October 2020: Bold Moves

Turbulence, 2010 Acrylic on Canvas 22_ x 30_ $1650

Pregame players don’t sit on the sidelines. You’re here because you’re all about big ideas. And the actualization of big ideas requires nothing less than bold moves. When my little brother was in his early-20’s heyday, he had a friend nicknamed Bold Dave. I thought this was hilarious and asked where he got the name. The explanation: “Because he’s always making bold moves.” While Dave’s bold moves may have been about [moves removed to protect Dave’s reputation], his moniker stuck with me. I tend to hesitate, trying to make the “perfect” decision, but when I look back on my life, the […]

Emma Mcilroy on Entrepreneurship, Feminism, and Community Activism

Emma Mcilroy

In The Interview: Episode #20, Ciara Pressler interviews Emma Mcilroy, founder and CEO of Wildfang. Emma and Ciara talk about… Dealing with high expectations and a lack of resources as a small business Learning in real time and having the world watch you make mistakes Creating Wildfang to combat widespread miseducation about feminism Making decisions from the heart rather than through a business lens What it means to be a feminist right now in the business world Emma Mcilroy is a queer-feminist-Irish-immigrant-female-CEO. As founder and CEO of Wildfang, she’s been smashing the patriarchy and gender norms in fashion and beyond […]

Good Trouble: Marching for Jacob Blake

keepshowingup

I’m proud to report that on Monday night, I got arrested for challenging fuckery. As a person whose life’s work is based on challenging dysfunction to create real and lasting change, silence about social injustice in our society is not an option. More importantly, as a white woman who holds enormous privilege, I believe I have a duty to remain outraged and take action to stop the ongoing genocide of Black people in America. So on Monday, in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Kenosha, WI, I joined about 300 other Portlanders in protest […]

September 2020: Burn It Down

Carlo Proietto

To understate a Covid silver lining, 2020 has been, if nothing else, a remarkable opportunity to rethink everything. My friends have been considering big changes – or taking the leap and going for it. Moving across the country. Buying the house. Doing IVF. Getting divorced. Getting back together. Confronting family members about long-hidden issues. Finally leaving New York. Nothing sparks change like a crisis. Limping along with systems that aren’t working just doesn’t cut it anymore when major events expose weaknesses that threaten core values, connection, and opportunity. Let’s hope our personal reinventions are foreshadowing of change in our country. […]

Aparna Bole on Inequality in Health Issues and Access to Democracy

Aparna Bole

In The Interview: Episode #19, Ciara Pressler interviews Aparna Bole, pediatrician, professor, and environmental health activist. Aparna and Ciara talk about… How children’s health is faring during Covid Downstream health effects of systemic racism and the injustice she sees every day as a pediatrician in Cleveland Return on investment in regards to environmental health How amplified mistrust towards public health is impacting the medical community Her opinion on schools reopening as a primary care doctor Managing risk in a landscape of uncertainty Aparna Bole, MD, FAAP, is Medical Director of Community Integration at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and […]

Sylvia Salazar on Voting, Immigration, and Latinx Organizing in the U.S.

Sylvia Salazar

In The Interview: Episode #18, Ciara Pressler interviews Sylvia Salazar, creator of Tono Latino, computer engineer, and political activist. Sylvia and Ciara talk about… Inspiring political engagement Her perspective as a Latina immigrant and grassroots organizer in the era of America’s current federal administration How she uses her privilege as a white passing Latina woman Educating the Latinx community and inspiring people to vote Sylvia Salazar is a Colombian immigrant and a computer engineer turned political activist. Her passion is helping other people understand what is going on in the world of politics and to encourage them to become more […]

A Troubling Tony Winner

scottsboro0360

The very first show I had my name on as a producer on Broadway was called The Scottsboro Boys.  Those of you in the theatre may have heard of it, but many people will not know the show because it only ran for two months on Broadway and while almost every interview I have done has asked me about how I became a producer, I have never been asked about why I decided to raise money for that show. For those who have never heard of the show, it was a musical that dealt with the famous Scottsboro case in which 9 Black […]

July 2020: Awakening

never waste a good crisis

And then suddenly, everyone woke up. Well, not everyone. And not fully awake. But no one can deny that the past month has seen a remarkable wave of increased awareness in America about the perpetual problem of racism, and how society cannot be healthy when we insist on viewing ourselves as individuals whose actions and worldview don’t affect anyone rather than part of a system where everything is connected. To me, waking up is the point. It’s the process. As in, THE process. The purpose of life. To be continually evolving, learning, growing, connecting. It’s difficult because there is no finish […]

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela on Fitness, Wellness, and Social Change

Natalia Petrzela

In The Interview: Episode #12, Ciara Pressler interviews Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, author, historian, and fitness expert. Natalia and Ciara talk about… The idea of public and individual health Remaining cautiously optimistic about social justice and radical change Refusing to accept hollow progress The perfect conditions that had to emerge in order to lead to the current mass mobilization for social change Ethical responsibility of the fitness industry Current events in the context of American history Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is an associate professor of history at The New School in New York City, co-host of the Past Present podcast, host and […]

Barbara Chen on the NYPD, Communication Strategy, and Positionality

Barbara Chen

In The Interview: Episode #11, Ciara Pressler interviews Barbara Chen, strategic communicator, independent consultant, and writer. Barbara and Ciara talk about… Nuances of working inside a major city police department Honoring the complexity of complex problems Considerations when shaping a complicated message The danger in seeing police brutality as isolated incidents rather than recognizing the totality and continuum of indignity, injury, and injustice Positionality in the current discourse Barbara Chen is an independent consultant and writer in New York who has held major communications roles at the NYPD, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Columbia University. She moved to Manhattan from L.A. after […]