Women’s Empowerment WINSday: Giovanni Dortch, Zenzile’s Way

imageGiovanni N. Dortch, when I first saw the name I aligned it with her iconic namesake. And I’ve found that it is a more than valid correlation. Giovanni, neé GioD is an Entrepreneur, Activist, Philanthropist, Womanist, Spiritualist, Mentor, and Coach, Scholar, Author, Pedagogue, Filmmaker, Domestic Goddess, Wife, Mother…

Giovanni Scholar

How she manages to find the time to be anything else while being in the dissertation stage of pursuing her Ph.D is beyond me… I can barely walk and blow bubbles at the same time… I kid, of course!

But she is, she is doing everything while completing her Ph.D in Sociology from the University of North Texas. Her work is focused on African Immigrants in the United States and Identity Formation and or Retention. How do they navigate the immigration process? What is it like being an immigrant of color? How do they identify or continue to identify? Is their identity defined by ethnicity, nationalism, or race? Very interesting work on navigating the process of immigrating and how it shapes identity… Although I’m not an immigrant, I am relative to more than a few and that whole process… Just whew! And identity, Listen Lindas and Lonnies! People of Color, don’t we know something about that identity…Or we learning.

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Giovanni, Scholar (photo credit: Quinn McGowan)

Giovanni Wife and Mother

And while she is in pursuit of her continued advancement in academia she continues to foster and model friendship, parenting, and love gracefully. Married for 2 ½ years to her best-friend and prom date (it really is one of the sweetest real-life love stories) and mothering 3 teenage boys– one in public school, one in charter school, and one being homeschooled… YAZZZ! Wipe your brow honey, she is doing that, seemingly with ease (and it’s not always easy, but she makes it look that way). Her career, scholarly pursuits, and family oft overlap as she lives out her politics and very full and colourful life. One awesome overlap is Co-Ownership with her husband, Quinn McGowan aka The Mighty Quinn of Iron Mic Coalition(but this ain’t about him, I’ll do that another time…) in Legends Press Comics. Her role as Business Administration means keeping the business end of thing in balance… And if you hadn’t figured out by now… This Libra woman knows something about balance and keeping it together… Can you say “In touch with your star player…”

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(Giovanni, Wife, Mother, Friend… photo credit/ artwork: Quinn McGowan)

Giovanni Entrepreneur

Which brings us to the business woman… As Owner and C.E.O of Zenzile’s (pronounced Zin. Zee.Lay) Way Consulting, Giovanni is leading the way in Public Speaking, Writing, Editing, Coaching, Diversity Training, Workshops and Corporate Communications with creative magic and keen insight. Through her company and aligned with her astrological nature, Giovanni will be launching her Luxe Libra Lifestyle brand (Coaching) in the upcoming month, which promotes “Better living through balance.” And has already embarked upon a partnership, The Scoop Divas, with Black Opal Media– a division of Harkins House Productions– offering on-site social media management and public relations… Meaning they can take our local events, GLOBAL! Somebody shout Gloowwwwray with me!!!

Giovanni Activist

And just when it looks like her plate could get no fuller, Giovanni adds just one mo’ thang! Community Service, again the GioD lives her politics and she does so seamlessly: The Activist Mother, The Business-Partner Wife, The Student and The Educator… Giovanni has currently picked up the mantle and is working on several projects in Memphis, including Memphis TEEN SUMMIT, a live series based on BET’s popular nineties TV Show that launched the career of Ananda. MTS is also part of an effort of supporting and welcoming the Cutting Edge Youth Summit , a project she’s been involved with for several years, to Memphis (February, 2015) And at the same damn time she has partnered to organize a push to bring FREE Yoga classes to under-served areas in and around Memphis through the Memphis Urban Yoga Initiative… Oh did I mention, she’s a YOGI! Yazzz! That too!image

Yeah!!! She is the GioD an amazing, magical womb warrior! 

Doing it with #AbundantFaith and #winning because #theUniverseIsHerHomegirl 

Watch as Giovanni answers the 7 Questions I ask Everybody and we totally NERD out about Office Supplies! 

Connect with Giovanni @

Web: www.zenzilesway.com

EmailZenzilesWay@Gmail.com

Phone : (318) 936-9453 or(318) ZEN-ZILE

Faceboook: www.facebook.com/ZenzilesWayConsulting

Twitter: @ZenzilesWay

Academia: education4socialjustice.tumblr.com

                   www.giovannidortch.com

Collaboration: scoopdivas.blackopalmedia.net 

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Picasso Baby Pt. I

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubistmovement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.

In Memphis on April 12 #206PicassoBaby endeavored a major feat by presenting an event that sought to capture Picasso and maybe to a lesser degree Jay-Z’ penchant for prolific artistry. Orchestrated and spearheaded by Speak Life Society founder Timothy “Urban Thoughts” Moore working in conjunction with other local artist 206PB was designed to provide an “ARTIST FREESTYLE” event as a platform to Memphis’ most vibrant, thoughtful, creative artists in the city.

I just want a Picasso…

Picasso Baby, is also the title of the Jay-Z song that reestablished the collaborative relationship Jay and Timbaland and the anchor for the game-changing Magna Carta Holy Grail album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picasso_Baby). If I didn’t get an indication on what to expect from the use of the name Picasso (Pablo), Picasso Baby definitely drew several from the part of me that relates to urban artistry and artists and what 206PB hoped to achieve.

Perhaps the desire to bring something rare or what is the desire to expose something familiar to a broader audience? The desire to up the ante? Do something new, different, unique? Another creative way to market artists? To showcase the talent of Memphis to Memphis in a new format? To seamlessly blend sight and sound, taste and smell, touch?

In the opening lines to the Picasso Baby song Jay, HOV, Hova, Mr. H-to the Izzo, nee’ Shawn Carter proclaims “I just want a Picasso” and then throughout the song progresses from wanting a million to wanting a trillion. The event seemed to follow the blueprint of seeking more opulence as well. Please allow me to explain…

Let’s say that 10 artists on a non-festival bill is a million. Ten artists in one night for $10 general admission might be a showcase, at the very least, and up line yes part of a festival line-up… So 10 is the million, the base line… Following that logic let’s say 20 artists on a non-festival show is a billion… And 30+ artists, of varying genres, various calibers, some with multiple talents on a non-festival show, in one night well yeah that’s a trillion folks! The winner’s circle, the ultimate… Right?

Ok, for the sake of argument, for the dissenters, the nay-saying naybobs, and those that will call me a hater (oh how I despise that word and it’s colloquial use… grrr) let’s say that is an oversimplified extrapolation of an event that many talented people invested their heart, spirit, soul, blood, sweat, tears, and finances into… The fact remains than when an event shares a name with the a legendary prolific artist and the title of a song from a game changig contemporary artist and business man comparisons will be made! And as comparisons go this is one person’s opinion (mine) and it is based on person’s beliefs and experiences and do not reflect the… blah,blah, blah… You know the spiel.

#206PicassoBaby

“BE CURIOUS. AND SLIGHTLY PARANOID.  (WHAT OPPORTUNITY ARE YOU MISSING?!)” Rebecca Van Dyck

I have been in Memphis for almost 2 decades (18 years Jan 1, 2014 to be exact) an I’ve seen some old things, seen some young things, seen some little pretty go and come things…What an enticing peace of something! Memphis is so full of talent that it has been my chosen exile, forsaking the sun and sand of Cali and staying planted in fertile ground. The talent in Memphis is so rich an raw that daily I am amazed. And #206picassobaby is no exception! An apropos title borrowed from the incomparable Jay Z album Magna Carta Holy Grail. In as much at that album is a game changer, so is Memphis an especially this event. Seamlessly blending genres, culture and philosophy under one roof. #206PicassoBaby seeks to engage and expose attendees in a creative environment. PHOTOGRAPHY.  DANCE. FASHION. VISUAL ART. LIVE MUSIC. A creative multi-dimensional event with theoretical ideas and concepts.

Described by coordinators as “A Plethora of artistic performances emerging,…. then pouring into the city; reflective of a sense of Picasso’s habitually chaotic style.” 

You are invited to witness this eruption of Memphis’ intellectual, creative beings as they touch the audience through extension of talent in the forms of writing, image, engagement, and performance.

Be fearless in your pursuit of GREATness! And only paranoid of being the one that gets the updates and not make the updates.

Opportunity is knocking, answer without reservation!

—Malaika Salaam,TheMotivator