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PERSON OF THE DAY: Lizzie Velasquez Stars in New Anti-Bullying Documentary

Lizzie Velasquez, subject of documentary "A Brave heart"

Lizzie Velasquez on Capitol Hill/Photo: Women Rising

By Stacey Gualandi/March 12, 2015

TWITTER: @littlelizziev

The first time I ever heard Lizzie Velasquez speak was in October, 2014, at the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, an annual three-day event she inspired. She immediately captured my heart with the story of her emotional journey from bullying victim to anti-bullying activist.

While this was my first introduction, the 26-year-old was already a web sensation, with over seven million views and counting on her 2013 TEDxAustinWomen speech. She may weigh only 62 pounds at her heaviest, but she is no lightweight when it comes to speaking out against bullies.


How Do YOU Define Yourself: Lizzie Velasquez at TEDXAustinWomen

Velasquez was born with neonatal progeroid syndrome, an extremely rare genetic condition that prevents her from gaining weight. Throughout her life, she has faced one bully after another for looking “different.” But in high school, she saw an online video post that named her “The World’s Ugliest Woman.” That video would change the course of her life…   [Read more…]

Henri Hebert and Kimberly Goodman on ‘Dream With Me’ Documentary About a Failing Public School System

October 6, 2013

Documentary filmmakers Henri Hebert and Kimberly Goodman of "Dream with Me"

Henri Hebert &
Kimberly Goodman

 

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When documentarian filmmakers Henri Hebert and Kimberly Goodman found out that kids were dropping out of high school in record numbers, they put aside their reality television jobs to spend a year in Los Angeles schools to find out what the issues were. They wanted to tell a story in Dream with Me that could cause change. They share what needs to be done to improve the drop out rate.

 

 

TOP 10: Breaking the Code for Women Programmers

She++ doc makers Anya Agarwal and Ellora Israni

Breaking the Code for Women Programmers: Adrienne Vogt–dailybeast.com–7/24/13

TOP 10: A Sisterhood Against Terror

Still from HBO Doc Manhunt

A Sisterhood Against Terror: Mike Hale–nytimes.com–4/30/13–Photo: HBO

TOP 10: No Job for a Woman–The Women Who Fought to Report World War II

No Job for a Women documentary

No Job for a Woman–The Women Who Fought to Report World War II: Women Make Moviespbs.org–3/20/13

Sarah Burns on Filmmaking, Criminal Injustice and the Central Park Five

Sarah Burns, documentarian

UPDATE 6/19/14: 5 Exonerated in Central Park Jogger Case Will Settle for $40 Million

By Stacey Gualandi/January 22, 2013

After I saw the jaw-dropping documentary “The Central Park Five,” I had to talk to the film’s director, writer and producer, Sarah Burns. The film is based on Burns’ book of the same name and is a riveting re-examination of the notorious 1989 assault and rape of the Central Park jogger. I wanted to learn how and why she decided to focus on this subject matter for her first film.

“Ultimately, I found my way to filmmaking by finding a story that I was so passionate about and thought needed to be done.  I had to make this film.”  Sarah Burns

Burns realized there was a compelling human story that needed to be told about the five teens accused, convicted and later vindicated of the crime. The film recently earned Burns a Writers Guild Award nomination, along with her husband David McMahon and father Ken Burns, and has been a must-see at film festivals over the past year.

She recently shared her own compelling story on The Women’s Eye Radio Show with me. You can see the film in select theaters throughout the country now…  [Read more…]

TOP 10: Breaking Stereotypes of Athletic Females

Cheryl Haworth, Olympic Weightlifting Contender/Photo: Lance Iversen/SFgate.com

Breaking Stereotypes of Athletic Females: John Crumpacker–sfgate.com–7/12/12–Photo: Lance Iversen

Interview: Life Coach Lisa Kamen On Harvesting Happiness

Lisa Kamen, founder of Harvesting Happiness for TWE InterviewBy Stacey Gualandi/July 2, 2012

Remember the song “Don’t Worry…Be Happy?”  Easier said then done, right?  Positive psychology coach Lisa Kamen says not so fast. This author, filmmaker and “happiness expert” says it is possible to move past life’s obstacles in order to find one’s inner happy face.  She should know.  She’s survived foreclosure, divorce and an uncertain future.

“I do wholeheartedly believe that everyone has the ability to become happier.”

Through her company Harvesting Happiness, she has dedicated herself to helping anyone who has lost their smile—including soldiers with post-traumatic stress—through coaching, radio shows, her documentaries and the new book Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life.

To find out how to be happy, even on a day when everything makes you unhappy, I reached out to Lisa to learn more about her own personal journey as well as why happiness is an inside job… [Read more…]