Category Archives: features

Inspired 4 Change With Jazmine Harrington

May 14, 2015

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During high school, Jazmine was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune diseases that causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones. Read more about her incredible Learn how she has transformed tragedy into triumph with her upcoming charity event Inspired 4 Change.

Tell us more about your journey.
Right after my senior year of high school I lost a drastic amount of weight very quickly. I went from weighing 145 to 100. I was constantly sleepy and had no social life; my hair began to fall out as well. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me and my mom thought I was depressed.  One day a doctor finally tested my thyroid and discovered I had Graves’ disease.  Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones.  It causes extreme fatigue,  weight changes, heart complications,  tremors and sometimes bulging eyes. I became insecure about my physical image and I felt like I was living the life of a 50-year-old rather than a 20-year-old. Due to the severity of my condition, I suffered heart complications as well. After my last procedure I decided to become an advocate and help educate and inspire others through my passion and my story.

You conceived Inspired 4 Change after being diagnosed with Graves Disease. How important is it for young people to turn misfortune into action?
It is extremely important.  Every major accomplishment in my life has been produced from a misfortune.  I wasn’t able to attend the college of my choice because of lack of financial support and rather than give up the dream of college I went to community college and ended up attending a university that I never thought I would (James Madison University). There I learned about my passion for event planning. I learned the importance of being a leader in a population where you are the minority. And it was there that I gained a true understanding of what it meant to be a sister and the importance of helping your community through joining Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. I recently experienced my first heart break and it tore me up; I felt my life was over and I felt the lowest I had ever felt in my life. But it was through that I was able to examine who I really was and what type of woman I wanted to be. It pushed me to follow every dream for myself and to be confident in who I am as a woman.

Is there a lot of advocacy in the medical community for Graves Disease? How will your event help further that advocacy?
There sadly is not just because there are so many autoimmune conditions and Graves’ isn’t considered to be life-threatening. Many people overlook the severity of autoimmune diseases which is why they are termed invisible illnesses. Most people think you are fine because in most cases there are no physical symptoms but the internal toll it takes on your body is significant. I believe my event will help spread awareness because most people have never heard of Graves’ disease, and when I share my story people are always shocked. Also my hope is that more people will know the importance of getting every body system checked out because most people never get their thyroid levels tested.

What do you hope attendees at Inspired 4 Change get from the event? How do you want them to feel when they leave?
I hope they gain an understanding of you can’t judge a book by its cover. The most annoying things people say to me are “You’re too skinny, you need to eat more” and “You look fine there’s nothing wrong with you.” I eat all the time, but my metabolism is in overdrive and my body is constantly going at 100 mph. And just because I look “fine” doesn’t mean I’m not hurting.  I have to take medication every day for the rest of my life. I may never be able to have a child of my own. At least one a week I struggle with the symptoms of my condition.  But I don’t allow this to defeat me. I want the attendees to feel inspired and say “Wow, I can do anything I put my mind to in spite of what my obstacles are.”

What advice would you give to young people who want to become advocates and raise awareness about certain diseases or issues?
I would say do it and don’t be afraid to be truthful in what you have experienced.  It’s difficult opening up and sharing your story because people always judge and someone will always find something negative to say, but it’s your journey and story. You never know who you may be helping through sharing your story or sharing your gifts of song and poetry or whatever your passion is. There is only one you so even when you feel like there are a million people doing this same type of thing or talking about this same issue, it doesn’t matter because no one has a story identical to yours.

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?
My grandmother and my godmother are by far my greatest inspirations. My grandmother is a strong woman of faith and she never lets that waiver. She is loving and has dealt with adversity in the most beautiful of ways. My godmother was the one who always pushed me to chase my dreams. She gave me the confidence I needed to become a woman. She always told me I could do anything; she always reassured me that I was beautiful and kept me encouraged and in prayer. Both women have inspired me in every area of my life.

Inspired 4 Change is an event created to inspire, spread awareness and showcase talent. The event will feature local DMV poets, musicians and singers all coming together to display their talents for a great cause. All proceeds from ticket sales will go the American Thyroid Association  to further research and support for Graves Disease. To purchase your ticket to Inspired 4 Change, click here and visit @Inspired_4_Change on Instagram to learn more.

Feature: Austin Weatherington of IntellectuCOOL

April 14, 2015

Austin Weatherington

Austin Weatherington

Editor’s note: Tucked off Kennedy Street in DC is one of my favorite places in the city–Culture Coffee. It’s a tiny gem, easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. It isn’t one of those pretentious and overcrowded coffee shops. Instead it’s a space that serves as a coffee shop, art gallery and performance venue. Yes, yes and yes.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to link up with Austin Weatherington, co-founder and curator of IntellectuCOOL, at my favorite spot. Finding other people just doing dope things in DC is sometimes a difficult task. It’s not like NYC where the city is buzzing with different events that are well-known and easy to find. So, I appreciated when Austin reached out after seeing “See. Speak. Feel.” posted on Eventbrite. We had the chance to talk about all things writing, creative and even what it meant to reach (or get ready to reach) some milestone birthdays. In this Q&A, Austin discusses his own creative journey, how IntellectuCOOL got started and who his biggest influence is (among other things). Meet Austin.

Name: Austin Jamal- Depree Weatherington

Age: 29

Location: Washington, DC

Tell us more about your creative journey. 

My creative journey, ehh? I assume what I now understand as my creative journey started sometime back in 06’. I was a hooper in college and around that time I knew that dribbling a basketball wasn’t in my post-graduate plans. It’s funny because at that time the creative landscape was much different than it is now. The word “creative” had far less cache attached to it.  Back then, when I thought of art or being a “creative” I thought of neutral color mock-neck sweaters with a matching slouchy beret. I was very naive, perhaps even adversarial to creative labels. I knew I enjoyed words, and at that time I was really getting into Facebook and spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to impress my 123 friends with quasi-clever social observations and mildly humorous “notes” (remember those on Facebook?). So I coupled my  love for the written word, with my lifelong addiction to talking, and majored in communications. In many ways I’m still trying to figure out what to do with that degree. I walked across the stage and into this trap we call an economy, and truthfully I’ve been journeying ever since… writing, procrastinating, writing, blogging, self-preserving, in-and-out of relationships. I think this past year more than any other time I began “creating”- and really bringing concepts to life.

How did IntellectuCOOL get started? How does the brand reflect your creative roots?
So IntellectuCOOL began under the umbrella of The Smugger, which I am still very much a part of. The Smugger is an online minority men’s lifestyle platform, and collective of people. It was 2013 and The Smugger was thinking of ways to galvanize our base and bring to life some of the topics and things that were taking place on the site. I was tired of the going out options here in DC and thought we could present a cool alternative for others who felt the same. I wanted an experience where people could get together, share good energy and good music, yet still have an intellectual appeal. I had the concept half-way down but didn’t have the name. One night while eating yogurt the name came to me, and I sent the email the same night, and the rest has been history. IntellectuCOOL no longer exists under The Smugger umbrella; it stands alone as it’s own business. Moral of the story: eat more yogurt.

In terms of the creative roots question, I believe that IntellectuCOOL is the perfect platform to serve my creativity. I’d like to think that most of my creativity has purpose attached to it, so the brand is versatile enough to engage people with meaningful topics, yet pliable enough to accommodate the spontaneity that stems from artistic expression. In many ways my mind doesn’t always associate serious topics and questions with traditional solutions. In a past life, I was that cool liberal history teacher that never used the book, yet fully engaged and educated his students, changing the way they looked at history forever. My name would be Mr. Radcliffe, don’t ask me why.

IntellectuCOOL is a platform that fosters conversation through creativity. What does that mean and how is it reflected in the work you do?
So we like to think of IntellectuCOOL as more of an experience that folks can benefit from versus a product looking for a market. Our aim is to make conversation cool. It’s a platform where creatives/artists, intellectuals and the ideas that inspire them can be better understood. We focus a lot on concepts, understanding that based off experience and perspective people are going to draw their own conclusions about many of our topics and scenarios. However, the diverse mix of people and perspectives, coupled with the overall great energy and communal vibe, serve as the perfect atmosphere to explore your experiences and views on certain topic.

IntellectuCOOL is a partnership between you and co-founder Vic. How do you all work together? What is it like to advance a vision alongside someone else?
Vic and I work really well together. We both have our strong points but have done a great job of trusting one another to this point and that’s cool. We don’t step on each others toes, yet we get things accomplished. I think a lot of that has to do with both of us having vision. We both see great things for the brand and that fuels our work. We’re at a place where our brand is only going to go as far as our vision can take us. I’m really open to exploring his ideas, as is he of mine.

So this is where it gets a little weird; Vic when you read this, please forgive me. I don’t have any children so IntellectuCOOL is the one thing at this level of maturity I can say I’ve birthed and am now watching develop. I see Vic and I as “Partents” (partners-parents). Needless to say we’re very protective,  and are just now entertaining the idea of playdates. Although we understand it takes a village to raise a child, we are seeing great progress with us being the sole source of guidance. That said, our child is growing, and continues to amaze us daily. I can say that Vic has been an amazing partent who has more than carried his weight. Too much?

IntellectuCOOL recently teamed up with the Mousai House to host The Grey Area, an event exploring life’s undefined spaces through poetry, art, dance and discussion. Looking back on the event, what was your favorite part and what is one thing you would have changed?
Yes. shout out to the cool people over there at Mousai. They were great throughout the process and serve as an awesome space and resource for local artists. Looking back I think the turnout, the energy, and performances were all amazing. The one thing I would’ve changed was the way we set-up the space.

What can we expect from the next IntellectuCOOL event?
Being more interactive. We will have an atmosphere where participants can engage and interact with each other more.

What’s your artistic mantra?
See the end at the beginning. That way you’ll know what to do in the middle.

Who are some of your greatest influences?
Only one–my mother.

What are you currently reading?
A play actually, The Piano Lesson, by August Wilson.

Austin Weatherington is a writer and multi-media communications professional with a true passion for content creation and story development. He’s always, always, always looking to collaborate with people on things. Whenever, whatever, however; as long as its positive. 

IntellectuCOOL on social media | IG and Twitter: @intellectuCOOL | Facebook: IntellectuCOOL

Connect with Austin on IG and Twitter: @A4aus

5 Things I Learned In My 20s That I’m Taking Into My 30s

April 2, 2015

Guest post by Zahida Sherman Ewoodzie

zahida guest post

I just turned 30 which is both sobering and shocking. Turning 30 means shit just got real: I have to examine the woman I’ve become and the woman I still aspire to be.

Turning 30 is mind-blowing because while I theoretically always understood the aging process, I bought into the idea that I’d be forever young and invincible.  But then Sallie Mae started calling. And just about every artist or athlete I like is at least five years younger than me. I can’t fit into my clothes from college and unless I drag myself to the gym, my body will have that Laffy Taffy.  Not the good kind. I’m not immune to aging. This is happening.

When I was a girl, I imagined everything that I would be as a woman: a wife, mother, home-owner, and happy (whatever that meant). I am many of those things now (sans children, and not sure if I’ll ever want them), but somewhere in my twenties, I failed at living up to my childhood vision of womanhood.

My marriage to my college boyfriend completely fell apart in the first year. We were long-distance (bad idea), and though we spoke and visited each other regularly, we rarely communicated our deepest needs and our dreams for our marriage to each other. As a result, we checked out of our union in different, but equally destructive ways. It was one of the darkest times of my life. My marriage had become a Tyler Perry drama.

Things went sideways on the family front, too. After discovering the depths of my father’s flaws and the impact of his behaviors on my family, I attempted to sever my relationship with him. A couple of times. And I failed to stay completely out of his life each time. I refused to forgive him, yet couldn’t live with him being permanently out of my life. Each attempt to disown him left me feeling ungrateful for the positive force he had been my life.

The career path I was taking to become a college professor (because if you’re a good student, you should go to grad school, right?) was slowly killing my spirit. I depended on Nas and Lil Wayne to get me hyped for graduate seminars that I found boring and uninspiring. I was disconnected from my research and going through the motions with each passing year.

But I’m in a better place now. My husband and I are rebuilding our marriage based on honesty and integrity. I accept my father for who he is and speak to him regularly. I found a career that allows me to apply all the theory that grad school gave me to communities I care about. Through therapy, being honest with myself, and submitting to growing pains, I’m liking the person I’ve become. Most importantly, I’ve finally realized that the most important relationship I’ll ever have is the one with myself.

Zahida

Zahida

Despite the media’s messaging that turning 30 is the beginning of the end for women, I’m looking forward to it. Here are the top 5 lessons from my 20’s that I know will help me own my 30’s:

1.  Be your biggest influence. Whether it’s your grandma, dad, bae, or bestie, chances are that someone will impose their vision for your life on you. If their voice becomes louder than you own, you will not find fulfillment, and will instead find bitterness and emptiness in its place.  Always trust your gut and make sure that your decisions are authentically yours.

2.  Build your dream team. When I was a varsity athlete, I noticed that my game dramatically improved whenever I practiced with more skillful players. The same is true in life. When you surround yourself with people who are levels above you—in their romantic relationships, finances, profession, or spirituality– your game comes up. So be strategic with who you surround yourself with. If you hang around people who encourage you to be mediocre and petty, change your roster.

3.  Own your issues and work on them. You can’t blame your unhappiness on other people forever: sadly, you are the common denominator. If you leave your emotional baggage unchecked, it will sabotage your happiness and unfairly burden others. Find Jesus, a yoga studio, self-help book, or Iyanla, but you gotta get your shit together. The work you do on yourself may take a lifetime, but the sooner you get started, the quicker you’ll live and love more fearlessly.

4. Tell the truth. To yourself and to others. Telling the truth doesn’t mean you have to be cruel, it means voicing what needs to be said, even if it rocks the boat.  And especially if it means advocating for your needs and wants. Get good at constructively saying things that are difficult or uncomfortable to say, but will make a situation healthier. This skill will take you far in your work and relationships.

5.  Love on yourself. (Non-Black people, this is not a typo, it’s a transformative phrase in Black culture). As Black women, we’re taught to love and support everyone else before we love ourselves. Let’s not roll like that in 2015. Take time to regularly uplift yourself. Think  positive thoughts about yourself, celebrate and pamper yourself, and dance like nobody’s watching. How you love yourself will teach others how to give you the love and support you deserve. And if they don’t, love yourself enough to watch them kick rocks all the way down the street.

Zahida is the Assistant Director for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kenyon College. She has lived and worked in Seattle, Madison, Ithaca, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Zahida live for all discussions of gender, education, race, relationships, and coming of age.  

You can visit her website at blackonbothsides.com.

 

 

Confessions of a Powerhouse: Monique John of Twerked

March 26, 2015

Monique John of Twerked Image

Monique and I crossed paths a few years ago, and she immediately stood out to me. She was a woman who spoke her mind, was not afraid to comment on posts and was clearly in the midst of a powerful creative journey. It has been exciting and incredible to watch Monique change, evolve and stand firm in her work over the past few years. Her blog Twerked explores sexual politics for the millennial hip hop generation. Here she discusses how what started as her senior thesis morphed (and is still morphing) into so much more. Meet Monique.

Tell us more about your creative journey. How did you get started and where are you now in the journey?

For one, I didn’t always consider myself a creative. My entry in to writing, branding and working on passion projects was rooted in my past as a ballet student and as a journalism student at Fordham. I became passionate about learning about black literary works, black art and analyzing the experiences of black people in general when I spent my adolescence studying ballet and other dance techniques at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I was a mediocre dancer and I was horrible at following direction. I didn’t stand a chance at becoming a professional dancer as I had originally dreamed. Still, being involved with a company that had made history through giving black ballet dancers such a major platform made a tremendous impact on my understanding of what it means to leave a legacy, to be disciplined and to find different ways to express yourself—despite the ways in which the world can try to limit your mobility and visibility.

By the time I got to Fordham, it was all about fine-tuning my understanding of black history and being exposed to the academic jargon that articulated the things I’d always thought about or knew to be true. But I also think that my college years were a major period of sexual awakening. (The writer inside me is cringing at that last line but I’ll go with it, anyway.) It was the first time I was studying alongside young men that openly expressed their desire for me, instead of ignoring me or casting me aside as the goody-two shoes Caribbean chick. It took a lot of time and reflection to adjust to that, hence why I think I started flirting with a sex-positive feminist identity in my junior and senior years. It was that flirtation that set the groundwork for the writing that I do today.

Right now, I’m trying to capitalize on my creativity as best as I can to support myself. We all know that writers (especially those that couple their work with activism) tend to live relatively modest lifestyles. I say fuck that. I don’t want to live this binary of having a day job and a writing identity for the rest of my life. I’m shooting for a life where I can live off of my ideas—and the execution of those ideas—alone. If Zuckerberg and Jobs could do it, why can’t I?

You’ve reinvented yourself and your work a few times. What has that been like for you, both on and offline?

That has been a result of me growing up, navigating the real world, and having a more sophisticated understanding of branding and marketing after observing the heavyweights like Feminista Jones, Jamilah Lemieux, Demetria Lucas, Danielle Belton, Helena Andrews…Now I’ve come to a place where I’m really happy with how I present myself online and I don’t think I’ll be doing any more rebranding for a while. But that’s all up to where the world and where my writing takes me.

Offline, reinventing myself has meant creating the life I’ve wanted to live for so long. I knew I couldn’t build this fabulous identity as a sexuality blogger and still be living at my momma’s house. So a month after I redesigned my personal website, I spontaneously moved out of the burbs and into my first apartment—a beautiful, spacious home in Brooklyn on a lot just two blocks away from the gentrification line. I found myself thinking more critically about the quality of people I had surrounded myself with. I also found myself opening up to men for the relationship I knew I wanted and had waited for, but was too weak and hurt to fight for in the past. Many times I’ve seen how reinvention online has forced me to push through my comfort zones in the real world.

How did you conceive the idea for Twerked?

Twerked started out as my senior thesis in undergrad, a paper called “Poles, Power and the Everyday Woman.” Songs like “Pour it Up” and “I Luv Dem Strippers” were wildly popular at the time, and I was highly curious about women going to the strip club to socialize and compete with performers for men’s attention. There was something about the transactional construct of the strip club that I felt made for a great (or perhaps unfortunate) analogy for the often detached, transactional interactions we have with one another as millennials when pursuing sexual encounters. I also felt that women going to the strip club brought up an important and complex conversation. Why is it that we can express our disdain for patriarchy in certain contexts yet still engage in it and enjoy it in others?

Twerked-Logo-Twenties-Unscripted

Writing the paper and interviewing people for the project was a lot of fun, so I decided to build a blog for it where people could easily find and respond to the concept online. But ultimately, I needed a space to keep workshopping my ideas; blogging was the easiest way for me to keep going.

Twerked explores sexual politics for the millennial hip-hop generation. What do you see as the significance of our generation better understanding and absorbing sexual politics?

I think engaging in this work is important because it expands our understandings of ourselves and it helps us make more informed and satisfying decisions as sexual beings.

Our music industry annoys me sometimes because sexual references have become such a default topic in contemporary, mainstream hip hop. I enjoy music that talks about sex as much as the next chick. But I have a problem with it when it becomes so saturated that it comes off as tone deaf in relation to the vastness of the human experience. We as young people have a lot of music that projects us through pornographic images. I feel like (at least in mainstream hip hop) that sound tends to drown out the music talking about our erotic selves—who we are when we’re having genuine, meaningful and intimate connections with other people. I’ve found that immersing myself into feminist theories on sex helped me contextualize the ratchet music I’ve come to love while still tuning out the white noise and my finding my true erotic self.

I’d also say that understanding these politics, being articulate in the topic and respecting the complexities of it is important because it combats the way people are pathologized for expressing themselves and their needs as sexual beings. It is beyond me that a woman lobbying for access to birth control was called a “slut” and a “prostitute” by a powerful political commentator on a major media platform. It infuriates me that innocent people are being arrested for “manifesting prostitution” because of the way they dress, their gender expression, their sexual orientation and in some cases their affiliation with the sex-positive movement. We have to understand these things because pleasure—the way we perform it, the way we read it, the way we demonize it—is coded into our understandings of race, gender, class, orientation, motives and decision-making, relationship and friendship building, etc.

What 3-5 posts most represent the identity of Twerked?

This is like asking me to pick my favorite child. Imma say:

Who You Playin? Amber Rose and Hip Hop’s Mockery of Black Female Dignity

Who’s Afraid of Mary Jane?”

Sex Workers Need Support, Not Saviors

“There’s Fantasy. There’s Beyoncé. Then There’s Me.” #throwback

White Ignorance and Black Dance: My Response to the Uninformed Critic” – Twerked’s first post ever!

What are some common misconceptions about your work and your blog?

I think it’s easy to assume that as a hip hop feminist blog, Twerked is a place to bash black men in particular for their mistreatment of women. But that’s not what it’s about at all. Sure, I’ve called men out for the misogynistic behaviors on the blog before. But Twerked is more about how we read and respond to sexual representation in the media and less to do with vilifying people for their engagement in patriarchal and hypersexual constructs.

Dr. Areola Bandz

Dr. Areola Bandz

How did you come up with the pseudonym Areola Bandz? How do you distinguish that identity from Monique John?

The name “Areola Bandz” was conceived in a Fordham cafeteria while I was cracking jokes with my girlfriends as an itty bitty sophomore back in 2010—long before Twerked ever came about. Someone had asked me: “If you had a stripper name, what would it be?”

Areola is my muse. She pushes me to do things and to say things that I don’t always want to but that I know are good for me. She’s also much more beautiful, seductive, active and adventurous in how she wears her hair. She’s had a huge impact on me as I’ve grown into a woman and a writer, but I only consult with her when I’m writing for Twerked because that’s her soapbox. Arise TV and HelloBeautiful, not so much. Sexuality blogging is just one part of my life as a writer and intellectual, not the totality of it.

Mad libs round:

Women are…more capable than they give themselves credit for.

If women would more easily embrace intuition, their lives could be so much better.

Blogging is…how I stay sane.

3 things you can’t live without…my laptop (duh), my queen-size bed and my favorite family photo album.

What are you currently reading? Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Where do you see Twerked in the next five years? I don’t wanna say (mischievous grin).

Monique John is a writer specializing in feminism, racial politics, media representation and hip hop culture. Monique runs a blog entitled, Twerked, a blog on sex, hip hop and the strip club chic. She is now a contributing writer for HelloBeatuiful.com and has frequently appeared as a pundit for Arise TV, a 24-hour international news and entertainment channel. Monique’s writing has also appeared in The Root, For Harriet, Corset Magazine and The Feminist Wire. 

Learn more about Mo at moniquejohn.com and follow her on Twitter at @MoniqueEJohn. 

For Twerked, go to: twerkedblog.com

Twerked’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twerked?ref=hl

Areola’s Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/AreolaBandzPhD

Twerked’s Tumblr: http://twerkedblog.tumblr.com/

Twerked’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/twerkedblog/

One for the Books: Feature w/ Volume Twenty

March 12, 2015

Founders of Volume Twenty Make Reading Interesting and Accessible for Millennials

Adrienne (L) and Diamonde (R), founders of Volume Twenty

Adrienne (L) and Diamonde (R), founders of Volume Twenty

“I just want to drop this [quote] and sprinkle it with fairy dust for all of my cousins who are inundating my feeds with booty-popping selfies. Pick up a damn book. Please.”

That was one of my Instagram captions awhile ago, evidence of my frustration with a Facebook news feed filled with more bare bodies than signs of functioning brains. But for friends and roommates Adrienne Colman and Diamonde Williamson, they have channeled that desire for young women (and millennials in general) to read into something much more substantial than an Instagram caption.

Adrienne and Diamonde are the founders of Volume Twenty, a site where they not only sell and recommend books, but also seek to whet twenty-somethings’ appetites to read.

“Millennials aren’t reading because it’s always been required,” says Diamonde, referring to required reading throughout everyone’s years in school. “Plus, people are busy with work and school and simply don’t have the time to read.”

cVWda6N7_400x400However, one of the goals of Volume Twenty is to make reading fun, so it seems like less of a task or undertaking. Adrienne and Diamonde break down how many pages you’ll need to read a day to finish a book in a month. And while walking through a bookstore or even hopping on Amazon can feel daunting if you don’t know quite what you’re looking for, Volume Twenty provides a varied list in its shop that is easy to digest.

Additionally, Volume Twenty connects reading to navigating through one’s twenties in a smoother and much more intentional way.

“The more you read, the more you develop ideas about yourself,” says Diamonde. “You become a better conversationalist and you’re smarter.”

Adrienne and Diamonde also just started “Circle of Genius”, Volume Twenty’s monthly book club with selections focused on different aspects of a twenty-something’s life including finance, entrepreneurship or, as the site says, “how to just be awesome right now.” Readers can purchase a month-to-month subscription or bulk subscriptions.

So, what books are on Adrienne and Diamonde’s list of recommendations?

Adrienne

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Dads Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert Kiyosaki

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Room by Emma Donoghue

Diamonde

A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course In Miracles” by Marianne Williamson

The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life by Marianne Williamson

Enchanted Love: The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships by Marianne Williamson

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer

Adrienne and Diamonde

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker

To learn more Volume Twenty, check out www.volumetwenty.com and be sure to follow the site on Instagram @volumetwenty.