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PR Pros: Choosing Clients’ Causes Carefully

Your advice is not only valued, as a hired PR professional, wise counsel is required.

So, how do you help your clients choose the causes they support? Being driven by emotions or going with what’s popular, is sure to be a recipe for disaster.

Discouraging clients from seeking alliance with causes they really have no sincere desire to support, or no real understanding of, should be number one priority.  It can be hard to steer them in a more beneficial direction, avoiding self-destruction of their brand, but it’s responsible and necessary.  They’ll thank you later and you’ll sleep better at night.  Throwing support to a cause they don’t truly believe in, will only lead to their support waning, which will consequently reduce the value of their endorsements as they appear “flaky”, or even unstable, in the public-eye.

Local vs. National

It can seem convenient to offer support to the largest, most visible organization when it comes to “giving-back”, but could a local organization, requiring more hands on support, be more beneficial to your client’s long-term philanthropic goals and public image?  Analyzing the organization’s mission, do results support that mission?

Local organizations will allow for your client to see the lives their efforts effect. They will be able to look directly into the eyes of those benefiting from their donations and volunteering, and will also be more likely to give to those in their hometowns who directly affected their success, which makes for excellent public relations.  This encourages a more faithful, less “fair-weather”, connection.

Alternatively, national organizations offer the opportunity for clients to give-back to multiple communities at once.  If your client lives or their primary business is based outside of their hometown, this choice would allow them to give-back to their hometown community, as well as to the new community that has embraced them. There should be no lack of effort on the client’s part to make their presence known, even when the cameras are off or not around.  A national organization will also be more likely to have consistent PR representation, affording a better grasp on public support of the cause and offering more flexible events your client can join.

Making the Commitment 

Sometimes a client desires to support organizations with a focus that may require a little extra effort for educating the public or validating the connection. Is the client truly committed? This is where your client’s genuine beliefs will come into play. The work required will expose the true intent: is it pub or love?

One example of true commitment is that of Actress Ciera Payton. Being raised, until the age of 13, by her grandmother and drug addicted (now incarcerated) father, Ms. Payton wanted to align her brand with organizations that would allow her to connect with youth growing up in an environment similar to herself: children of incarcerated parents.

But how understood is this cause?  

Most children of incarcerated parents are misunderstood and, in many cases, ignored.  Many can site statistics, and some can actually admit they’ve become a statistic, but Ms. Payton’s focus is clear: share the fact that she has overcome the statistics.  

By welcoming audiences in, sharing some of her most painful moments growing up in a life-threatening environment, Ms. Payton reaches those who can relate, finding those in need. She credits the Arts for saving her life, and not only commits funding, but diligently focuses on giving-back to youth facing the same battles she’s faced by mentoring.  She has chosen a mix of both local and national organizations to support, allowing her to give back to her hometown of New Orleans as well as her new home of Los Angeles.  

Maya Angelou quote (pic)

PR and Publicity vs “Puff and Fluff”

While announcing the partnership, be honest with the public.  Don’t puff up your client to be more than what they are or try to fluff up their support to be more than what it is.  Instead, once the choice has been made, be sure to connect with those who genuinely share in the cause.  Reach out to those who are long-term supporters, whether celebrity or not. This will not only increase the support base for the cause, but will also strengthen your client’s alliance.  Joining forces and sharing ideas for creative support, increases public awareness and makes the difference between superficial “puff and fluff” and careful PR and publicity.

Remember, it’s the man who has more that gives more and philanthropic efforts are what keeps many in need going and feeling encouraged.  Giving back for the cameras is bound to be exposed and never worth the backlash.

~ Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional


A successful celebration of “giving back”

It’s been said that “no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted!” (Aesop) and that definitely held true for the Black Celebrity Giving’s 1 year Anniversary celebration held Friday, July 27, at EIFFEL Society in New Orleans. To some, the celebration of a 1 year Anniversary may not seem like a big deal, but the more than 300 guests joining in the celebration and the evening’s honorees would most certainly disagree.

It was an exciting opportunity to work with Black Celebrity Giving (BCG).  In just one short year, BCG had brought attention to such charitable efforts as Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive Foundation”, Halley Berry’s work with the Jenesse Center, Inc. and 50 Cents’ challenge to ‘Hustle to a Million’ fighting world hunger, and now they were calling on my team to help with the Publicity and PR for the event.

And so the work began…

Not only did the Press Release need to be created and distributed, but BCG also needed:

  • A Third Honoree for the event
  • A band and singer(s)
  • A photographer
  • A good New Orleans dessert
  • More contributors to the gift bags…

and lastly, they needed more guests! It was a race against the clock with less than 3 weeks to the event, the RSVP list was growing, but slowly!  Making a few phone calls, we were able to answer BCG’s requests and check off their “to do list”.  After making just a few calls, I was able to secure the 3rd honoree for the event, The Roots of Music, the band and singers, the photographer, and the dessert.  Then, with the great help of Teirney J. of Deuce McAllister’s Catch 22 Foundation, Kori of GloPR, and Roslyn of BreakThru Media Magazine, my team and others, the guest list immediately began to grow at a very rapid pace!

Anchor Eric Paulsen of WWLTV Ch. 4 gave the event an early morning “shout out” and thanks to Liz Reyes of WVUE FOX 8 News, and Deuce McAllister’s immediate and courteous response to my request, we were able to get a great “day of the event” interview broadcast in the late afternoon!

Retired Saints RB Deuce McAllister talks with FOX 8’s Liz Reyes about BCG 1 year Anniversary celebration & the honoring of his Catch 22 Foundation

Saints Retired RB Deuce McAllister, me, FOX 8’s Liz Reyes and Teirney Johnson, Catch 22 Foundation Administrator


BCG Founder Jasmine Crowe’s vision of spotlighting the good works being done by black people (celebrities and not) in the black community, would continue in New Orleans with the honoring of Retired Saints RB Deuce McAllister’s “Catch 22 Foundation”, Pink House, Inc.”, and The Roots of Music”.  Actor Lamman Rucker, who some may know as “Troy, the Sheriff, who rescued Jill Scott in Tyler Perry’s ‘Why Did I Get Married’” or as “Mr. Brown’s nephew” on the T.V. show ‘Meet the Browns’, served as celebrity host for the evening, and joined in the celebration.

Retired Saints RB Deuce McAllister (Founder, Catch 22 Foundation), April Fournier-Scott (Exec. Director, PINK House, Inc.), Actor Lamman Rucker and Lawrence Rawlins (Director, The Roots of Music)

The management of EIFFEL Society expressed their extreme pleasure with the event, telling everyone they could that “this is one of the best events we’ve ever hosted”.  Now that was just great to hear!  Everyone who made it possible should be proud.  No one person did it alone; it took teamwork and commitment to the cause.  What a thing to celebrate: “giving back”.  As Anne Frank stated “no one has ever become poor by giving”.  I say “to give of yourself is the ultimate gift to give!”

Catch 22 Foundation Administrator Teirney Johnson, Ret. Saints RB & Founder of Catch 22 Foundation Deuce McAllister and Me

Me with Black Celebrity Giving Founder, Jasmine Crowe

Me with Actor Lamman Rucker

Non-Profits Trending!

There’s a lot to be said about giving, and I’ve appreciated that more in the last 2 weeks than I think I ever have.

Most often I have to convince my clients to “give back”, pointing out the publicity value and the “less expensive” ways to accomplish the goals of giving, only to have budget constraints and “doubtful minds” reject my philanthropic ideas.  But later, they revisit my suggestions and see the value in giving

But my latest new clients, being non-profit organizations, need no convincing and I find that they have a lot to talk about because they give.  They’re not “easy”, but writing their pitches are not as “complicated”, if I may say it that way.   As I work with Black Celebrity Giving (BCG) in preparing for their great anniversary celebration, I find myself ending my days feeling like my work really made a difference.  Another thing I haven’t felt is the need to really try to “make” a story happen.  It fits perfectly with my motto: “Good publicity isn’t hard if you’re saying and doing good things”.   In other words, these organizations are walking the talk and that makes my job just a little easier.

With the New Life Home Giveaway, it’s fascinating to see how much goes into “giving a home away”!  You would think it would be easy, but people are skeptical.  After all, nothing is free…right?  Well, of course, you must reserve a ticket (no limit on how many) but each ticket is $100.  So how about getting a home for $100?  A newly built home in an exclusive subdivision.  But the giveaway isn’t just a giveaway, it’s for a great cause.  The goal is to use the proceeds to build a community campus filled with positive activities for the youth of Greater New Orleans in a safe environment for the whole family.  

It’s time to start a trend in giving…

NOBCChE Awards Young Minority Innovators and Scientists

The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers Unveils “Rising Star” Award Program

 “Rising Star” Award Program seeks to serve as a vehicle for employers to celebrate diversity within their organization and recognize young innovators and top achievers!

Young Minority Scientists recognized: June 30, the final list of this year’s “Rising Star” nominees will be known.  Participating companies will submit the names of young innovators, top young African-American, Latino or other minority scientists, engineers or technology professionals (with five years or less experience) who exhibit talent and skill within their organizations.

Company participation: Invitations have been sent to over 60 companies seeking candidates. At NOBCChE’s September conference, an Awards Dinner, Gala and Career Fair will be held in Washington, D.C. where representatives of the organizations sponsoring and helping to make the program possible will be in attendance, and present the awards to their honorees.  These companies will also participate in the NOBCChE job fair, where more than 1,000 qualified candidates have the opportunity to connect with potential employers.  It will be an exciting event, but it is only the beginning of this effort being made by NOBCChE.

Job Fair: Companies participating in the “Rising Star” Awards Program and those choosing to be sponsors of the event, will participate in the NOBCChE job fair also taking place at the September conference.  The job fair presents the opportunity for companies to recruit tomorrow’s top engineers, scientists, innovators and leaders.

 Dr. Victor McCrary, President of NOBCChE

“Concentrate more on doing the right things, than on doing things right”  

Serving as the President of NOBCChE, the 4,000 plus member organization dedicated towards developing and promoting students and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with his extensive knowledge, remarkable achievements and prestigious awards, developing the “Rising Star” Program is consistent with the professional endeavors of Dr. McCrary.
Technology Expert & Accomplished Top Professional Helping Others

Dr. McCrary organized the world’s first conference on electronic books in October 1998, and subsequent conferences in 1999 and 2000.  His research group has developed a prototype of the electronic book reader, and a low-cost Braille reader for electronic books which recently received a 2001 R&D 100 Award.   His former group at NIST is currently leading the efforts Dr. McCrary initiated in the evaluation of CD & DVD media lifetimes, and the care and handling of CD’s & DVD’s.   Most importantly, Dr. McCrary credits the string of innovations from his division through his student program at NIST where his division employed and mentored over 40 students ranging from 14 years old to 22 years old; many have gone on to graduate degrees in science, engineering, and law.   

Adding to his commitments to empower and educate, Dr. McCrary is also an adjunct lecturer in the Executive Masters of Technology Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania .

Underscoring Advancements of Minority Chemists and Chemical Engineers

Demand for a “greener world”, better and more advanced technology and highly effective pharmaceuticals, the need for individuals excelling in science, engineering and technology are critical for world progress.  NOBCChE seeks to celebrate the accomplishments these individuals  and encourage young, minority people in these fields, both current and future.


The mission of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) is to create a cadre of people of color in science and technology!  The Organization promotes careers in science and technology as an achievable goal for elementary, middle, and high school students. In addition, NOBCChE encourages college students to pursue graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. NOBCChE makes a difference!!
Read more details at Client News

Client Communication – Key to solid PR relationships!

With the day-to-day phone calls, emails, social media, networking, meetings and everything in between, as a PR Pro it can almost seem impossible to communicate with the clients we are working so hard for, as we work.  But making communicating your efforts a part of your routine will actually help to solidify the valuable relationship between you and the clients you serve.

Silence isn’t always golden….

How many times have you been asked by a client “so, how are things going?” only to wonder silently “what do you mean? I’m working…”  Well, it’s not such an unreasonable question, especially if your client hasn’t heard from you, with either a request for images to complete a Press Release or a time that they will be available to fulfill an interview request, or just an update on the “routine”.  Isn’t it only normal that they are “curious”?  They may even imagine that you’re off jet skiing or scuba diving as their campaign “runs itself”.

Never allow your clients’ imaginations to run away!  It’s easy for misinterpretations to happen when no one is saying anything.  We’re assuming that they know, while they simultaneously entertain the thought that we’ve gotten “too big” for their business.  Even if you are slaving away, let your clients know.  A simple email, phone call or even text message, can go a very long way.

Got personality?

Contrary to popular belief, good PR isn’t about spin, but more of personal connection and yes, personality; building that connection keeps us knowing what to deliver, much like we do in any relationship.   So why can’t PR Progress reports, which can sometimes seem tedious, boring and even a little dull, have a little personality?  Instead of the typical PDF black & white, “just the facts” reports, how about adding pics of you and your staff working?  Sounds silly?  Well, it’s really not that hard since that is what you are doing…right?  And doesn’t it bring a little personality (oops, there’s that word again) to the typical?  If you’re always at your computer, on the phone, or both and have to eat as “life happens” why not share that shot with your clients?  Eating while you work! Courtesy of www.femalehealth101.blogspot.comNo, not all of the time, just sometimes…but be careful to not send pictures of you dozing off at the computer, unless it’s midnight and you want to show that you’re willing to sacrifice sleep to “get it done”!

Photo courtesy of femalehealth101.blogspot.com

Keep the balance…keep the peace

Just as it is necessary to communicate, letting your client know that a phone call with them won’t always be possible (in a nice, PR professional way of course) is necessary as well.  A distracted mind is a task left undone.   So in other words, the “needy” client, that may feel a little insecure and feel the need to always hear your voice, may need to be gently reminded that in order for you to produce results, you must focus on the tasks at hand.  How can you focus on responding to that interview request or following a social media conversation or completing the research needed for their campaign if you’re giving them your undivided attention on a phone call…daily?  But be careful with this reminder….you don’t want it to have the adverse affect.

With all the work that we do as PR Pros, we cannot forget to let our clients know what it’s like to be us, sometimes.  We study their businesses, projects, careers, fan base, target audience, etc., but do they have a clue as to what they signed up for and what it is that you and your staff actually do from day-to-day?  Let them know, and build the bond.  You’ll be glad you did!

-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Pro

“Hair Loss: Causes and Prevention” – AfroVeda’s Ustream Show 3/19/2012

Even though there was extremely bad weather and several power outages in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the show “went on” for AfroVeda CEO Mala Rhodes.   After giving a brief re-cap of the last show, Mala proceeded with the show’s topic:  Hair Loss: Causes & Prevention!

With so many Americans, men, women and even children, experiencing hair loss for a multitude of reasons, as the CEO of a hair products company, Mala felt compelled to address the subject and offer possible, easy solutions.

From braids that are “too tight” to “hormonal imbalance”, the causes for hair loss are many, but most were discussed and great insight was given!   If you missed the show, take a look at it now! AfroVeda’s “Hair Loss” Ustream Show

And it’s no surprise that the Featured Product was Methika, an Ayurvedic Scalp Treatment Oil used for reducing dandruff, hair loss, hair thinning and other things such as provides vital nutrients to the scalp!  It is an incredible combination of organic ingredients including coconut, castor and sesame oil, almond and honey.  Because it is so essential to the health of the hair and scalp, a 2 ounce size was made available for FREE*!

Be sure to watch the next show, Monday, April 2 at 7pm CST / 8pm EST and don’t forget to ask your questions via chat!

*Product offered free of charge with every $25 purchase and special discount code.

A Great Premiere Show!!!

With so many questions and YouTube interest being generated about the hair care products created by her company, AfroVeda® Hair Care Products’ CEO & Founder, Mala Rhodes decided it was time to give AfroVeda® a voice in the “online video” world.  Sure, the company has their own website, but these days, consumers are demanding a more intimate approach from companies and the people behind the products that are being displayed before their eyes daily in ads and commercials.

100% Natural Hair Care Products

Tonight was the broadcast of the first AfroVeda® U-Stream show and the response has been great!  Did you see it?  If not, you really missed great information, not only about AfroVeda®, but about the ancient healing system Ayurveda which promotes health and healing!  AfroVeda®’s products are created using the Ayurveda system and AfroVeda®’s customers are the beneficiaries!  Here’s the link to the recording of tonight’s show: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20591555

With every show, which is set to broadcast at least twice monthly, current customers and curious consumers, who are not quite sure if AfroVeda®’s products are for them, can submit questions to be answered live or they can simply listen and learn.

-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional

“Lesson Before Love” Premieres at B.A.M. in Brooklyn, NY

This interview was conducted by freelance writer Brian Moore.   It gives great insight to the early days and present achievements of filmmaker Dui Jarrod.  If you’ve ever dreamed, what you think is the impossible dream, after you read this interview, it may just give you the hope that no dream is impossible!  Much gratitude to Brian!  And congratulations to Dui!

February 15, 2012

Some people will do almost anything for love. Dui Jarrod, a peripatetic filmmaker who’s travelled from his birthplace in Arkansas to his current home in Brooklyn, with stops along the way at Louisiana State University, New Orleans and Atlanta, has made “Love” the singular force in his life since 2008.

But Jarrod, 31, didn’t spend those years in singles bars or on Match.com.  He spent them breathing life into his first feature film, “Lesson Before Love,” a spirited drama which tracks four thirty-something singles whose self-doubt stands in the way of a fulfilling relationship.

“Lesson Before Love” is Jarrod’s labor of love.  Simply financing the film took him over three years, and he wasn’t asking for a George Lucas budget.

“Most people make more money in a year than what I filmed my film on. Probably the most difficult thing, that first domino, was getting the money. I thought, ‘Wow, we’re done with that. It’s going to be easy.’ But it wasn’t like that at all,” Jarrod says.

“Filming the film was difficult. Post-production has been difficult. Distribution has been difficult, but I’ve been blessed that we’ve had success at every place and every portion of this journey,” he adds.

The sweat that Jarrod poured into his creation is reaping rewards. It took best drama at the San Diego Black Film Festival this year, and has a pole position, 9:30 p.m. slot Feb. 17 – a Friday – at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMCinematek’s New Voices in Black Cinema Festival. (Jarrod and some of the cast will host a Q&A after the screening.)

Jarrod took a break from the lead-up to his BAM screening to discuss the difficulties of getting “Lesson” made, the craft of writing and the plusses and minuses of being a “new voice in black cinema.”

Winner of BEST DRAMA - San Diego Black Film Festival - Premieres 2/17/12 B.A.M. Brooklyn, NY

Q: Being a filmmaker is an enormously difficult task. Why be one when there are easier options?

A: I know, especially in this tough economy. You know why? I was meant to do this. It’s such an incredibly difficult undertaking to have and it requires something deeper within you than just wanting to be a filmmaker. From the first moment that I saw “A Soldier’s Story” – when I was a six-year-old kid – I knew I wanted to tell stories in the same manner. It’s just something that’s been in my heart for years.

Q: What’s the genesis of the story for “Lesson Before Love”?

A: Valentine’s Day, 2008. I call it All-Single’s Day, because there’s no other day on the face of the Earth that reminds you more that you’re single than Valentine’s Day. Myself and my friends, we decided to get together and love each other because none of us were in a committed relationship. And we had these amazing conversations about being young and progressive and single. The conversations were so in-depth and they were so in tune to where my heart was at the time that I said, “You know what? This needs to be explored in a film.”

Q: What are you trying to get across with “Lesson”?

A: That you have a purpose. And whatever your purpose is, that’s going to be the thing that helps you to get to who you are or who you really want to be. And if you arrive there, then you can accept love into your life. I know it’s a struggle I had for many years, being single for a long time. I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Q: Each of the four characters is unhappy and insecure. Have you found that common among your peers?

A: Things are different from when everybody was a Baby Boomer. A lot of parents, in order for them to have healthy lives, they had to go to a two-income household. A lot of my family members didn’t have a college education, so it was about establishing a life that would make you sustained as a human being. But we come up at a time when all options have been opened to us. And so our career paths don’t leave a lot of time to find a relationship. We’re all chasing dreams instead of settling down and finding relationships. As you’re in your late twenties, entering into your thirties, it does bring about a serious level of insecurity that makes you question what your journey is going to be for the next 10 or 20 years of your life.

Q: What’s a movie that inspires you to carry on with filmmaking?

A: I had an opportunity to see “Up in the Air” with George Clooney. The dialogue was so rich, and I connected so deeply with that character. Whenever I get to that place – “Man, do I want to continue doing this?” – I’ll put that movie in because I just loved what it stood for. And the other movie that’s been a pinnacle for me has been “Malcolm X.” Just to see his journey but also to experience the journey that Spike Lee had to take in that process. It keeps my heart afloat to believe that this is definitely for me.

Q: You’re a writer and a director. Directors, for good reason, receive a lot of attention, but writers get almost none. Is that a problem with filmmaking?

A: That is especially a problem with black filmmaking. We don’t study the craft and the art of actually making a film. And a lot of people think you have to go to film school in order to understand that and it’s not necessarily true. There are many, many books which explain how to write a screenplay, because there’s a definitive way to write a screenplay, but you have to find your own way of telling your story within the confines of that structure.

People always think in order for you to show growth, you have to go from a crackhead to a princess. And that’s not always the case. The greatest human growth that we have is personal growth. It’s something you experience on your own that gives you that “ah-ha” moment. “I’ve got to change.” And it’s subtle and it’s beautiful and it’s an amazing transition. That’s what I focus on in my writing – that human transition, that arc, when a person realizes, “Hey, I’m insecure about this and it’s going to have to change. But I have to do it. Nobody can do it for me.”

Q: You’re being presented as, quite literally, one of the new voices in black cinema. What are the positives and perils of that billing?

A: The positive to that is the platform that we get to stand on as African-American filmmakers. It’s truly one of the most selective film programs in the entire country, so to be able to stand up and say, “Hey, I’m a part of that program” automatically helps validate you and introduces you to the very tight-knit African-American film community. The downside to that is that you don’t always get identified as just a new voice in film. Although writing an African-American film is what I did, it’s not all that I’m capable of doing. Instead of me standing outside in a picket line saying, “I’m not just a black filmmaker,” I embrace it. I think that when people of any race, of any culture, are able to watch my film, they’ll see the universal message. I feel those opportunities will come. This is just a platform that’s finally given me the introduction.

Q: What’s next?

A: I live in Brooklyn. It’s just a hotbed for a lot of creative people and it has an amazing energy. And I just knew that this was the right place for me to be. And I’ve decided I want to write a film for Viola Davis, believe it or not. I was watching “Dateline NBC,” and she just spoke about the quality of screenplays she’s been receiving hasn’t been worthy of sharing a journey and experience that you want to have as an actress. I feel I have a story that’s specifically meant for her. And I’m producing a play.

Q: What’s the play about?

A: The play is called “The Prototype.” And it’s an interesting story. It’s about seven stereotypical men coming together to create the perfect woman. (Laughs) So it’s really interesting. I play off stereotypes, but I have a really strong message within it both to women and to men.

– Brian Moore

After the rain…

What a day….

The first day of Black History Month starts off with the death of an Icon in the black entertainment community!  News of Don Cornelius’ death was heartbreaking enough, but even more heartbreaking is the realization of the pain and sorrow a man must feel to take his own life.  How ironic that the man who lifted so many of our Saturdays with fun, music and lighthearted entertainment, ending every show with “We wish you love, peace and SSOOOOUUULLLL” would come to the end of his life in such sadness?

I don’t really want to discuss such a sad topic as suicide in my blog,  since my business is helping others reach their goals through POSITIVE publicity, highlighting the bright side, “never say never”, hope, you know, all those things opposite of the “s” word…

So I prefer to focus on the fact that “troubles don’t last always”.   When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we count the casualties by those that immediately perished, but one of my mom’s best friends, by the use of her own hands, came to the end of her life years later.  Did Katrina do it or did she?   Most often we are our own worst enemy.  We tell ourselves, before anyone else can, some of the worst and most discouraging things, and quite often put ourselves in the worst situations.  We believe that no one else will understand, or has ever experienced our pain, but how can that be true?  Just as it started, won’t the rain stop…one day?

I’m not a mental health professional by any stretch of the imagination, but one thing is certain to me:  just like what goes up must come down, it had to go up in the first place, so look for the rise!  It’s not a philosophical quote that I “Googled”, it really is true.

And perhaps our perspective of  “up” needs to change…

I suppose it helps too that we look out for one another, not be so self-consumed that we forget to call, check up on our friendsyou know, “a friend in need is a friend in deed”?

Those days when it seems like the sun will never, can’t ever shine again, is it possible to remember that it shined before?  Doesn’t sunshine usually come after the rain….

-Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional

Going Back to Your Roots

Is it a temporary phase or a long-lasting sincere desire to rid our lives of as many harsh chemicals as possible?  I’m referring to what seems to be “everyone” going natural with their hair.

How come so many are going back to their “roots”?…hair roots that is.

I’m just observing…many black women seem to be leaving what has been termed the “creamy crack” (or hair relaxers), and also seem to be truly enjoying the hair they were born with in its totally natural state, with the exception of a little coloring here and there of course!

However, when I look at it, “natural” seems to be in a war against “processed” in nearly every area of our lives.

For years now, with the rise of so many diseases and strange illnesses, even in children, health advocates have been almost begging us to eat more raw and organic foods, as natural as possible…but I’m not sure the natural hair craze has anything to do with health.

But then again….

Since working with Mala Rhodes of AfroVeda Hair Care, I have been introduced to products that are not only natural, but that are great for natural hair.   Using principles of the Ayurveda system of healing, Mala’s 100% natural products promote healthy hair truly from the inside out, and I’m now more curious than ever.

Too much hair in my comb…it’s breaking off, too!

Will going back to my roots work for me?  I wonder.  Having too much hair in my comb, I’ve been suspecting that the chemicals are damaging my hair, so I abandoned the “creamy crack” a little over 3 months ago.   I’m enjoying it so far, but we’ll see.  There may be some debate on if it’s the relaxers or other things causing the damage,  I’m sure.

When I think about it, I gave up making excuses for not exercising years ago, and to this day, my health is better for it, so maybe I can do this for the health of my hair!

~Toni L. Rousell, Publicist & PR Professional