Monday, September 13, 2010

PLEASE Support Me and Breast Cancer Research!


I have chosen to join hundreds of women and men dedicated to taking one step at a time to prevent breast cancer.

On Sunday, September 26, we'll hike Northern California's Mt. Tamalpais with the

Breast Cancer Fund's 2010 Peak Hike.

PLEASE DONATE to my hike and join me in supporting the Breast Cancer Fund's groundbreaking work to eliminate the environmental and other preventable causes of the disease.

Whether $5 or $250, YOUR pledge makes a difference.

Dana Whitaker

Thursday, August 19, 2010


What I Want To/Will Do Before I Die!
WHAT: What do you really care about? What impact do you want to make on the world? In this four-session workshop you will: identify key life goals, develop ways of being and strategies to reach them, unearth and transform barriers, implementing your plan, receive support from other participants, and receive one personal coaching session with Dana.
WHEN: Wednesdays, September 8, 15, 22, 29
WHERE: Lunchtime Conference Call - 12-1pm
INVESTMENT: $200 for the series—$175 for those who sign up by Wednesday, September 1st
SIGN UP: Email Dana at

*you will receive workshop details once you have enrolled

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

International Museum of Women Photography Contest Exhibit Tour/Talk with Dana. She's A Winner!

You're invited!
PLEASE JOIN Dana for a Tour and Talk
at the
IMOW Photography Awards Exhibit
Picturing Power & Potential

The cover photo from Dana's book, Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo (left) was selected by the International Museum of Women (IMOW) and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery to participate in IMOW's exhibition, Picturing Power & Potential at San Francisco City Hall and on the IMOW website:June 15th - August 27th. Over 150 artists submitted work to this competition, and after a rigorous review process, 54 images by twenty artists from across the globe were chosen.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 10th, 5:30-8:00
WHERE: Tour: San Francisco City Hall, lower level
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
(Van Ness/Grove/Mcallister )

Talk/Reception: SFAC Gallery, 401 Van Ness
RSVP: Click here
Help Dana's photo WIN the Grand Prize Community Choice Award! Click: RECOMMEND

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Talk: The Power and Potential of Microfinance - Please Join Me, Saturday, June 19th

Using my book, Transforming Lives $40 at a Time,
Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo,
we will explore the history, whos, whats, wheres and
whys, challenges and successes of microfinance through
face-to-face, heart-to-heart encounters with those most
affected by microfinance: the microentrepreneurs themselves.

WHEN: Saturday, June 19th, 11:30-1
WHERE: Northbrae Community Church
941 The Alameda
Berkeley, CA

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You're invited to the IMOW Photo Awards Exhibit! Dana's a Winner!

The cover photo from Dana's book, Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo (above) was selected by the International Museum of Women and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery to participate in IMOW's exhibition Picturing Power & Potential at San Francisco City Hall and on the IMOW web site. Over 150 artists submitted work to this competition, and after a rigorous review process, 54 images by twenty artists from across the globe were chosen. This exhibition is one component of IMOW's extensive online exhibition Economica: Women and the Global Economy.
Please join Dana at the Picturing Power & Potential OPENING
celebrate her and to view the entire IMOW show.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 15th, 5:30-7:30
WHERE: San Francisco City Hall

Monday, May 24, 2010

What is microfinance? What can microentrepreneurs teach us about what it takes to enact significant changes in our lives? How can and why should we get involved in helping fellow human beings improve their lives? Explore these global yet very personal issues by joining Dana, author of Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo, as she takes us on a journey around the globe meeting some of the world's poorest yet most determined women who are using microfinance loans and training to pull themselves and their families out of poverty - inside and out.
Dana's book will be available for sale and signing. A portion of every sale will benefit Women's Initiative for Self Employment, a Bay Area microfinance organization.
Who: All welcome
When: Thursday, May 27th, 7-9pm
654 Oakland Avenue
Oakland, CA

Monday, April 26, 2010

Commit to Making a Difference in a Woman's Life!

Women's Initiative for Self Employment Annual GALA
WI logo
May 13th, 5:30-9
San Francisco Hilton
Information and Tickets

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coaching for a Change

What I Want To/Will Do Before I Die!
What do you really care about? What impact do you want to make on the world? In this four-session workshop you will: identify key life goals, develop ways of being and strategies to reach them, unearth and transform barriers, begin implementing your plan, receive support from other participants, and receive one personal coaching session with Dana.

WHEN: Wednesdays, April 21, 28, May 5 & 12 12-1pm
WHERE: Lunchtime Conference Call
INVESTMENT: $200 for the series - $175 for those who sign up by Friday, April 16
SIGN UP: Email Dana at

* You will receive workshop details once you have enrolled

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nominate a Bay Area Woman Entrepreneur NOW!

Nominate Your Favorite Woman Entrepreneur

Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, one of the largest microenterprise training organizations in the country, is now accepting nominations for their Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The awards seek to recognize women entrepreneurs in cities throughout the Bay Area who demonstrate the following:

- Have been successful despite the barriers that exist for woman business owners

- Exemplify how business ownership and leadership is beneficial for women and their families

- Have a positive impact on the local community

- Advance their business through innovation.

A Leadership Committee from each region will determine the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year based on information provided by the nominee. Winners will be announced in August and honored at one of five regional award celebrations in October. In addition, winners will be recognized in local media and featured on the Women’s Initiative website and newsletter.

To be considered for the award, an individual must indentify as a woman and be the founder or owner of a successful business. Deadline for nominations is May 31. For more information and to nominate a woman entrepreneur, go to

Monday, March 15, 2010

Do you have 2 hours to help a woman build her business and her confidence? Join me!

Join me and enrich someone's life as well as your own. Volunteer to be a Connector (speed mentor) to women graduate entrepreneurs of
Women's Initiative for Self Employment (WI).

Tuesday, March 30th, 6:30-8:30
Waterfront Hotel
Jack London Square
10 Washington Street
Oakland, CA
For information on Women's Initiative:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Celebrate International Women’s Day 2010
Monday, March 8

On International Women's Day, March 8, Women for Women International is hosting a global event called "Join me on the Bridge." Thousands of women, children an men worldwide will gather on bridges from San Francisco to Congo to call for an end to war and to demonstrate that women can build the bridges of peace and hope. In Africa, women from Congo and Rwanda will meet on a bridge that spans the border between their countries to demonstrate their desire for peace. In San Francisco, we will join with Americans for UNFPA and walk to the center of the Golden Gate Bridge to honor the resilience of
women survivors of war everywhere in the world.

We hope you'll join us on the Golden Gate Bridge on March 8th as we participate in this global campaign. We will gather in the southeast parking lot (on the San Francisco side of the bridge) at 11:30 AM and at 12:00 PM we will start our walk to the center of the bridge. Parking is limited, so we encourage you to carpool or take public transportation. We will conclude about 1:30pm.
Hope to see you there.

To RSVP please visit and register for this free event. To find out more about the Golden Gate Bridge event and "Join me on the Bridge" events in other locales, visit the “Join me on the Bridge” website

If you have further questions, please contact our San Francisco volunteer organizers Deanne Yanek Travis at or Mary Ann Walsh at

Friday, February 19, 2010

Body Conscious

Wouldn't your think that since we spend our entire lives doing everything we do -- from thinking, tasting and hearing, to smelling, feeling and interacting -- that we'd be more aware of what allows us to do all these things? And since 90% of our communication is non-verbal, wouldn't it make sense to be more conscious of, yes, our bodies?

Our bodies provide us the capacity to sense what is tasty, silky, sonorous, nurturing, dangerous and inspiring. Yet those of us who have been raised in the western world have come to worship, to hyper-focus on our intellects as the way to live effective and full lives.

In contrast, our bodies and emotions (the topic of next month's newsletter) are given minor roles or omitted completely from life's lexicon because focusing on them is considered 'soft', inferior or even weird. Yet we suffer personally and professionally by abbreviating the full extent of who we are.

  • By plowing ahead despite an unhealthily raised or lowered heartbeat, painful joints, head or stomach aches, we risk messages that something(s) is/are not right in our lives, not only physically, but perhaps also mentally or emotionally.
  • By speeding to work without noticing the emergent signs of Spring, we eclipse the amazing wonders and gifts that life is presenting to us - for free.
  • By ignoring a client's non-verbal cues, we miss the opportunity to make adjustments to our offer in order to a seal a deal.
  • By being oblivious to a friend or colleague's slumped posture and barely audible "I'm fine" in response to the often perfunctory "How are you," we risk not only inhibiting a relationship, but diminishing our credibility as a sincere person.

While analyzing and intellectualizing certainly have their rightful place, when we live primarily in and from our heads, we minimize not only our own lives, but quite possibly the lives of others and our connections with them. How can we engage all of who we are so that we can live effective, full lives?

Awareness is key.

I'd like to propose a practice for you to commit to over the next four weeks. It is not only simple, but it will give you an opportunity to decide if paying attention to your body does in fact enrich your life, personally, professionally, relationally and with the world as a whole. If it does, which I believe it will, there are innumerable ways to become more body conscious and to make appropriate adjustments that you deem necessary to maximize your engagement in and with life.

1. SETTING THE STAGE: Once each day for five minutes, assume you cannot speak. The only messages you can receive about yourself, others and the world around you are non-verbal.

2. SELF: Begin by focusing inside yourself. How fast/slow, shallow/deep is your breath? Now scan your muscles and joints, from the top of your head to your toes. Are they tense, achy, relaxed? What might these indicators be trying to tell you about your state being? What happens emotionally or mentally if you make a physical adjustment?

3. OTHERS: Observe others' body movements and facial gestures. Take in the energy they emit. Are they attracting or repelling to you? What are their bodies telling you about them and about you?

4. WORLD: What sounds do you hear? How about colors, textures, shapes of things around you, both natural and man-made? Scents?

REFLECT: Take it all in. What happens to and for you when you do?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Can citizens make a difference in the way its country's government works (or doesn't work, as was the case in Liberia)? How about a group of determined, women who represent the height of courage, determination and commitment to what is right? If you want to be encouraged to make a difference in your life and the life of others you care about, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a movie you must see.

Film Screening Tues, Feb 23rd 6:00-8:30 pm, Delancey Street Theater, San Francisco

Women Advancing Microfinance Northern California (WAM NorCal), of which I am a member, is hosting this event including the movie, refreshments and guest speaker, Christiana Bendu Hunter. Christiana is from Lofa County, Liberia, in West Africa and is the President of the Association of Citizens and Friends of Liberia (ACFLi based in Sacramento, California. She will discuss how Liberian women mobilized for peace and an end to the civil war.

Tickets include film screening, discussion following the film and refreshments.
$15 in advance, $20 at the door.
To buy tickets visit:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Talk with Dana: Mon, Feb. 22nd, 12-1:30, Berkeley - Microfinance: What, Where, Why, for & by Whom?

You are cordially invited to meet author/photographer and life coach


who has explored the life-changing power of microfinance in her book,

Transforming Lives $40 at a Time

Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo

What is microfinance? How does it work? Who is it for? How can I get involved?

Learn the answers to these questions through Dana’s captivating stories and vivid photographs featuring heart-to-heart encounters with microentrepreneurs from 13 countries on five continents who are using microfinance to transform their own and their families lives, inside and out.

When: Monday, February 22nd, 12-1:30

Where: YWCA Berkeley/Oakland

2600 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA


*Each purchase will benefit an organization whose clients are included in the book.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How in the World Can I Make a Difference that Counts?

A devastating earthquake in Haiti. Sexual abuse of thousands of women and girls throughout our war-torn world. American families forced from their foreclosed homes - homelessness on the rise. Smog-filled skies and polluted rivers. Shuttered businesses - 12.3% unemployment nationwide, and growing. Under-funded schools, unconscionable dropout rates. Drug-gang violence....
As the world's woes bombard us from every direction, and appeals for help flood our email and mail boxes, so is it natural for each of us to feel both overwhelmed and anxious to do something significant to help, somehow.
This is when the suffocating questions begin to suffuse our thoughts about taking action. 'Where do I begin? How can I make a difference? What is the most pressing problem? I'm just one person; how can my limited resources make the biggest impact?' While each of these questions is valid, rather than helping us take focused action, they often have the opposite effect; they force us into knee-jerk responses at best, and an utter standstill at worst.
How can we move from this unsatisfying place
to one where we consciously commit ourselves and our resources to causes that matter both to the world and to us?
Yes, both components - positively impacting the world and ourselves - are key. Why? Because sharing our resources from a win-win place means that we are expressing our authentic selves in response to the world's needs. Finding and sticking with these matches enables us to give freely and joyfully. As important, saying 'Yes' from our authentic selves to specific causes and organizations frees us from guilt about saying 'No, thank you' to others.
I propose 3 phases towards commitment that may be repeated yearly, biannually, or whenever there's a change in our live's warranting review of our current choices:

Self-Awareness -- Exploring the Options -- Taking Action

1. Ask yourself:
"What do I care about right now?"
For example: the environment; women's issues; animal rights; domestic and international poverty alleviation; healthcare; literacy...
Prioritize your top 2-6 choices. Save the others for the future (or for others who have them at the top of
their lists).
2. Then ask yourself,
"At this time in my life, what are my specific, realistic, available resources that I'd like to share?"
categories below with examples)
special skills and/or hobbies - athletics, personal finance how-tos
financial contributions - amount quarterly, semi-annually, annually
volunteering/pro bono work - what type, how often, duration
other donations - clothing, books, food, giving blood
providing connections - government officials, educators, business leaders...
other - ...
Once you've identified types/amounts/times above...
Merge 1 and 2: what matters to you now with the resources you can and want to contribute. *At this point you may not know the specific organization(s) you'll be volunteering for, or contributing to, but you will know the cause(s) you're enthusiastically and realistically ready to put your resources behind.

Now that you've merged your whats with your hows, you're ready to move to exploration. It's a great way to connect with others and discover what resonates with YOU.
Ask: friends and colleagues via email, facebook, linkedin, twitter, face to face
Research the Web: key terms/organizations serving your causes
Visit/Interview: an organization and others who've committed to organizations you're targeting
Check-in with yourself. 'Am I excited about being involved in this cause? Is this organization where I want to put my time and/or resources?' If so, move to Phase 3. If not, move to the next cause or organization on your list until you find the 'right' fit for YOU.

Say 'Yes' to causes and organizations that resonate with YOU.
Enjoy the commitment(s) you've made to make a positive difference in the world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Join me and 3 other Authors on Feb. 6th at The 16th Annual Festival of Female Authors

What is it like to be an author? What are the steps, challenges and highlights along the way? Please join me and three other authors as we discuss our journeys and our books at the:

16th Annual


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010, 8:45- 3:30


on the Berkeley Marina

Four women authors from California highlight the 16th annual Festival of Women Authors sponsored by the YWCA Berkeley/Oakland. The Festival, at H’s Lordships on the Berkeley Marina, is a full day of presentations, questions and answers and book signings on Saturday, February 6, 2010. Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Book lovers, writers and members of book clubs are invited to enjoy a continental breakfast and luncheon along with a full day of literary entertainment. Books by the featured authors will be sold by Books, Inc., Alameda throughout the day with 20% of the proceeds going toward support of YWCA programs.

The featured authors for 2010 are Dana Whitaker, Bonnie Tsui, Michelle Richmond, and Vivienne Sosnowski

Dana Whitaker’s stories and photographs in Transforming Lives $40 at a Time, Women + Microfinance: Upending the Status Quo, bring readers face-to-face with the dreams, fears, and successes of some of the world’s poorest women from five continents. Dana holds Master of Arts degrees in education from Stanford University and The George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from U.C. at Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Newfield Network, an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coaching program. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and son.

Bonnie Tsui is the author of American Chinatown: A People’s History of Five Neighborhoods. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, she has also written for The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Adventure, and Mother Jones. She is a recipient of the Radcliffe Traveling Fellowship, the Lowell Thomas Award for travel journalism, and the Jane Rainie Opel Award from the Radcliffe Institute.

Michelle Richmond is the author of four books of fiction, including the critically acclaimed novel No One You Know and the New York Times bestseller, The Year of Fog. She is the recipient of the Hillsdale Award for Fiction, the Associated Writing Programs Award, and the James Michener Fellowship. She lives in San Francisco.

Vivienne Sosnowski is the author of When the Rivers Ran Red which has appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle's best-selling book list. This is the first book for this long-time journalist who cites two years of persistent searching through both national and local libraries and archives; through old files in court houses and newspapers and even in family photo albums as the basis for her history. She lives both in Healdsburg, CA, and Vancouver, Canada, and is at work on her second book.

The YWCA Berkeley/Oakland has been providing programs and services for women and girls, University of California students and the greater community in Berkeley and Oakland for over 120 years. Current community services include: Youth Development Program, Youth Mentor Program, TechGYRLS, Leadership Development Programs, English-In-Action and a diverse group of health, fitness and dance classes. Tax-deductible donations are always accepted to support programs at the YWCA. Tickets for the Festival of Women Authors are $70 per person in advance and include a continental breakfast and lunch. Tickets at the door are $80 and do not include lunch. Call the YWCA at 510-848-6370 to make your reservation. Ample free parking is available.

To register for the Festival of Women Authors
visit us on the web at or call us at (510) 848-6370.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HAITI - How Can We Help?

How can we help the Haitians? I've chosen an immediate and long-term strategy in order to address the current and future needs of the people.

IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE: The Haitians are in survival mode. Therefore I am financially supporting an organization specializing in helping stabilize the people's needs right now by providing emergency assistance of food and medical assistance. WhiIe there are many organizations providing these essential services, I chose OXFAM America whose work on the ground I highly admire.

LONG-TERM ASSISTANCE: I have a background and strong belief in the power of microfinance - with both its short and long term goals focused on helping individuals take care of themselves - rather than receive a handout (which IS also necessary in any disaster like the earthquake in Haiti). Microfinance resources, including business loans, business training, insurance, health and literacy training, are key to helping no- and low- income individuals develop and grow self-sufficient businesses. Fonkoze, a microfinance organization based in Haiti, is the second organization I've chosen to support because of their life-changing work helping impoverished individuals, thus their families, work their way out of poverty. With businesses in ruins, yet those same businesses forming the core of the Haitian population's everyday needs - from providing foodstuffs to clothing, housing materials to pharmaceutical products, supporting Fonkoze will restart these much needed businesses, and help rebuild Haiti from the bottom up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do You Want To or Have To Make a Change? Join InChargeInChange - A Workshop Series to Help YOU Thrive in the Process

Are you currently making or getting ready to embark on a change in your professional or personal life?
How do you habitually respond to and/or enact change? How effective are you?
InChargeInChange workshops teach you about the change process.
Then you'll learn what helps and hinders you from flourishing during change.
From this awareness, you'll be able to activate the key components of yourself to not only strive for and survive a change, but to thrive while doing so!

It is said that only 10% of go-it-aloners make change happen, whereas 80% of those who seek support and guidance are successful. Sign up today for an upcoming Bay Area workshop so that you will become one who is InChargeInChange.

Are you contemplating or going through a major change that's disruptive, confusing, or challengling?Whether it's a new stage of life, a job layoff, a relationship issue, or starting a new career, we can help. We understand that change is complex and full of emotions—and we’ve developed a whole new way to look at change and navigate through it successfully.

Our InChargeInChange Workshops introduce you to your personalized ChangeCast, giving you the tools and insights to make any major life change positive and productive.

  • Get to know your personal ChangeCast

  • Understand how it works for you, or against you, in change

  • Gain clarity about your specific situation

  • Get the tools to regain control of your Change Story

  • Take action now--and keep the knowledge forever

For more details click here.
Want to see What People Are Saying?

Whos' Got the Lead in Your Change Story?Imagine that your change is like a play. Each of us has an internal cast of characters we can call on stage, so to speak, to guide us through change. We call it a ChangeCast. The way your unique ChangeCast works together during a major change determines your experience and your Change Story.
To learn more, click here

Winter Workshop Schedule
Beginning in late January, we're offering InChargeInChange workshops in two Bay Area locations, San Francisco and Berkeley. Each workshop is a four-part series.
Cost: $295

Want to save $25? Just register by 1/15. If you refer a friend who also signs up, you'll save another $25. Click here to register.
San Francisco Workshop Series
(led by Donna McDonald and Patti DiVella)
Session 1: Mon 2/1 - 6pm to 9pm
Session 2: Mon 2/8 - 6pm to 9pm
Session 3: Mon 2/22 - 6pm to 9pm
Session 4: Mon 3/1 - 6pm to 9pm
Berkeley Workshop Series
(led by Susan Wayne and Dana Whitaker)
Session 1: Wed 1/27 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Session 2: Wed 2/3 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Session 3: Wed 2/10 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Session 4: Wed 2/24 - 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Read about the leaders and our approach

This year, give yourself a lasting gift--the tools and insights to thrive under the influence of change/ Happy New Year from the ChangeCast team!

Questions about our workshop? Just email, or
To learn more about ChangeCast, visit us at