with ALICIA KEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For day 5 of Black History Month we honor THIS WOMAN.
SHE IS, hands down, the person who has impacted me most throughout 2016 and beyond.

During round 2 of Sister Roots she wrote a piece titled Alicia Keys: Time to Uncover that I discovered hours before our fourth session on body image and knew we'd pull from her words. I printed out the piece and we passed the papers around, each reading a paragraph aloud. It was like She entered into our circle then and has been deeply present ever since.

"I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves. My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself! The universe was listening to those things I'd promised myself, or maybe I was just finally listening to the universe, but however it goes, that's how this whole #nomakeup thing began. Once the photo I took with Paola came out as the artwork for my new song "In Common," it was that truth that resonated with others who posted #nomakeup selfies in response to this real and raw me.  I hope to God it's a revolution. 'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing." -Alicia Keys

Her strength to show herself with a wide variety of openness has unconsciously kept me committed to that mission as well. Leading the entire 8 week women's workshop series the second time around without any make-up was quietly empowering. I have often hung around without make up and in sweats, in high school, in college, and beyond, but not in the arena of "work" and definitely not when I was leading the entire group... all eyes on me.

Watching how she coached her team on The Voice and interacted with her peers warmed up my heart. Her overall demeanor, CAPTURES me, every time.

When she released her newest album Here in November of last year, I sat at the table in the backyard, wrapped in a blanket, stocked with pastels and blank pages, and plugged into what was a BEAUTIFUL experience. Each lyric, each breath, the story she wove from beginning to end, the screams, the composition, the overall appeal from track to track, I was hooked. I anticipated this album leading into our first woman presidency and was shocked (like everyone else) when this didn't happen. I needed this album, her words and what she represents even more than I understood when I first heard them.

That's what I love best about reflecting on those who create content that inspire you to dream. You know they make your insides excited but you're not actually aware of each shift, each belief, each impact taking place, at the time that it's happening. I love that reality.

She and a team of organizations have come together to create the We Are Here Movement. They are standing together to end gun violence and the ban on refugees coming in for safety. To reshape our criminal justice system and how we take care of our black brothers and sisters in this country.

Alicia Keys sets an example of what being an artist and sharing your truth has the power to do, near and far, far and wide. We are better because of how you share yourself with the world and I look forward to deeper insights and greater wisdom by watching and experiencing the unfolding of your stories. THANK YOU!

PS 15-time Grammy winner... no big deal.........