Category Archives: My Thoughts

CALL 2 ACTION | Black IS Beautiful…Meets Compassion

Black IS Beautiful... Earrings

Black IS Beautiful… Earrings

A Phenomenal Woman

I’m a woman Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 ~ Maya Angelou

This is how I hope you feel every time you wear these Jillybeads 4 Justice (J4J) chandelier earrings—Black IS Beautiful. Feeling phenomenal, regardless of your shape, size, or color, is the first step towards having confidence and compassion for yourself. This is why I’m so excited to introduce a new partnership with Go Girls! Camps as a J4J “Featured Organization.”

Here’s the challenge:

We are out of balance. In America, we know how to compete and fight and win.  On the other hand, we are less comfortable accessing tools we need to collaborate, communicate, and play. As a result of this imbalance, we are experiencing unbearable levels of disconnection, disengagement and distrust in our schools, workplaces, civic institutions, and neighborhoods.

We lack skills to bridge our differences, listen to one another, share opinions in respectful ways, empathize, and work together to solve problems.  All of our communities are suffering from a serious compassion deficit.

And this compassion deficit is taking its toll on our girls especially.

Go Girls! Camp

Go Girls! Camp

The solution:

Go Girls! Camps‘ bold and brave belief: Girls are the superheroes who will lead the world in a compassion revolution.  

Although I’d like to believe that I too am a superhero, the reality is that my superpower is making connections with amazing people and then sharing with my network what my fellow superhero sisters are making happen.

As I mentioned in my last post (A New Day: Guided by My Desired Feelings…), you can expect the J4J mission to come to life in everything we do. What follows is my call to Advocate & Educate, all while Accessorizing:

  • Advocacy:  I recently made a donation to Glitter & Razz Productions, a great organization raising money to bring incredible life-changing Go Girls! Camps to girls in vulnerable communities. You can find out more about the campaign here. There, you can also make a donation today!  Your donation comes with some super cool reward gifts at all levels from $10-$10,000 — so, decide where you feel comfortable helping out, it all helps. Here’s something else you can do: Please help me spread the word by sharing the link on your Facebook page.  Do you know anyone else who would think this work I’m doing is awesome?  If so, please forward this blog post along.
  • Education: Today’s education comes in the form of a paradigm shift. Instead of a compassion deficit, I want to encourage a compassion revolution. So consider: What can you do for yourself and others to make this shift in your life? 
  • Accessorizing: With your J4J purchase, you can select an organization from the current list of “Featured Organizations” (Go Girls! Camps is one of them) and a $10 donation will be made to further that organization’s mission. It’s truly a win-win, you get a lovely piece of jewelry while supporting not just one, but two East Bay companies working to make the world a better place.

~ In solidarity ~

CALL 2 ACTION: Jillybeads 4 Justice has joined the Compassion Revolution with the Go Girls! Camp fundraising campaign. For 3 Ways You Can Help Right Now, click here!

Thanks so much and let me know if you have any questions!

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A New Day: Guided by My Desired Feelings…

desire_150x1501

 Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect.

It is important to know how to feel, how to respond,

and how to let life in so that in can touch you.

~ Jim Rohn

And, I’m back!

I never really left. I simply took an emotional and intellectual break to dig deeper into what I truly desire in life as it relates to being a citizen of the world, a small business owner, a working professional graduate student, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.

Since the start of 2013, I have been educating my emotions by focusing on my desired feelings. In particular, I have found myself exploring the hopes and dreams of my soul in The Desire Map. What is that you ask?

Everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way.

…We need to make our feelings the heart of the matter.

@DanielleLaPorte

Based on this idea, The Desire Map is a multimedia guide to what you want the most. In addition to this self-guided exploration, I took a course entitled, “The Business of Being an Artist,” as well as attended a 2-day workshop on Right-Brain Business Planning. The 8 months of contemplating such pursuits was a priceless opportunity to reflect, learn, and grow that resulting in me completing the Jillybeads 4 Justice business plan along with a visual one for inspiration.

Say what…you launched your business without a complete business plan?!

Yes, I did and I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer part of the 70% of businesses that start without one. From the beginning, this venture has been a leap of faith (see Why I Started a Business) as I use my true and gained gifts to inspire and implement my passions in a tangible way. What’s clear to me now that was more vague then was that if I continued giving my gifts to someone else’s vision of “changing the world” and “making a difference” that I would remain stuck and feeling like a passive citizen. Those that know me would agree that staying in one place or being inactive are not traits that would be used to describe me. And so, I choose to follow my vision and desire feelings as I continue on this journey.

As a result of this personal and professional inquiry, here’s what you can come to expect:

  • Advocacy: I will show support for the causes I believe to be social justice issue and recommend simple while timely ways you too can show your support.
  • Education: I believe when providing a recommendation, it’s also your responsibility to inform. Though cognizant of my bias I choose to use them as my lens in seeing the world.
  • Accessorizing: A new piece bi-weekly (on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month) that will include the bead’s story, my inspiration for the piece, or highlight my creative practices.

Simply put, I am excited to be on this journey and to share it will you. Tomorrow’s the day of something new—I’ll be sharing the first new piece, so stayed tuned…

CALL 2 ACTION: Inspired to consider your desired feelings?! You should as…

Desire is the engine of creation.
Feelings are your road signs.
Desire mapping is how to get where you want to go.

For more information, go here.

Hello! My name is Jillian Roth…

My Orientation Name Tag

My Orientation Name Tag

 

I am a MBA/MA in Educational Leadership student.

Three words to describe me are detail-oriented, passionate, and adventurous.

I look forward to meeting each of you.

 

 

 

This is how I introduced myself at the recent New Student Orientation. Being a working professional and part-time graduate student are just two of the many “roles” I play as I move through the world and experience this journey called life. This isn’t the first time I’ve introduced myself here; however, with each new chapter, the introduction seems to shift. As such, so does the focus of this blog. I will continue to share my muses about the just and unjust in the world while sharing my adventures of being a Black queer woman, small business owner, lover of beads, wife (more on this new distinction later), daughter, sister, and friend. I look forward to chronicling what I’m thinking about, exploring, learning, reading, creating, and ultimately doing—Educating & Advocating, all while Accessorizing—to “Make a Difference, One Bead at a Time…” 

I hope you will follow me on this journey of joyous passion and unknown adventures!

CALL 2 ACTION: I’m still figuring out a more consistent blog schedule, so stay informed of new posts by signing up for “Justice Happenings…” here. And, you can always connect with me on Facebook & Twitter (see like and follow buttons on the right-hand sidebar). Thanks!

3 Lessons I’ve Learned from My Mother…

Mom Whispers

On this Mother’s Day, when motherhood feels realistically on the horizon and many of my dear friends are about to be or are already amazing mothers, I’d like to honor my mother:

Marsha G. Ross

by sharing with the world what she has taught me thus far.

  1. How to Love. I have never doubted your love for me. Sure, we’ve had our moments of disagreement that led to hurt feels, yet I’ve always known when the day ends that I am your baby and you love me.
  2. How to Celebrate Life. Stephanie recently asked me, “What are we celebrating now?” Part of me wanted to get defensive and then I realized that I learned this valuable lesson from you, mom. Whether big or small, there’s always something positive to highlight during the day. A recent example: turning in my final for the business course I’m taking—allowing me to have a complete working business plan for Jillybeads 4 Justice. Oh, and it was FRI-day!!
  3. The Power of Open & Authentic Communication. This lesson is one of experience and hindsight. I’m positive there are times my mom wasn’t completely upfront with me, yet what I remember most is that she never shared more than she thought I could handle. Although sometimes with too much tough love, I appreciate that I can share just about anything with my mom with little to no embarrassment or shame, which connects back to point #1.

As this special day slips away from memory, I ask you to consider two things:

  1. What has your mom taught you? And…
  2. Let’s think of ways to support our moms throughout the year. As Janet Walsh highlights in her article, “Mark Mother’s Day by Reforming Family Leave Laws in US.”

Oh, and maybe one more…love your mom and those who are moms throughout the year…

we wouldn’t be here without them!!

~ One Love ~

Inspirational Beauty Everywhere | What’s Next for Jillybeads 4 Justice…

Photo Taken by Nikole DeZao

It’s hard to fathom that it’s been almost 3 months since the launch of Jillybeads 4 Justice! Now don’t get me wrong, there were many tasks that went into making such an event a reality. However, in many ways, it was simply the starting line.

Just like the athletes who did and will compete in London, when the whistle blows or the gun fires is truly when the real work begins—everything else was simply preparation. As many of you know, Jillybeads 4 Justice is not what pays the bills (at least not yet). As a result, the work happens in the evenings, during lunch breaks, and on weekends and holidays. For some, that may seem like too much to balance. For me, its easy to put in the extra time after an already long day when it’s created from my heart and passion—the desire to have something to call my own that allows for the intersections of my interests to Advocate, Educate, and Accessorize.

Advocate: to speak or write in support or defense of a person or cause.

Those that know me, know that I’m vocal about the causes I care about. They vary from women’s issues (e.g. Title IX, freedom of choice, empowerment, etc.) to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality to racial and economic justice to education to our Mother Earth. Despite the breadth, there’s a unifying factor—social justice. I’ve been privileged to have the resources to critically analyze my experiences as a Black queer woman living in a perceived “post-racial,” heteronormative, patriarchal U.S. society. I pull a lot from my personal experience, as it’s the best “data” I have at my fingertips.

Yes, Jillybeads 4 Justice is a business. A business that advocates knowing that activism is political and courageously takes a stand for justice. I believe our purpose is to use our voice and networks to advocate for the great work that’s being done in the Bay Area, throughout the country, and beyond the U.S. borders. In order to do so, I believe it takes teamwork with like-minded individuals. Thus, Jillybeads 4 Justice (J4J) will be collaborating with causes and organizations to further support their work while getting the word out about J4J.

You might be thinking, “What will this look like?” The first action will be what we call, Challenge Week. Challenge Week will be a Featured Organization that Jillybeads 4 Justice is showing extra LOVE to during a specified week(s) by doing the following:

  • Donating $5 from each piece sold;
  • Offering free shipping on all custom orders; and
  • Giving Voice to the Cause through a guest post on the J4J blog.

It’s the kind of win-win we  at Jillybeads 4 Justice—a piece of jewelry is sold and great work is supported!

Stay tuned for the first Challenge Week, which will kickoff the launch of our Fall Collection…

Educate: to inform a person or group.

In many ways, education comes before advocacy. I could argue, you have to become knowledgeable—personally and intellectually—about what you care about before taking action. Much of my knowledge has been acquired traditionally through higher education, yet I believe knowledge is everywhere and should come from more than the dominant source. This work is personal. I will always share what I know from my mind and heart while a community of smart, brilliant, thoughtful, and passionate people that’s constantly expanding inspires my work. I also believe its just as much my mission to share the “mic” and give voice to those who are engaged in the work that Jillybeads for Justice supports.

Since launching J4J, I would say I have continued being a perpetual learner. Much can be learned from a book, yet I would say my favorite medium is through travel whatever the means—car, plane, train, or boat. Since April, I’ve had the great fortune to visit numerous cities, 9 states, and Canada through varying means. I enjoy exploring what each city, state, and country has to offer in terms of culture, food, shopping, and recreation while capturing the great moments through photos (See my album of 2012 Summer Inspiration). On many of these adventures, I’ve acquired the beads that will inspire the 2012 Fall & Holiday Collections.

This “live” education reminds me that we all have a role to play. One of these roles is teacher. I have the upmost respect for teachers and educators at every level. This is why I love my “day” job because I, as a member of a team of people, have the privilege of supporting teachers all over the country to conduct teacher-led professional development (lesson study) with high-quality resources. Then we research the impact these resources have on both teacher and student learning. As Deborah Kenny states in her book Born to Rise, “Education is not about developing products. It’s about developing people.” Even though Jillybeads 4 Justice sells a product, the product is simply a means of enacting praxis—a cyclical process of reflection and action. Thus, advocacy informs reflection and often more knowledge. It’s my hope that through this journey I can educate those who support Jillybeads 4 Justice.

Accessorize: to equip the public with high-quality unique handmade jewelry that inspires.

I have many ideas for the 2012 Fall & Holiday Collections floating around in my head. I’ve been inspired by the beauty in every city I’ve passed through or intentionally visited, as well as the many people I’ve met, the knowledge gained, and visions for which I aspire. I’m stoked to see how the beauty that’s been infused into my soul translates into beautiful pieces to wear.

Stay tuned for the results, which will launch in early October with the introduction of the 2012 Fall Collection!!!

~One love~

CALL 2 ACTION: For many the Olympics is over, not so! The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games kick-off this week in London (Wed, August 29—Sun, September 9). For more information, check out: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/ and tune into the channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/USParalympics1. Show your support for ALL athletes!