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Archive for June 2011

Leah D. Gordon Selected as Social Media Summit Panelist, October 22, 2011

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Leah D. Gordon is a public relations consultant and knowledge management specialist, who provides training in communication strategy, image development, building and managing online communities of practice.

I am honored to have been selected as a panelist for the 3rd All Women’s Social Media Summit to be held at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, North Carolina on October 22nd, 2011.

I will appear along side women who have demonstrated expertise in various aspects of navigating social media to build business and strengthen relationships.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@simpleelovlee) for updates and live tweets from the conference. I am looking forward to connect and engaging with women invested in making their mark in the social media landscape!


Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

June 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

32 Years Young

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As I honor Soulquarians, I recognize J Dilla, a producer who emerged from underground hip-hop. J Dilla died in 2006, three days after his birthday at age 32 from a blood disease known as TTP.

“Nag Champa” is one of a few rare occurrences in which Common’s frequent collaborator, takes on the role of singer. Common later explained:

“Jay had an incredible voice-he actually was going to do a singing album. We used to talk about that when he would stay in LA.” —Common

J Dilla, also known as Jay Dee, produced albums that rose profiles of the Soulquarian collective. Many of the classic tracks we know by Bilal, Erykah Badu, Common, D’Angelo and The Roots were all produced or co-produced by J Dilla.

The sound these albums exude were wedged into a category known as “neo-soul” but does not truly capture the artistry, social consciousness and fusion of multiple music genres.

We miss you, J Dilla. Although you gave us all you had, you weren’t done yet.  The impact you had on us lives on.

Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

June 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

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Hip-Hop Response to Groupthink

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They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow. They are us. This is what we have become. Afraid to respect the individual. A single person within a circumstance can move one to change. To love ourself. To evolve.

—Erykah Badu, monologue in “Window Seat”

What is GroupThink?

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints. Antecedent factors such as group cohesiveness, structural faults, and situational context play into the likelihood of whether or not groupthink will impact the decision-making process.

In a 400-page report released July 11, 2004, the United States Intelligence Committee concluded that the intelligence community suffered from “collective group think” which led to the presumption that Iraq had an active and growing weapons of mass destruction program.

“This group think caused the community to interpret ambiguous evidence such as the procurement of dual use technology” to mean Iraq had an active weapons program, Pat Roberts (R-Kan)said. “It is clear that this group think also extended to our allies” and other nations, “all of whom did believe that Saddam Hussein did have active WMD program.”

“This was a global intelligence failure,” Roberts added.

Badu and GroupThink

On March 13, 2010, Erykah Badu shot “Window Seat” known to be her most controversial music video. This video was shot in a single take, in real time, while she walks Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas removing articles of clothing. At the end of the video Badu is shot in the nude by an unknown assassin. Blue blood flows from the gunshot to her head and spells out “groupthink.”

Badu was inspired by Matt & Kim’s video for the song “Lesson’s Learned” shot in New York’s Times Square.

“…the bravest, most liberating thing I’ve ever seen two people do… I wanted to dedicate this contagious act of liberation and freedom to them. I hoped it would become something contagious that people would want to do in some way or another” Badu said.

Badu described President John F. Kennedy, assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza, as one of her heroes stating,

“My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. JFK is one of my heroes, one of the nation’s heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth.”

Badu intended for the assassination scene to represent character assassination by groupthink.

A clue that tells you if an artist is “true hip-hop” ask yourself, “is it socially conscious?” So many MCs fake and over use the classification of hip-hop. I’m just so glad true hip-hop lives on.

This week, I pay tribute to Soulquarians, featuring one or two of the talented people in the collective via my blog (the 1st was on FB, I have to move it over).

Today I honor Erykah Badu, the only female Soulquarian. She has inspired me over the years, been with me on long road trips, danced with me in my dorm room and chilled out with me while writing blog posts. Erykah Badu continues to drop heavy beats, captivate you with her voice and raise serious and sensitive issues through music. She encourages us to understand “what’s going on. “

Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

June 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Knowledge Management for Data Use and Decision Making in International Public Health

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Knowledge Management for Data Use and Decision Making in International Public Health captures strategies that facilitate sharing knowledge, building skills and using data for decision making. This topic paper is intended for international health program managers and researchers whose role includes a communication or knowledge management component.

Anna Schurmann, Lisa Mwaikambo, and I examine ways in which knowledge management can increase engagement between research, policy-making and public health practice to close such gaps. We base our understanding on the notion that improved knowledge sharing will lead to wider understanding, enhanced cooperation, more effective use of good practices and better health outcomes. KM is important as it can provide cost-effective ways to access knowledge and engagement between different stakeholders—therefore making knowledge sharing more possible.

Examples of communication platforms used as part of larger KM strategies presented in this paper come from organizations such as Nike Foundation, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation project, USAID, WHO, Population Reference Bureau, Intrahealth, K4Health, AIDSTAR-One, MEASURE Evaluation and many others.

About the Authors:

Anna Schurmann

A maternal and reproductive health consultant.

Leah D. Gordon

A knowledge management specialist for an international public health project and a public relations consultant working and living in Durham, NC.

Lisa Mwaikambo

An e-learning coordinator for an international public health/knowledge management project.

Written by Leah Denise Wyatt

June 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm