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TWE Interview: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha On Her Fight for Justice Beyond the Flint Water Crisis

The Women’s Eye contributor Patricia Caso talks to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician and author of “What the Eyes Don’t See–The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City,” about her fight for justice during the Flint Water Crisis and why she still advocates for change.

TWE Interview: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha On Her Fight for Justice Beyond the Flint Water Crisis

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician and author of “What the Eyes Don’t See–The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City,”

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, author "What the Eyes Don't See"/Photo: Courtesy Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha/Photo: Hurley Medical Center

By Patricia Caso/September 5th, 2018

What could be more important for communities and children than clean, drinkable water? Pediatrician and Professor Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is known for bringing her research and unrelenting call for change in the lead-poisoned Flint, Michigan water to the nation’s attention.

Lead is a neurotoxin, affecting young children most severely. There is no safe level. To date, 140,000 people have been impacted from the 18-month ordeal.

“This is a story about how all of us, no matter where we are, what we do, or how we came to this country, have the power within us to open our eyes, to be awake to these injustices all around us, to get involved, to be active…” Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

In Dr. Mona’s new book What the Eyes Don’t See–A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, she writes about how she came to find high levels of lead in her young patients’ blood. With the help of the community, she then courageously confronted  government officials  demanding a change back to healthy water. I caught up with Dr. Mona to learn more about her determination and why she sees that her advocacy is just beginning…  [Read more…]

Award-Winning Director Jessica Yu Spotlights Heroic Journalist Gladys Kalibbala’s Passion

Jessica Yu, author of Garden of the Lost and Abandoned, and Gladys Kalibbala, and subject of the book/Photo: Michael Wawuyo

Gladys Kalibbala and director/author Jessica Yu/Photo: Michael Wawuyo

By Patricia Caso/April 22, 2018

In Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: An Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves, author Jessica Yu follows heroic Ugandan journalist, Gladys Kalibbala, who uses her energy, creativity and meager resources to rescue lost and abandoned children.

Her column, “Lost and Abandoned,” has drawn attention to the plight of hundreds of forsaken children. Gladys routinely faces many difficult and dangerous situations to help them.

“What Gladys does is hard. But the cumulative impact of her deliberate – not random – acts of kindness, and the joy she takes in them, reminds us that we discover our humanity when we engage. And if we persist, things happen.” Jessica Yu

Intrigued with Gladys’ life-saving deeds, I began researching more about her life and discovered Jessica Yu’s own multi-faceted story. Not only was she an award-winning director in television, documentaries and films, she’d just written her first book, Garden of the Lost and Abandoned. And, what a compelling changemaker Jessica brings to readers.

I caught up with this Academy Award-winning filmmaker in Los Angeles by phone in between her busy commitments to find out more about Gladys’ exceptional acts and Jessica’s perspective on her own career… [Read more…]

TWE Radio: Foreign Correspondent Atia Abawi Humanizes Global Refugee Crisis in New Novel

Atia Abawi, journalist, author/Photo Provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Foreign correspondent Atia Abawi in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
covering a burn of confiscated drugs

Stacey Gualandi/March 14, 2018

Don’t miss a BRAND NEW interview on The Women’s Eye Radio as I chat with author and foreign network news correspondent Atia Abawi about her just released second Young Adult novel,  A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.

A mutual photojournalist friend introduced me to Atia. After reading her book I had quite an emotional reaction to the refugee experiences she describes. I wanted to talk with her to get a better understanding of a crisis that cannot be ignored.

Author Atia Abawi's bok, Land of Permanent Goodbyes provided by Atia to TWE | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio ShowThis award-winning journalist is based in the Middle East and researched the global refugee crisis extensively to tell a timely story of one teenage boy and his family’s fight for survival in war-torn Syria.

It is a gut-wrenching tale that doesn’t shy away from the unspeakable violence, the “hunters” and the never-ending search for safety.

For Abawi, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes hits very close to home as she was born a refugee to Afghan parents in West Germany and raised in the U.S.

Her family’s decision to flee war in Afghanistan helped her to understand the plight of families who must try to outlive a tremendous loss.

With this book, Abawi hopes to create empathy and raise awareness of a crisis that is happening in real time. Abawi says many tears were shed writing this story, but she says it was a story that needed to be shared. Take a listen to her story!

To find out more about Atia: www.atiaabawi.com.

Atia Abawi, foreign correspondent, in Afghanistan/Photo provided by Atia Abawi | The Women's Eye Magazine and Radio Show

Atia traveling to a story with NATO forces in Afghanistan

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ENCORE Interview–Designer Coleen Christian Burke On Decorating the White House for Christmas

 

Coleen christian Burke/author Christmas with the First Ladies/Photo: Coleen Christian Burke

Coleen Christian Burke at the Winter Wonderland themed tree,
East Room, White House, 2014

By Patricia Caso/December 11,2016
Photos Provided by Coleen Christian Burke (@ByColeen)

‘Tis the season for wishes to come true. One entrepreneur, blogger, designer and author, Coleen Christian Burke lobbied for four years to get the chance of a lifetime to help decorate the White House for Christmas.

“I could never have planned this life out. If I were a little girl saying I am going to be a designer and design the White House for Christmas and then I’m going to install it and then I’m going to talk about it, it just would have been so far fetched.” Coleen Christian Burke

She got that first opportunity in 2008, and other years have followed since. These experiences inspired her to write a fascinating book, Christmas with the First Ladies: The White House Decorating Tradition from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama (@SimonBooks).

Intrigued with her almost-magical story, I caught up with this former television producer just as another busy holiday season kicks in to find out just how Coleen’s hunches turned into  successes…   [Read more…]

TWE Interview: Documentary Photographer Paola Gianturco on ‘Wonder Girls: Changing Our World’

Documentary Photographer Paola Gianturco with Co-Author and granddaughter, Alex Sangster with their book, Wonder Girls: Changing Our World

Documentary photographer, Paola Gianturco, with co-author and granddaughter, Alex Sangster, and their book, ‘Wonder Girls: Changing Our World’

By Stacey Gualandi/October 11, 2017
Photos: Paola Gianturco

Today is the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child and the publication date of an inspiring new book, Wonder Girls: Changing our World by award-winning documentary photographer and author, Paola Gianturco.

There are many concerns about the well-being of young girls around the world. They are often victims of child marriages, domestic violence and trafficking, and they are denied an education and equality.

But Paola, during her travels documenting changemaker women and grandmothers around the globe, became aware of young activist girls who are banding together to fight these cultural threats, and they are succeeding.

Paola, along with her co-author and 11-year-old granddaughter, Alex Sangster, interviewed 102 girls and created Wonder Girls the first book to document the work of these activist girls. I grabbed some precious time to interview Paola on TWE Radio to learn more about these activist girls and the work of her amazing young co-author and granddaughter, Alex… [Read more…]

Children’s Book Author Theresa McKeown Talks the ABC’s of Reinvention

Theresa McKeown/Stacey Gualandi/Photo Provided by Stacey Gualandi | The Women's Eye Magazine & Radio Show

Stacey Gualandi and Theresa McKeown

By Stacey Gualandi/July 10, 2017

When I recently caught up with author Theresa McKeown at a cool patio bar in North Hollywood, CA, I wasn’t meeting her for the first time. Far from it. Theresa and I go back to the heyday of tabloid TV working at Inside Edition, and covering the misadventures of celebrities like Michael Jackson, Tonya Harding and Heidi Fleiss. Oh, and of course OJ.

But in 2015, after several successful years as a Hollywood television executive, she decided to listen to her true calling: writing children’s books. Together with her devoted sisters, she created The ABC’s of Everything, a company established to self-publish a series of educational books and content.

“Our tag line is ‘Raising happy, healthy, conscious children in body, mind and spirit.’ So it’s a holistic approach. They are the future of our world.” Theresa McKeown

Her first rhyming book How to Eat your ABC’s stars a happy honeybee named BuzzBee who shares his joy for fruits and veggies. And the just released The ABCs of Being Me — part-journal, part-scrapbook — is getting rave reviews as the perfect summer project, and a book that as one Amazon review says, “could be used by every marriage family therapist, social worker or psychologist who works with children.”

Our reunion was long overdue, but I’m proud to share how Theresa switched gears, said no to fear and found the best version of her self… [Read more…]

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…]

INTERVIEW: Entrepreneur Nely Galán On Her Inspiring Self Made Mission and Movement

Nely Galán, Entrepreneur, on Her Inspiring Self Made Mission and Movement

Nely Galán

Nely Galán and her book, Self Made

By Catherine Anaya/February 21, 2017
Editor: Haley Christopher

Nely Galán, is a women’s empowerment advocate, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and the founder of the Adelante Movement whose goal is to unite and empower Latinas. Her new book Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way inspired me and I want to share it with you. Her message is her mission and it’s becoming a movement.

“When you take a risk, when you dip your toe in the water, when you just take a small action, the repercussions of that action in your life and your family’s life are immense.” Nely Galán

Nely arrived in America from Cuba when she was a young child and worked her way up from her first job as an unpaid intern to the first Latina President of a U. S. television network, Telemundo. I couldn’t wait to chat with her on The Women’s Eye Radio Show. Here is an excerpt…    [Read more…]