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TWE RADIO: WomenStrong International Founder Dr. Susan Blaustein Launches Safe Cities for Women Campaign

Dr. Susan Blaustein, founder of Women Strong/Photo: Provided by Susan Blaustein

Dr. Susan Blaustein at WomenStrong site in Madurai, southern India

By Stacey Gualandi/March 5, 2018

Be sure to tune in to Stacey’s BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio – to coincide with Women’s History Month – with Dr. Susan Blaustein, the founder and Executive Director of WomenStrong International, an organization dedicated to eradicating urban poverty in Ghana, India, Haiti, Kenya and the United States.

logo for WomenStrong Internation, founded by Dr. Susan Blaustein

With a doctorate from the Yale School of Music, Dr. Blaustein was on track to be a music composer, but after working on a fellowship and traveling abroad, she began reporting on poverty and social injustice that she witnessed first-hand, “whether in the Philippines, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), or while watching an earlier generation of Rohingya Muslims pour in from Burma into already overwhelmed Bangladesh.”

dr. Susan Blaustein, founder of Women Strong with Project Director at their site is Kisumu, Kenya/Photo: Provided by Women Strong

Dr. Blaustein with WomenStrong project director in Kisumu, Kenya

This author-professsor-and former journalist saw a need to combat the hardships women and girls are facing around the globe. Through WomenStrong, Dr. Blaustein is providing the tools they need to survive and thrive. You’ll hear how she’s accomplished this on the podcast.

Now into its fourth year, the organization just launched a new anti-violence campaign “Cities for Women” in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8. Check out this very informative #CitiesforWomen infographic.

For Dr. Blaustein, WomenStrong is a labor or love and she is committed to make it her life’s work…what she calls “Women’s Work.”

Susan Blaustein founder of WomenStrong International at Dhan/Photo: Courtesy WomenStrong

Dr. Blaustein helping children at their Dhan site in India

Check out www.womenstrong.org.


TWE RADIO: Inspirational Speaker Holly Dowling on Finding Clarity, Grace and Courage

Holly Dowling, author and inspirational speaker/Photo Courtesy Holly Dowling | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Holly Dowling

By Stacey Gualandi/January 23,2018

A BRAND NEW interview with Holly Dowling, the author of Hollyisms. Let Your Light Shine! 50 Inspirations in 140 Characters or Less, on The Women’s Eye Radio with host Stacey Gualandi. This is the “Hollyism” that really spoke to me: “Life is not about work; rather your work should bring you life and brighten your life.”

Holly Dowling, inspirational speaker, author of Hollyisms, Let Your Light Shine | The Women's Eye Magazine & Radio ShowThis one-time cruise director is now an award-winning corporate keynote speaker and inspirational thought leader. (We’d like to add the Princess of Positivity!)

Through her motivational talks, Holly truly inspires and is “a walking testimony that it’s never too late to live your dreams and goals.”

During this interview, you will learn about Holly’s own personal challenges and breakthroughs (she says you can “be bitter or better”); her mantras for success (“Tell me no, watch me go!”); her three pillars of power; and why you should get rid of those New Year’s Resolutions!

To learn more, check out hollydowling.com. If Holly has her way, you’ll be chanting, “Wow is me, not whoa is me” in no time!

Listen to more TWE Interviews on: 

The Women’s Eye Radio on iTunes.


TWE Interview: Breast Cancer Survivor Dara Kurtz Shares Her Crazy Perfect Life

Dara Kurtz – Breast Cancer Survivor and Author of Crazy Perfect Life

Dara Kurtz – Breast Cancer Survivor and Author of Crazy Perfect Life and Crush Cancer: Personal Enlightenment from a Cancer Survior

Dara Kurtz – Breast Cancer Survivor and Author of Crazy Perfect Life and Crush Cancer: Personal Enlightenment from a Cancer Survior

Dara Kurtz, author blog Crazy Perfect Life

By Patricia Caso/December 5, 2017
Photos Courtesy of Dara Kurtz
TWITTER: @crazyperflife

At 42, Dara Kurtz’s perfect family life and career as a successful financial advisor were upended with the diagnosis of breast cancer. Admittedly she cried, was shocked, scared and a mess.

“When I was finished going through treatment and it was time to go back to work; I knew that I wanted to find my voice.”  Dara Kurtz

Dara chronicled her journey by pulling together her honest insights into handling cancer’s downs and ups in a blog, “Crazy Perfect Life,” and her best selling book, Crush Cancer: Personal Enlightenment from a Cancer Survivor.  What struck me about Dara’s story is how she came to her wonderful uplifting choice to “live life in color rather than black and white.”

I caught up with Dara by phone to find out more about this now unabashedly grateful author whose mission is to be others’ companion through the toughest time in their lives…   [Read more…]

STORY OF THE WEEK: “Vegas Strong” Photo Helps Las Vegas First Responders Heal

Las Vegas first responders – Vegas Strong – Dan Sundahl

Las Vegas first responders – Vegas Strong – Dan Sundahl

Vegas Strong – Las Vegas First Responders Mental Health Fund

Photo: "Vegas Strong" photo of Las Vegas First Responders | Photo by Daniel Sundahl

“Vegas Strong” photo by full-time paramedic and photographer, Daniel Sundahl who specializes in Emergency Response artwork. Proceeds from sales of this “Vegas Strong” photo will benefit the Las Vegas First Responder Mental Health Fund

By Stacey Gualandi/October 29, 2017

On the night of the horrifying mass shooting in Las Vegas, first responders from Metro Police, Nevada Highway Patrol, Clark County Fire, Community Ambulance, AMR, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and Medic West rushed to the Strip to save as many lives as they could. Two weeks later, over two dozen of them reunited to share their personal experiences, offer each other support, and to pose for a group photo.

“It’s an integral part of our history as Nevadans, as Americans. It’s our 9/11.”
—Heather Raasveld, advanced EMT and Las Vegas first responder

They are all trained officers, paramedics, firefighters and EMTs, but none of them could have fully prepared for the tragedy on October 1st. It not only shattered any sense of normalcy, but also bonded this group for life.

Photo: Las Vegas Medic first responders | Photo: Daniel Sundahl of DanSun Photo Art specializing in Emergency Responder artwork

Las Vegas Medic first responders | Photo: Daniel Sundahl of DanSun Photo Art specializing in Emergency Responder artwork

Heather Raasveld, an advanced EMT with Medic West Ambulance and a mother of two young children, was one of the first responders that fateful night. Heather and I have been friends for over a decade. We both live in Las Vegas and I immediately thought of her when news of the active shooter broke. The only way I knew how she was doing was through her Facebook posts. This has been a very difficult time for Heather and her family so I wanted to share her story and her efforts to help all of the First Responders heal.

Heather and Canadian-based photographer and firefighter Daniel Sundahl organized this photo shoot to make sure those who came to help others are not forgotten.

Photo: Stacey Gualandi with Heather Raasveld, Las Vegas First Responder as an advanced EMT with Medic West Ambulance

Las Vegas first responder and advanced EMT, Heather Raasveld (l) with Stacey Gualandi (r)

“It’s an integral part of our history as Nevadans, as Americans. It’s our 9/11,” says Raasveld.

As a full-time paramedic, Sundahl says his artwork (a cross between photography and painting) is a form of therapy, and he’s glad to be in a position to promote their profession.

These are the actual heroes of Las Vegas,” says Sundahl. “These people made the difference and saved so many lives.”

Off-duty officer Charleston Hartfield, who came to the aid of several victims while attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, lost his life that night. Sundahl is also paying tribute to him; if you look closely, he “ghosted” Hartfield into the photo on the far left so he could stand with his fellow Metro officers.


Photo of Las Vegas first responders from Metro Police and Nevada Highway Patrol with fallen off-duty officer, Charleston Hatfield "ghosted" in (far left) | Photo: Daniel Sundahl of DanSun Photo Art, specializing in Emergency Response artwork and photography

Las Vegas first responders from Metro Police and Nevada Highway Patrol. Fallen officer, Charleston Hartfield “ghosted” in far left. Photo: Daniel Sundahl

Medic West EMT Kit York, who transported security guard Jesus Campus after he was shot in the leg, says what happened will always be there so this reunion “means more than you can ever imagine.” To show her ongoing support, she proudly revealed a fresh Route 91 tattoo on her leg.

Photo of Las Vegas first responder, Kitt York's Route 91 tattoo | Photo: Stacey GualandiRaasveld says bringing this “family” together again so soon after the shooting is instrumental in their healing process.

“We do the best we can to bolster each other up, but we’re not the professionals. We’re there to keep people’s hearts beating, lungs breathing, but we don’t know how to help each other mentally when something like this happens.”
—Heather Raasveld

That’s where The Code Green Campaign comes in. It helps first responders get mental health access and the tools, Raasveld says, “to make ourselves whole again.”

Sundahl says he is donating all the proceeds from sales of his “Vegas Strong” photo to the Las Vegas First Responder Mental Health Fund set up by Code Green.

The sooner she can return to normalcy, Raasveld says, the sooner she can be a functional, productive mother and get back out into the community to help others the way she was trained to. In the meantime, she is grateful to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her extended family. “I have to say I couldn’t be more proud of my city and my people and those who came here and who stepped up and helped others that day. I think if it wasn’t for that there would have been many more lives lost.”

Learn more about how to order your copy of “Vegas Strong”, or to Donate directly to the Fund.

Photographer Daniel Sundahl taking the Vegas Strong photo of the Las Vegas first responders | Photo: Stacey Gualandi

Photographer Daniel Sundahl taking the “Vegas Strong” photo of the Las Vegas first responders | Photo: Stacey Gualandi




PHOTO OF WEEK: Our TWE Book Launch is Tonight-Oct. 7-at Book Passage

Join us for our 20 Women Changemakers
Book Launch Tonight!

WE ARE EXCITED. Tonight–Oct. 7, 2017- is the night we officially launch our 20 WOMEN CHANGEMAKERS (www.changemakersbook.com) at Book Passage, a wonderful bookstore in Corte Madera, CA. Please come and join us if you are in the San Francisco area.

Invite to Book Passage Book Party

Our panel is terrific…our radio host Stacey Gualandi will be there along with 20 WOMEN CHANGEMAKER Doniece Sandoval, the founder of LAVA MAE. Laurie McAndish King, a TWE contributor and award-winning author, will be the moderator.

Treats with an international flavor in honor of our women from around the world will be featured. Join us!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Reporter Stacey Gualandi and Brave Las Vegas Massacre Survivor Thomas Gunderson

TWE Contributor Stacey Gualandi Reports on
Las Vegas Massacre for Inside Edition

Stacey Gualandi, Thomas Gunderson, Las Vegas Massacre survivor/ Photo provided by Stacey from Inside Edition report

Stacey reports for Inside Edition in an interview with the very brave #ThomasGunderson. He was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Sunday night when he was shot in the leg. His instinct was to run towards the gunfire to try to stop the shooter. He describes the ordeal in terrifying detail and praises the many people of every shape, size and color came together to help one another.

He says he’s alive because of the selfless act of two off duty female police officers. He hopes to thank them in person some day. #prayforvegas#insideedition — at UMC Trauma Center.

Bestselling Author Lisa See Explores the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters

Lisa See, author/Photo: P. Burke

Lisa See at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Arizona/Photo: P. Burke

By Patricia Caso/June 6, 2017
Photos provided by Lisa See (@Lisa_See)

TWE’s Stacey Gualandi’s wonderful interview with the New York Times bestselling author, Lisa See, posted in 2011. Since then Lisa has written several more compelling historical fiction books, the latest being The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

“I feel with every book, I put in everything I ever knew into it. Yet I am still growing and changing from that first book to now. Life changes…even in these last three years, I have learned new things.” Lisa See

This time Lisa, who continues to explore women’s relationships and the concept of mother-love, writes about China’s transnational adoption with a backdrop of the little known Akha people and the tea pickers of an ancient tea, Pu’er. I wanted to find out what more she has uncovered personally and professionally on her themes of women’s friendships and her interest in the dual cultures of China and America… [Read more…]

TWE Interview: Award-Winning Sculptor Kristen Visbal On Her “Fearless Girl”

Kristen Visbal with her sculpture Fearless Girl/Photo: provided by Federica Valabrega

Kristen Visbal with “Fearless Girl”/New York City

By Patricia Caso/May 14, 2017
Photos: Kristen Visbal
Black/White Photos: Federica Valabrega

“Be Bold For Change” was the theme for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017. I wonder how many of us would see that boldness in any given little girl. Kristen Visbal, a noted sculptor, found that boldness and a way to inspire conversation on women’s roles, attitudes and future when she was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to create a sculpture, “Fearless Girl.”

“I think the work is an important statement not just for the empowerment of women, both inside and outside of the financial world, but it also serves as an example for all young women.”   Kristen Visbal

“Fearless Girl” stands facing Wall Street’s famed “Charging Bull.” Kristen’s work ignited a firestorm of opinion. I wanted to know more about how she came up with her unique sculpture and her own background. I grabbed some precious time from Kristen in between doing what she does best, creating remarkable bronze sculptures using something called the lost wax process. .. [Read more…]