Becoming x Michelle Obama
This book was an AMAZING read, and I absolutely LOVE Michelle Obama! Her amazing gift of storytelling was really highlighted in this book, and she does an excellent job providing insight on being a mom, wife, and First Lady all in one! I have always admired her class and her ability to "go high when others go low" even amongst criticism. This book delivered so many lessons for me which I have highlighted in my December book of the month section, and really provided a wonderful view of her life outside of the White House. I loved this book so much that with the help of many of you, made it my book club's December pick of the month! Throughout this book, I carried many emotions, but the biggest one was reminiscing on the amazing experience of witnessing the First Black First Lady in my lifetime. Such a great read! Want more? Be on the lookout for this book to be available in our shop section February 2019!
You Are a Badass x Jen Sincero
This was one of my FAVORITE self-help books this year! While I was reading this, I was constantly jotting down different phrases, tips, and advice that really stuck out to me from this read, and now I use them as part of my everyday life! This book is all about digging deep and owning your self-worth. It is not only hilarious, but it isn't your typical self-help book. It really teaches you how to be a true BADASS. It talks about overcoming fears, and pushing yourself to the next level. When I picked up this book, I was in a weird stage in my life. I was stuck between loving being a nurse, and wanting to push myself more with my blog. I was kind of stuck. I had just transitioned jobs within my nursing career, but knew I needed to take my blog to the next level, but I was fearful and didn't feel that I could do that. I felt defeated when I wasn't meeting the "views" and numbers portion of blogging that everyone talks about, and wanted to quit blogging altogether. IMAGINE THAT! This book really helped me get out of my own head and do WHAT I LOVE! It taught me that I can have the best of both worlds and still be okay. It allowed me to see that in life, we have to take risks and LEAP. We can't let fear be the reason that we don't TRY. TRYING is all that we can do! Whenever my friends and colleagues ask for book recommendations, this is always the book that I choose because it is truly AMAZING. This book is perfect for someone that just needs a small reminder that they are a badass in all forms! Be on the lookout for this book to be available in our shop section February 2019!
Invisible No More x Andrea Ritchie
This book was the epitome of POWERFUL! Of course we have all seen the news of unarmed black men and women being killed by police, but this books illustrates unique stories of individual women such as Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dejerria Becton, Monica Jones, Mya Hall and many more in their stories of police violence and mass incarceration in a broader context. This book was really hard to read, but necessary! These beautiful men and women being killed in our society are more than just a hashtag for a few months, and that's it. We must continue to #SAYHERNAME all the time and remind not only other people, but ourselves that their lives mattered. I loved the powerful message of this read, and every so often, I love to read books of this nature because it reminds me that the fight must continue, and the message must continue to spread not just today, but tomorrow and the next day. Great read for book clubs and groups! This book will warrant awesome intellectual discussion! Stay tuned next month as we will have an awesome interview with Andrea Ritchie as she discusses her amazing book, inspirations, and more! You don't want to miss it!
Broke Millennial x Erin Lowry
This read is such a great read to end your 2018 especially being that Christmas is wrapping up and the new year is coming in! Growing up, my parents really didn't teach me the importance of financial literacy and saving money. Of course they said the occasional, "Don't spend all your money in one place...blah blah blah" but that really didn't help because I just ended up spending all my money in different places! I think that many households fail to teach their children about the importance of saving money, student loans, interest, CREDIT SCORES (emphasis on this) and more because some parents didn't have this for themselves. If I knew back then what I know now, I would have been in a wayyyy better position financially to succeed and excel in the money department. Especially in college! Throughout college, I had so many lines of credit that I could not afford placing me in major debt! I had student loans, store credit card payments (Don't let that extra 15% off your purchase fool you!), and an apartment to pay for each month! OUCH. Now, at 26, I have FINALLY understood what my parents have been saying all along, which is where this awesome book comes in. I found this book while scrolling through social media, and my friend Dedrick posted about it during my fun #BEYOU book contest. What I love about this book is that it is relatable! It was written by a millennial for millennials which JUST MAKES SENSE. It is definitely a great read to not only end your 2018, but jumpstart your 2019 as well!
The Hate U Give x Angie Thomas
I absolutely LOVED this book! Not only was the book amazing, but the movie was BOMB! Usually, I don't like watching movies after books because I am always comparing what happened in the book with the movie, but this book definitely hit a major soft spot that I feel everyone should read! This book is based on a young girl named Starr witnessing the murder of her friend to police violence, and her journey to justice. From the moment that I started reading this book, I knew that it was going to be amazing! After reading it, I experienced the craziest book hangover ever! I couldn't stop thinking about the book because a story of this nature happens everyday in society. This book was so good that I read it in two days, and the only reason that I didn't finish it in one day was because I had to work the next day! This book had me thinking of what I would do if stuck in that situation. Would I be friends with someone who would never understand my daily struggles as a black woman? At what age would I teach my children about how to approach being stopped by a police officer? Would I go on national television fighting for justice for my friend that was shot by a police officer? So many great questions and great discussion! This book was ridiculously good, and I would definitely recommend this book to wrap up your 2018!
Hi! My name is Nadiyah Barrow, and Worthy Women NC started as a support group for survivors of sexual assault on the campus of North Carolina Central University in 2013. In October of 2016, Create Consent Culture was created. This is a black women owned apparel line that promotes sexual assault awareness. Our goal is to remind victors (not victims) of sexual assault that they are worthy of self-love, love from others, and happiness no matter what traumatic experience they've been through. We also use our apparel as a platform for conversations around consent and healing steps survivors can take after assault. Along with our apparel, we also advocate for victims and visit schools (and wherever else we are welcomed) to talk about levels of consent, healthy intimacy, and ending victim blaming.
Creating Consent Culture w/ Nadiyah!
K: What was your inspiration behind creating Worthy Women NC?
N: Worthy Women NC was inspired by my personal experiences of sexual trauma. When I went off to college, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I met many people that confided in me about their personal experiences of abuse, and I knew I wanted to create a special support system for people just like me. I wanted women at my college to have a safe space to heal from these experiences.
K: When did you first discover your love for writing and entrepreneurship?
N: Ever since I was a young girl, maybe around 11-12, I used to jot things down and had multiple diaries that I also wrote in. I never knew how much writing meant to me until I got older. I think it’s a deep rooted connection between pen and paper. For me, when I write something down, it becomes more real. As far as entrepreneurship, during my undergraduate years of college, I knew it was a path I was interested in, but I wasn’t confident in it until after graduation. I literally got so miserable at my job and felt I should truly follow my passion.
K: One of your phrases within your apparel line is a powerful statement, "Create Consent Culture." Explain the meaning of this. How do you define consent?
N: Create consent culture is about uplifting survivors and teaching human decency. Through this brand, we emphasize the importance of consent, respecting one another and bodily autonomy. Right now we live in a rape culture world which is an environment where sexual abuse is normalized. Rape culture is perpetuated through misogynistic language and behavior that includes blaming the victim for the abuse. Creating consent culture means we understand that consent it our given right. Consent is a mutual, ongoing agreement to anything.
K: What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?
N: I would like our audience to know that we are all healing from something. You are not alone. Your voice is vital.
K: In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up to tackle the world again?
N: In moments of self doubt, I like to read quotes from my favorite self care author: Alex Elle. Sometimes I cry it out and try again the next day! That’s the real. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a water baby and I have embraced my sensitivity as I’ve grown older. Most people view sensitivity as a weakness. For me I’ve owned my ability to feel things so deeply. I think it’s amazing honestly.
K: In your own words, how would you define the difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment?
N: Sexual Harassment is a form of discrimination. Examples of this include: verbal comments, unwanted touches or sexual advances. Sexual assault is intentional, unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault includes use of force and intimidation. It is when a victim doesn’t give consent or cannot give consent.
K: At what moment in your life did you say, "This is it. This is what I was meant to be doing!" What called you to it?
N: My "This is it. This is what I was meant to be doing" moment came after my first semester of leading the Worthy Women support group I founded. I felt empowered just hearing positive feedback from all the group members who participated. This special moment reaffirmed that this was my path, and what I was meant to be doing!
K: What quote or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?
N: A quote that really inspires me is: “Plant yourself where you will bloom.” This is the ultimate reminder for me that no matter what you are temporarily stuck in, you can grow from it. Every chapter in your story builds a foundation for a beautiful flower to grow.
K: What characteristics do you most admire in other creative women?
N: In other creative women, I admire transparency the most. I believe that if you are true to yourself, your audience will be genuine.
K: Knowing what you know now, how do you handle consent for sexual intimacy in relationships and encounters?
N: I am a huge advocate for open communication when it comes to any form of intimacy. You should have conversations at each step.
K: Do you believe that mothers and daughters/fathers and sons should discuss more openly about sexual harassment and misconduct? If so, what should they say?
N: I most definitely believe that it’s a conversation we should all be having more. Everything starts with simple respect for others. It’s never too early to start teaching consent. I believe that healthy conversation within the family unit is great, and promotes awareness and openness amongst one another.
K: In the powerful #MeToo Movement, the case of Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics team doctor convicted of years of sexual abuse against many USA gymnasts such as Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and more, has prompted questions from athletes and fans alike. Why do you believe that many women are hesitant to come forward when sexual assaulted?
N: Often times survivors are blamed for the circumstances that led to the assault (such as what they were wearing, if they were drinking). Along with being blamed, they are criticized for how they did or didn’t fight back. Victims are often too ashamed to come forward because sexual assault can seem very humiliating and dehumanizing. Attached to the shame is also a lot of self blame.
K: As a fellow blogger, what do you feel distinguishes a good writer from a GREAT writer?
N: Im still in my earliest stages of writing opposed to where I want to be, but I would say PASSION distinguishes a good writer from a great writer. I believe that you should do everything with passion! Often what happens is when you aren’t in it for passion, dreams, ideas and creativity begin to fade out. Keep the passion in whatever you love, strong!
K: What is the biggest sacrifice you've made throughout your journey of becoming a blogger and entrepreneur?
N: I would say the biggest sacrifice I made throughout my journey was quitting my full time job at Nordstrom in January of 2017! It was the scariest thing ever. I made the decision and didn’t consult with anyone; friends or family. I literally told myself I was going to quit by a certain time because I wasn’t truly fulfilling my purpose there, and now here I am!
K: What are great resources for women to use for those who may have experienced sexual assault?
N: Great resources for women are any local crisis response centers! Any crisis hotline, women’s resource center/ student health at any college, local support groups are all great resources for women that have experienced assault.
K: Are you working on any new projects that we can look forward to in the future?
N: I am looking forward to having a support group in the community! I am not sure of an exact date, but it will happen. We have also collaborated with the lovely empowerment coach, A. Richbook of Durham, NC on this event called “The Lotus Gathering.” This event is to inspire and empower victims and non-victims to take back their power through connecting with themselves through love. It is our goal to aid people (mostly women) in truly understanding the multifaceted experiences of domestic violence. If they've been affected, we want to provide a safe space for a jumpstart to healing. It will be an annual domestic violence awareness event. This past October was our introductory year, but we plan to expand next year and make it even bigger!
K: What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
N: I would tell any aspiring entrepreneur to stay true to yourself, don’t be afraid of your first “NO”, and make time for self care. Self care is imperative and you can not serve others if you don’t treat yourself well!
K: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
N: You can all follow me on social media! IG: NadiyahForever, Business IG: WorthyWomenNC, and website: wwshopnc.com!
I would like to send a special thank you to Nadiyah for taking time out of her schedule to interview with me! It was super fun doing this interview, and I had a great time talking consent, self-care, and women's empowerment, with such a sweet, passionate individual! In our society today, creating consent culture is so important! It all starts with a healthy conversation! I can't wait to see more amazing moments from you! Thank you for sharing your light with us! Thank you for reading, and thank you for allowing me to share my soul with yours! Happy #SoulfulSunday! Share, like, comment! Tell us what you think!
WE ARE WORTHY.
#LoveforLiteracy Book Drive!
Happy Wednesday readers! December is the month of giving, and what better way to give than to donate books to children in need? I am a HUGE advocate for reading overall, but especially for children! I wanted to create a fun book drive called #LoveforLiteracy to highlight the importance of reading in not only children, but all ages. Reading as a child for me was a fun adventure, and one that I loved to embark on over and over again. I can't stress enough how important it is for children to experience reading starting within the household. Reading for me was an outlet, a way for me escape the troubles or issues that I had growing up. I loved the responsibility of having my own library card, learning when to return books back (FINALLY realizing that I couldn't keep them) since according to my mom that was stealing lol.
Reading shaped me into the woman that I am today, and most importantly, it holds a special place in my heart, which is why I decided to create this book drive! I wanted to do something that everyone can be involved in, PLUS gives each and every one of us an awesome chance to promote reading in children of all ages, and do something amazing for all kids in our communities! I will be doing this book drive all December long, so make sure to like and share this post to get the message out there! With all of the children's books that we receive, we will be donating them to Book Harvest, a Durham-based nonprofit organization that believes in the power of books to change children's lives and that works to ensure that all children grow up in book-rich homes. Book Harvest believes that books are essential to children’s healthy development and well-being and that all children deserve to grow up in book-rich homes. To that end, they work to remove barriers to book ownership, to fuel a lifelong love of reading among America’s children that will enable success in school and in life. Since it kicked off in 2011, Book Harvest has provided more than 1,000,000 donated books to children the Triangle area! That's AMAZING! Let's continue this amazing success! Check out my #LoveforLiteracy Book Drive details below on how you can donate to this amazing cause!
Reading is Power!
*Statistics inserted via Book Harvest website*
How You Can Help: