach,  Motivational Speaker, Founder of Feel Good Express Lifestyle Program

Connecting with Your Angels and Unseen Helpers”  June 12, 2020


It’s All About Love

Posted by presspass on
It’s All About Love

Dr. Jean Marie Farish, Author for Sivana East.  Articles published in Sivana East:

Heaven On Earth: The Art Of Conscious Living conscious living/

Five Spiritual Principles To Recover After Loss

Why We Must Be Kind To Be Truly Happy

Why the World Needs Love, Now More Than Ever

Covid-19: What does the future hold?

Posted by presspass on
Covid-19: What does the future hold?

Join me this Thursday, June 25/20, as I continue our monthly chat with Regina Phelps about Covid-19. Covid-19 is going to be with us for some time yet, especially with the numbers we’re seeing around the globe. We’ll talk about what’s happening around the globe right now and what we can expect in the future. Regina will also talk to us about the latest news with regards to vaccines and therapeutics. It’s another informative episode you won’t want to miss.

Success in Life Begins with TRUST

Posted by presspass on
Success in Life Begins with TRUST

To receive the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Mark Given, Founder of the Trust Based Philosophy. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Success Begins with Trust that aired on June 22nd, 2020.


In leadership, sales, relationships and in all aspects of life, success and happiness has always been built on a foundation of TRUST.

You already know that to find fulfillment, people need a life-long quest for growth and learning.

Building, maintaining, and repairing Trust are all key parts of that growth and the evidence often slaps us right in the face…nearly every day.

People (maybe even you) leave companies every day, not just because of poor products or unsafe conditions, but because of lousy untrustworthy leadership. Customer trust is regularly so low that repeat rates are consistently and dismally small. Even in human relationships lack of trust is painfully evident and cities everywhere are experiencing riots in the streets.

The concept of TRUST has been taught by many well respected and admired authors, philosophers, psychiatrists, and business experts for years. What’s lacking in their reports though is the actual science practice of establishing, building and maintaining trust.

Having been focused on the study and practice of trust for nearly four decades, I discovered what I believe to be the essence of how to build and maintain deeper levels of Trust.

I call it the Pyramid of Trust:

  1. Introduction Facet or your Grand Opening phase
  2. Rapport Facet – or the question and listening phase
  3. Maintenance Facet – or generously giving not taking phase
  4. Repair Facet – or the sincere and transparent apology phase

Speaking of the Introduction Facet, research from a recent 15-year Harvard University study showed that if adults assume their ability to discern trustworthiness in strangers is a skill honed over a lifetime, they are wrong. Even children ages 5 and 6 make the very nearly the same judgment about the trustworthiness of adults, and children ages 3 to 4 were only off by just a few percentage points from adults.

People make inferences (right or wrong) about strangers’ characters within 50 milliseconds of viewing them and a NYU study showed the results to be even less (33 milliseconds). In today’s words, we call that profiling, and while they are profiling you, YOU are profiling them too!

You can improve this negative impression someone might have of you in part by moving from a two-step greeting to a three-step greeting, making your initial introduction more about the other person than yourself. The key is to move your dialogue from the emphasis on YOU to focusing on THEM, and the results have been shown to be quite amazing.

In the Building Rapport Facet, a smart person will learn to ask more questions and really listen to the answers. Recently, in an interview Jack Canfield did with me on my Trust Based Philosophy books, Jack offered a wise thought. He said, “focus on becoming more interested than interesting”. Jack is exactly right (and he wisely gave the credit for this wisdom to his wife Inga).

The benefit is three-step greeting principle is that, when done properly, you learn much more about the other person which allows you purpose driven reasons to massage the relationship, stay in touch and serve them better (assuming they are a good match for you personally and professionally).

To succeed in the Maintenance Facet, you focus on becoming more of a giver than a taker. Read the wonderful book The Go-Giver by my friends Bob Burg and John David Mann and you will better understand the importance, relevance and success that come from being a giver. Building TRUST is maintained over a lifetime. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

And finally, assuming you are actually human…we all make mistakes. We say and do foolish things. Understanding the proper art and science of the Apology Facet is life and business changing.

You already know how hard it can be to effectively and successfully apologize and yet you also know how important it is to your happiness, profitability, and the growth of Trust.

Creating a successful life and business is hard. Maintaining valuable relationships is difficult.

The results of better understanding, creating, and maintaining deeper levels of TRUST are what will bring you the joy and success you are seeking.

Become a master of “The TRUST Based Philosophy” and life will be your oyster. I guarantee it!


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Mark Given is an Amazon #1 selling author of 8 books and has been teaching the importance of TRUST for four decades.

Because of his observation and experience both personally and professionally, he has written four top selling books under the theme The Trust Based Philosophy.

Trust Based Leadership – Proven Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading

Trust Based Selling – Proven Ways to Stop Selling and Start Attracting

Trust Based Success – Proven Ways to Stop Stressing and Start Living

Trust Based Networking – Proven Ways to Stop Meeting and Start Connecting


Coming soon:

Trust Based Time Management – Proven Ways to Stop Dawdling and Start Achieving

Trust Based Entrepreneur – Proven Ways to Make the Money YOU Want without Forfeiting the Time that YOU Crave

Trust Based Referrals – Proven Ways to Stop Chasing Strangers and Start Captivating YOUR Sphere of Influence


You can reach Mark at:

Photo by LisaAttractLove–2628503

Lirit Rosenzweig Topaz – What Makes Her Tick and How Did She Become Such A Powerhouse in Animation?

Posted by presspass on
Lirit Rosenzweig Topaz – What Makes Her Tick and How Did She Become Such A Powerhouse in Animation?

We recently had privilege of talking with Lirit Rosenzweig Topaz who has 20 years experience as a producer of animation, TV shows, film, music videos and live events.  Ms. Rosenzweig Topaz is the founder and executive producer at Neko Productions, an animation studio based in Burbank, CA, and the founder and owner of FBF Animation, an online animation school that trains animators and concept artists all over the world. As executive producer of Neko, Lirit has worked on a large variety of projects for big brands such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Marvel Avengers, Harry Potter, Barbie and produced the animation in the feature film Ask Dr Ruth, which premiered at Sundance and Tribeca 2019.  The film has been distributed in theaters by Magnolia pictures and is currently streaming on Hulu. Come join us to discover what makes Lirit Rosenzweig Topaz tick and how she bacame such a powerhouse in the world of animation.

Interviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

KIDS FIRST! Chats with Angela C. Santomero, Chief Creative Officer, 9 Story Media Group

Posted by presspass on
KIDS FIRST! Chats with Angela C. Santomero, Chief Creative Officer, 9 Story Media Group

Join us as we interview a woman who has been changing the way kids watch TV for over 20 years. Angela C. Santomero is the Emmy Award-winning creator and Chief Creative Officer at 9 Story Media Group. She is the Angela C. Creator & Executive Producer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Blue’s Clues, Wishenpoof, Creative Galaxy & Super Why and has created award-winning kids and family content for PBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Studios and more!

With a Masters in Child Developmental Psychology from Columbia University-Teacher’s College, Angela’s vision for integrating educational curriculum into entertaining content for kids led her to co-create, executive produce and head write Nick Jr. ‘s landmark series, Blue’s Clues. Malcolm Gladwell referred to Blue’s Clues as “One of the stickiest TV shows EVER made,” in The Tipping Point.

Angela is the recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Childrenʹs Programming. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Series at the 2019 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Additionally, Ms. Santomero’s book PRESCHOOL CLUES: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World (Touchstone) was released April 2018. Her second book RADICAL KINDNESS: The Life Changing Power of Giving and Receiving was released in 2019.

Interview by KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Ryan R., age 17

Social Media:

Twitter – @AngelasClues

Instagram – @AngelasClues


JuneTeenth-Freedom Day

Posted by presspass on
JuneTeenth-Freedom Day

black lives blackwhite.jpg

Read the newsletter:

page1image51763296 page1image51758304page1image66488192


“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” Martin Luther King Jr.

MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, marks the end of slavery in the South on June 19, 1865. As PBS proclaims, “in this sixth month of the non-stop stunner that is 2020, the country finds itself in a period of education and reckoning of the racism embedded in its birth.”

I write this message to apologize for using the “color blind” analogy in our previous newsletter. After sending out the newsletter to share solidarity, a few of our dedicated BTSYA volunteers politely emailed to inform me that the use of the words “color blind” is offensive in todays vernacular. (You may read excerpts below) I thank these brave individuals for their courage to stand up, express themselves, and educate all of us,

specifically me. One of my mottos has always been “Failure is fertilizer. Throw your mistakes on the compost pile and grow a new garden.” I made a mistake and from that I learned so much. I am sorry.

We are living in unprecedented times and the world is in chaos with Covid-19 and the largest wave of civil unrest since the 1960s, spurred by outrage over police brutality and racism. Here at Be the Star You Are!® we are INCLUSIVE. We don’t tolerate bigotry, racism, or any other negative attitude towards any race, religion, gender, culture, or viewpoint. We stand together as a colorful united family of brothers and sisters from many different countries and backgrounds. Take a peek at our website, or our teen radio show at and you’ll see that our volunteers represent the nations of the world. We are very proud to stand for freedom and equality for all.

My acting union, SAG-AFTRA released the following statement from President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David P. White on the murder of George Floyd. It states more eloquently what we at Be the Star You Are!® believe so I share this with you.

“The murder of George Floyd is deeply emblematic of a corrosive inequality and injustice at the heart of America. As protests spread across the country it is not enough to condemn injustice. It’s not enough to demand change. We must recognize that racism lives in our culture and only we can change that. We must speak up in the face of injustice and fight back against the indignities our fellow citizens face every day. We must be defenders and allies. We must be better than this.The ugly truth is that Mr. Floyd’s killing was one among many murders of black people over many years. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Jr., Marsha P. Johnson, Emmett Till, and the list goes painfully on and on stretching back for centuries. It must end. Black lives do matter.”

Again, I apologize if the newsletter offended, Please forgive me. It was never my intention to be offensive in any way.

There is no room for bigotry, brutality, or racism in our world. We are all on a learning curve and open to all feedback. Although we are all sailing together in this time of pandemic, I recognize that we are not in the same boat.

This is a time to be kind. To help one another. To be inclusive. We will not tolerate injustice. When we embrace diversity we increase peacefulness. Let’s remember that love always wins when kindness prevails. Smiles will keep us happy.

Juneteenth is not currently recognized as a Federal holiday but by celebrating it, we take one step forward towards reconciliation and the fight for freedom for all.

We want to hear from you. How do you demonstrate that Black Lives Matter? We’re interested in your thoughts and actions. Send your comments (less than 50 words) to our Kindness Coordinator, Karen Kitchel at by June 30. We will include a variety of responses (first name only) in our July newsletter.

I know I’m going to make many more mistakes. We all will. But let’s learn and grow from them. We are COLOR BRAVE!

Be strong, be brave, be safe.

And don’t forget to also celebrate Father’s Day on June 21. A salute to all the great dads of every color and creed.

In solidarity,

Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556



“I’m emailing you now about the newsletter I recently received that was titled Become Color Blind. I understand the need to be in unity in this fight against institutional racism and police brutality, so I do appreciate your response on this. But I feel that asking everyone to “become color blind” is counterproductive and incredibly tone deaf in light of recent events.

Saying you are color blind says that you ignore the fact that oppression/racism exists for people of color like me. As recent events have shown, we are all not treated equally, unfortunately. I in no way mean to attack you, but this was something I found to be offensive. Put short, I feel there are better ways voicing your support.

Here is a video that might help explain some of what I said
better. Sincerely,
Anika ”

“I admire all of the work you do in order to enrich the lives of young people. I received your email earlier this week regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and in it you stated that your organization is ‘Color Blind’, I know this statement is not meant to have malice or be hurtful. So I felt obligated to explain why this popular statement is damaging and can make people of color feel uncomfortable.

I am Latina and for me this statement, while well intentioned, can feel as if my unique experiences with being Mexican are overlooked. We can no longer be colorblind, we must recognize people’s experiences and understand that someone who is Black has had a different experience than someone who is Asian. To say that your organization is ‘Color Blind’ diminishes the experiences of POC. While we all bleed the same blood we are all experiencing a different reality, while some of us may never struggle because of the color of our skin others will have to live in fear because of theirs. And these differences need to be acknowledged. What you must strive for instead is to not be color blind, but to be actively Anti-Racist. Being anti-racist means that you are actively acknowledging other experiences while educating yourself on how to be a better ally. We must realize and digest how Black people in our country carry the weight of hundreds of years of systematic oppression and learn how to fight for a system that values Black lives. Color blind and anti-racist are not interchangeable and while one diminishes the existence of oppression and experience the other acknowledges oppression and actively tries to counteract it.

I wanted to contact you to explain this because I know that your email had the best intentions and did not mean to diminish any experiences. I am very happy to see your organization be so accepting and so against discrimination. I wanted to mention that I mean no disrespect in sending this email to you and solely wanted to let you know how this term has changed and evolved. I understand that the words I use today when it comes to fighting against discrimination will be replaced in the future with other terms better suited for the fight against racism. I am very happy that I worked with a group that has taken a firm stance on this issue and I wish you all the best.

If my definition was not very clear here are some resources that may explain it better than I could: colorblind-heres-why-thats-bad-everyone/ is-form-racism

Thank you for reading this and hearing my perspective in this issue. Best,


Don’t live your life by default, live by design.


Passions into Profits Women’s Summit

Hosted by Jane Applegath at

Summit begins on June 20th, 2020 with a special guest featured each day .Be the heroine of your own epic life. Watch and learn from a league of leaders and trailblazers to help you to lead a life you love. Your dreams can be your reality!

Cynthia Brian is the featured guest on June 25th. FREE registration.

As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program ( operation-hurricane-disaste), Be the Star You Are!® has collaborated with the Authors Guild to showcase the new books launched by many authors from around the country in a variety of genres. We will also be showcasing artists, actors, and musicians, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity and believe that books, art, music, and film provide escape and

joy, especially during tough times. For the next few months, make sure you are tuned in to both StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Writers Wednesdays” LIVE as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!TM airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays”,

Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site as well as iTunes, Stitcher, etc. It’s a giant artistic festival!


Our Star Teen Book Review Team is busy
reading and writing reviews for you to enjoy
this summer. Reviews are honest and the
personal experience of each writer. Check
them out at our website,,
and at our partner, The Reading Tub,
you-are/. Many thanks to our Book Review Coordinator, Stephanie Cogeos, for keeping us on track. If you are interested in joining our team, you can find the info at,.


Need a gift for Dad, birthdays, graduations, weddings, or just for yourself? These are on- line shopping portals that will sell you what you need, offer discounts, and assist our mission as a nonprofit. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials,

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases
2. Discounted books at
3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: star-you-are-inc

& buy from your favorite stores.
4. Search and GoodShop: Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! 5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE:

Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: About Us:
How to Help:

Contact us:

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:

Celebrate Freedom Day! &

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556


page1image66397760page1image51743584 page1image66401984 page1image66402560page1image66395264 page1image66154112 page1image66154304 page1image66141568page1image51745040 page1image66128512 page1image66126016page1image66138304 page1image51752320page1image66141184page1image51752528 page1image66136192page1image51748368page1image66140608page1image66137344page1image66183040 page1image66183616page1image51746080page1image66184576page1image51751904 page1image66186880 page1image66185152 page1image66186688page1image66158592page1image51752736 page1image66158784 page1image66158976page1image66159168 page1image66159360page1image66159552page1image51752944 page1image66160512 page1image51753152page1image51753360 page1image51753568  page1image66164544 page1image66164736page1image51753984page1image66164928page1image51754192



Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email