The Princess

When my niece, Aurora, and I tell each other bedtime stories each night, mine always start the same way: “Once upon a time, there was a princess named Aurora…” Yesterday, when I asked Aurora what she wanted her story to be about, she surprised me by saying that she wanted it to be about death.

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Courtany Schick
Politics, Prayers and Peace

Let’s face it: 2018 was exhausting. Somewhere along the way, we forgot how to talk to each other, how to be together, why we need each other, and why communicating matters. As the holiday season comes to a close, I am now braced for the new year with the federal government shut down, Washington politicians at an impasse, and the generous and joy-filled spirit of the holidays quickly fading on social media. A reboot is in order.

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Ellen Yui
A Tradition of Oneness

Typically, whenever I’m asked what my weekend plans are, my response is almost always “My friends are getting married.” This year, I witnessed six marriages. They weren’t your typical Western wedding, with a church ceremony and short reception afterwards, they were a major celebration.

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Toyin Akinwande
The Souljourner’s Travels: Windows into the Soul

Just four miles off the coast of Venice, Italy stands the technicolor island of Burano. I’m profoundly grateful that this September my sojourns brought me there. What the colors of Burano revealed to me was that the person I will always need to spend the most time trying to hear is myself.

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Courtany Schick
Taking a Leap

This is my last blog post. This Friday will be my last day working for YUI+Company.  

To try and summarize what I’ve learned and observed over the past four years would be impossible. Yes, my writing has improved and my press wrangling skills are sharper, but there are other things too, outside of what you think about when you think about PR.

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Molly Devlin
The Louis C.K. Show Starring Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. is a master of digging himself into a hole of horrible thoughts and climbing out as the most open-minded person in the room. The problem is that his negative jokes about women weren’t just jokes. While I always assumed C.K. was being sarcastic, he was putting those sexist thoughts into practice behind the curtain. It brings into question the very moral compass…or lack thereof…that allowed him “sarcastically” say nasty things about himself, his ex-wife, his children, his audience, and the world around him. Is there a road to redemption?

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Yoshi Yui
Opening Doors to Communication

Last week was hard for me. Watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify to a panel of white, male senators about her sexual assault was gut-wrenching. Watching Judge Bret Kavanaugh testify about how he much loved beer and working out with Tobin was infuriating. It felt like women everywhere were looking for an outlet for these feelings. Rather than work through them in the gym or with a glass of wine, I took mine to the streets armed with only my PR background and enthusiasm for talking to strangers. 

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Molly Devlin
Successful Leaders Aren't Bullies

It is the uncommon character who can transcend trauma and transform it into strength. Rarer still is the survivor who can transmute the rage into a guidepost to a more conscious way of being. It is ultimately the very rarest of souls who can achieve this final feat with love and compassion, all in the pursuit of lifting others. Matt Paknis is one of those rarest of souls. In his new book, Successful Leaders Aren’t Bullies: How to Stop Abuse at Work and Build Exceptional Organizations, Matt shares his harrowing personal story of abuse and methods for identifying, addressing and preventing workplace abuse and bullying.

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Ellen Yui
Writing to a Human Audience

What strikes me about Eighth Grade was Burnham’s commitment to depicting real people with his characters. This movie is not about spectacle, but rather allows the audience to get wrapped up in the characters and their emotions. Most of the time, life isn’t dramatic or funny because of some literal ticking time-bomb or some other completely unbelievable snowballing of plot. Similarly, people aren’t tropes. While many movies romanticize the impossible, Burnham worked hard to make sure his characters were real people.

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Yoshi Yui
The Power Within

Serena Williams opened up about her experience with childbirth, motherhood and getting back into the sport she loves over this past year. She spoke about her health concerns that arose days after giving birth to her daughter, as well as her struggle with being unheard and ignored as a patient, which is a reality that many Black women also deal with at hospitals. As problems with her blood clots persisted, Serena found it beneficial to wear pants while shes plays to "keep the blood circulation going,” she said after her French Open return.

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Toyin Akinwande