Sept 2014
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The creative activist opens doors, raises public awareness as a call to action for social change. They use creativity as a tool to teach, bridge gaps, to foster understanding and social justice. They think like a global citizen. They appreciate different cultures and stories. They are curious and delight in being a lifelong learner. They believe it is our problem not your problem. They look for the common humanity rather than what separates us.   They support the development of capacities, skills and talents that activate both individuals and groups. They encourage inventiveness, originality and creativity to raise self esteem and solve community problems. 
And I met a creative activist who I would like to introduce you to. Her name is Laurie Strickland, (pictured above meeting Michelle Obama and with some of the children she works with) she is American and a whole lot more. Actor, poet, writer, facilitator, researcher and an all out Dickens fanatic. Actually this might be too light of a title for her, Laurie, eats, sleep, talks and laughs Charles Dickens, and she’s introduced Dickens to my curiosity.

My English teacher at school would despair. The hours he tried to get me interested in the author. Even though Dickens had a home on the book shelf in our front room when I was a child, I wasn't interested in reading his works. Yet I loved watching the film.

Laurie and I met in what we both term our favourite place to get creative juices flowing, which is Bush Theatre in Shepherds Bush, a small intimate rustic sort of place, which no matter how busy it gets there is minimum noise levels as what seems to be avid readers, writers, researchers and I've even met photographers there, enjoy its ambience. It seems to be a hub for quiet, deep thinkers and creative dreamers.
Being a true believer in fate, when I initially met Laurie I knew it was no coincidence. And the fact that she ignited my interest in Charles Dickens by telling me about his little known work with vulnerable women, children and the poor. In fact he had a house in Shepherds Bush which he donated to women of the streets during that time.

Laurie is so passionate that she wants to take the story of A Christmas Carol around the globe. She has been successful in New York with the play, and apart from the UK, we are encouraging her to take it to Jamaica. I can already imagine Oliver Samuels, (pictured above left) as Ebenezer Scrooge and even the hilarious Keith 'Shebada' Ramsay, (pictured right) can challenge his acting skills and tackle the serious role of the patient Bob Cratchit, family man and father to Tiny Tim. Actually, I want to be a part of taking A Christmas Carol to Jamaica. Wouldn't you welcome such an opportunity to do that classic our way?


This year join us why don’t you. For an event of Empowerment & Well-being with Debates, Performance & Activism -  Celebrating Women and Girls.

We kick off at the Hibiscus Hotel in Ocho Rios on the 21st October from 9am – 6pm with a day filled with speakers, workshops and presentations from writers, broadcasters, coaches, facilitators and entrepreneurs.
Speakers are coming in from the UK and Africa to join their Jamaican counter-parts and include Rasheda ‘Ginger’ Ashanti, Tameka Hill, Patricia McKenzie Thomas, Patricia Foster, Sonia Henry, Karleen Jackson and Denise Henry. We will be heading onwards into the hills of Kingston where our private VIP evening will be hosted at the home of Dr Carolyn Cooper. This will be an evening of 'Movers & Shakers' a prelude to our 2015 event and all in aid of the empowerment and well-being of women and girls.

We have two of Jamaica's most dynamic entertainers, Sharon, Tucker and the Poet and so much more, Italee.

for more information:


The Free Me To Be Me Domestic Abuse Ambassador Training kicked off on Thursday 21st August at the White City Community Centre.

I cannot stress how important this training is in assisting women and girls to be in charge of their lives and their futures. At the base of most abuse is the economic dependency on the perpetrator. If women were in a strong financial position there would be fewer chances of her or her children living with abuse.

The Free Me To Be Me Training is seeking women and girls who are passionate about empowering other women and girls, to come forward and take part in a training that can only add to your skills and your experience.

Session three of our five weeks introduction commences on 4th September, 10:am-2:30pm. Your lunch and travel of up to £5 will be covered.

If you know someone out of work or education, who is down but not out and would be interested in becoming an ambassador, please drop us an email with their info to: and we will contact them.

Community discussions on domestic, sexual abuse and hidden harmful practices kicks off. The women and girls were vocal in what they hoped to contribute to raising awareness.
Domestic Abuse Ambassadors in training
. . . and some started young and came with the full understanding of bullying and its negative effects.
Matisse V Kofi Arts
My youngest son and I was invited by his ex boss, (editor of the Evening Standard, Sarah Sands) to a private viewing of the French artist, Matisse last works during his years of illness. Well firstly I had no idea who Matisse was and so did the Google thing. Reading about him didn’t raise any immediate interest but after eight hours of writing nonstop on my manuscript, I thought it would be a nice break to actually see what Matisse was all about.
It wasn’t far from my thoughts; and I don’t mean to be disrespectful but Matisse’s work appeared to be boring pieces of cut out papers stuck together, which as far as I was concerned my seven year old granddaughter could easily accomplish. May be it’s too intellectual for me, I conceded in quiet amusement.
As I meandered my way from the beginning to the end of the exhibition, my opinions shifted as I saw the differing themes and most importantly the creative eye this artist used to share his work on paper. His latest exhibition uses really vibrant colours, which is what I expect to see in captivating art, but it was this that had people ooing and aahing. If Matisse were here today I would introduce him to Kofi, the African artist whose works uses truly amazing vibrant colours, and teasing shadowy strokes of paint brushes  that captures the use of the third eye in creating art.
Thankful for the Sun
Now fading fast into the distant, the sun was good to us this year in the UK. Consider how happy it makes most people. We certainly can’t complain about a lack of summer this year. The sun was kind to us, kissed us with Vitamin D and gave us glowing skin.

The sun also gave us a spring in our steps and put smiles on people’s faces and I'm praying we get another good summer next year. As one of my client told me, ‘I can handle most challenges with the sun shining.’

I leave you with the quote for the month: Light travels faster than sound, this is why some people appear bright until they speak.

More health, wealth, love and joy!

Rasheda ‘Ginger’ Ashanti Malcolm, Writer, Author, Broadcaster, Creative Activist, CEO of WIN & Director of The Wilde Foundation & Co-organiser of Every Woman Inspired Conference and Expo.
Copyright © 2014 Wilde International Network, All rights reserved.

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