All Posts By Kadijat Salawudeen

“Figure Skating in Harlem” Helps Young Women of Color See Themselves on Ice

By Posted on 57 1 m read

Founded in 1997 by Sharon Cohen, ‘Figure Skating in Harlem’ continues to provide young women of color a space to build confidence. While receiving academic support, the students develop leadership abilities and figure skating instructions on & off the ice. Photographed by Flo Ngala, the images show different members of the skating team at dress rehearsals, as they gear up for an upcoming competition.

Check out the article in today’s NYTimes style section!

Click Here.

21 Day Fitness Challenge Courtesy of ‘Her Body Guide’

If living a healthier lifestyle is one of your top priorities, that’s great — because we have the perfect opportunity for you, as the new year approaches. You may ask yourself. Why is being fit so important? There are many reasons why, however, here is all the perks of joining this twenty one day challenge, courtesy of Her Body Guide.

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Being physically active reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and several other bodily diseases. With a good nutrition and regular workout schedule, you’re bound to reach and maintain a healthy weight that you not only love, but you’re comfortable showing off!

This 21 day guide is exactly what you’ll need to get your healthy lifestyle up and running. This is not meant as a weight loss challenge — if you happen to shed pounds in the process, wonderful! However, the purpose is to train your mind and body so you can be a healthier and more vibrant you!

By signing up, you will receive access to …

  • welcome newsletter explaining everything that is going on
  • personalized grocery list
  • access to “easy to prepare” meal plans (breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner)
  • easy to follow at home workouts
  • videos to workouts that may not make seem so easy to put in words
  • access to a a community/ fitness group with like minded individuals
  • first dibs on Her Body Guide team workout sessions
  • 1 on 1 workout session with a personal trainer
  • celebratory dinner for those individuals that complete the program

The best part about all of that is that it’s free.

Interested in signing up? Email with subject line “21 Day Challenge” by January 3rd. The challenge will begin January 8th.

Follow @herbodyguide on instagram and twitter.


Lifestyle Expert Michel Sproles is Creating Opportunities for Herself, While Giving Back to The Community

By Posted on 56 7 m read

When I asked Ms. Sproles “What do you want your story to mean?” She told me, “I want my story to impact people. If I can just impact one person, I think I’ve done my job.”

At that point I understood the vision.

What does it mean to create opportunities for yourself, while making a significant impact on other lives? Ask Michel Sproles, the face and genius mind behind ‘The Pink Line’ a company providing quality hair extensions and wigs to survivors. Michel is more than just a mom and wife to NFL player,  Darren Sproles. She’s an entrepreneur, philanthropist, lifestyle expert, & mentor to young boys and girls.

something just wasn’t sitting well with her spirit…

After the birth of her second daughter, Michel noticed an area in her right breast that was thicker than her left. “It wasn’t a lump, it just felt different.” And because she has always been so in tuned with her body, she seeked advice from her husband and sister, who didn’t quite understand what she was talking about.

“I went to my doctor anyway and she referred me to get an ultrasound — which is generally what they would do for someone my age [at that time I was 28 years old], just had my second daughter. They told me that I had Obstructed Milk Ducts from having my baby…” In other words, “there was still milk in my ducts. But because I never breastfed my daughter….I thought this was new, to still have milk in my breasts” months later.

One of two OBGYN doctors informed Michel that she was generally healthy, the other encouraged her to get a mammogram and biopsy. The test results revealed an early stage of cancer called ‘Duct Carcinoma in Situation’ (DCIS), also known as Stage 0 breast cancer. At this point, the cells has not yet spread outside the ducts surrounding the breast tissue, however, the area was so large that there was no way to remove just the one breast’s

to the doctor and what this meant for her family…

“If I was your wife, 28 years old, two kids and a husband, what would you tell your wife to do?” The doctor — “I would tell my wife to remove it.

I went ahead and had a double vasectomy. Literally seven days later. And you know what? From there, it was like…I didn’t even process it till like afterwards. I went more into a survival mode. My kids were on my mind, my husband. Look! I’m 28 years old and I want to do what I have to, to prevent this from happening again. I want to be there for my family…”

From there, Michel exposed herself to other women who went through chemo, radiation, thus beginning the the inspiration for her hairline.

on ‘Sproles Empowered Youth Foundation’ & what opportunities it provides for teens…

“My husband and I actually started ‘Sproles Empowered Youth’ prior to my hairline. ‘Sproles Empowered Youth’ is a non profit organization.” Teens (ages thirteen to seventeen), get the opportunity to “stay on a college campus and experience what it is like to live the life of a college student.”

“We have workshops, where we teach the kids how to create resumes, how to fill out job applications/college applications. We talk to them about vocational schools, because everyone doesn’t want to go to college — we talk to them about those options. We have a health and sex education course that we have someone come and talk to the kids about sexually transmitted diseases, hygiene. We have a financial literacy class, where my personal financial advisor discusses the importance of a checking and savings — fico scores, just teaching them life skills that are not taught in a traditional school setting.”

the husband, shared values, sparked partnership, possible miss communications…

“We both come from humble beginnings and we realized that there was just so much that we did not learn in school…that we had to learn later. Trial and error. We thought it would be real to give back to our community, and teach these kids something that they can actually use. Definitely going to school is important, but life skills in general can be more valuable than an actual education. We share values in terms of being driven, disciplined — our passion is in giving back.”

In terms of miss communications, Michel and her husband tend to be “on the same page”. The only thing that can be challenging at times is, “time commitment.” The goal is to “give the kids an opportunity to soak up as much information for the little days they are there.”

conversations with other women & the birth of ‘The Pink Line’…

“From having a lot of conversations with women, most are concerned about losing their hair. That’s how I got into the hair industry — just wanting women to feel beautiful, despite what they’re experiencing. So having quality wigs” just seemed right for that time. 

on the life of a CEO and how the positions improves leadership and mentorship roles within…

“Get up in the morning, get my kids ready for school. I usually work out, pray. Whether I’m in my office or home office, I’m answering emails and working on both my businesses at the same time. I just try to balance it. However the first few hours of my day, I’m working on ‘The Pink Line’…

There’s a young girl that I’m mentoring now. And sometimes I get too vested and that can be challenging to pull myself back. You can only make change to those that want the help and sometimes when you see the potential in people, you try to go above and beyond. It can be difficult. I feel like I’m good at balancing everything now. 

I enjoy mentoring. Just to see people evolve, grow, and be better than they were — and knowing I had something to do with it, is definitely gratifying.”

the difference, what sets ‘The Pink Line’ apart from others…

“I’m really focusing on younger women, the younger demographic — because we have a tendency to think we’re invincible and nothing can happen to us (because we’re young). I’m also trying to focus on being proactive in early detection, because that’s really what saves life and I feel like that’s what saved my life…is me being diligent, in tune with my body.”

A lot of times people talk about cancer when someone has cancer, versus preventative measures and that’s what’s important to me. I really try to push preventative care — making sure you’re getting your mammograms at the time of 18 up until 40, you should be getting physicals, breast checks…

I focus on success stories. For one my story with having stage 0 breast cancer will never be heard. When people think of cancer, we think of women with no hair…death. So my way of reaching out to the younger demographic is telling them my story” in addition to others.

future collaborations…

Sproles hopes to collaborate with Vanessa Bell Calloway. “She and I have the exact same diagnoses and I really feel like if more young women heard the positive stories from women who have large platform…she can help get that message across even more…”

company expectations in three to five years…

“Well, ‘The Pink Line’ — I see the brand not only getting bigger and better, but service more breast cancer survivors, provide them with more wigs, and do more events. I want to continue those efforts of giving women free mammograms.” Also “doing more things with young women. Like beauty ‘How To’s,’ workshops, and giving back to young women. I see that evolving…

In terms of the foundation, “as we grow, make more money, we can probably do some things probably like during spring break.” Right now the camp is only available during the summer.

running two companies, feeling uninspired, and self care routines…

“I feel like I was truly blessed in my story and truly blessed to have been able to overcome what I overcame with my health. I’m all about sharing my story, making sure that I’m giving back. I never get tired of doing that. I never get uninspired, if anything I’m tired.

I workout. I love to run, and sometimes I just like to do nothing. I love lifetime. So if I can get a day to just sit on the couch and my kids are chilled, doing what they’re doing. I don’t do Netflix really, but I do Lifetime and Law & Order — sun up to sun down.”

thank u, but what’s next …

“The Pink Line is focused on building and marketing. There’s so many hair lines, the industry is over saturated. But the story behind it, is what brings value. It’s more than just purchasing extensions, it’s giving back to survivors.”

For the foundation, rebuilding. Just making sure we find creative ways to keep it going and staying relevant, even after my husband retires.”

“It’s so important to have a vision. In addition to that, actually write down what your goals are in accomplishing — having a clear plan. Pick a lane, find out what you’re passionate about.


Here’s One Podcast You Should Be Listening To: ‘Potential Over Popularity’

By Posted on 0 1 m read

It’s safe to say that you’ve been living under a rock if the radio show and podcast ‘Potential Over Popularity’ doesn’t ring a bell. 

Yes it’s ran by black creators! So let’s break it down so it all makes sense.

When you think about what it means to create opportunities for yourself, think of this show. The co-founders Tiana Morrison and Brandon Sinclair, are using their platform to uplift other people, places, things and ideas within the urban community. 

“As we grow we hope to create a network of creatives and entrepreneurs“ said Tiana, with Brandon’s approval. “A big part of our work will be creating partnerships with different organizations in order to directly impact communities, especially youth.” The co founders continue to target the youth because they are the building blocks to creating new and innovative ideas. ‘Potential Over Popularity’ plans to participate in community service events as well by donating to charitable organizations amongst other efforts.

See! It’s more than just a radio show/podcast, it’s a positive community, seeking to highlight creatives who don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Potential Over Popularity Podcast by Potential Over Popularity on Apple Podcasts

Download past episodes or subscribe to future episodes of Potential Over Popularity Podcast by Potential Over Popularity for free.

‘Games Divas Play’: Lauren London, Parker McKenna Posey & Karen Obilom To Star In Tracey Edmonds Produced BET Drama Series

By Posted on 52 1 m read

‘Games Divas Play’ (working title) is a new BET drama that tells the story of a desperate basketball wife trying to protect her family, a persistent journalist struggling to rebuild her career, and an actress looking to become a star.

Executively produced by Tracey Edmonds, the former The Game actress Lauren London, My Wife and Kids alumna Parker McKenna Posey, and Insecure’s own Karen Obilom were crowned the three leads to the upcoming series. “Based on the popular book of the same name by Angela Burt-Murray, “Games Divas Play” is a sexy, stylized drama about the L.A. high life, where everyone plays to win.” Read more about each character on BET.


Jamiah Bennett, A Black Spinning Instructor Making a Difference at the University of Connecticut

As a high school student, Bennett developed a great interest in running track. By the time she realized she loved the sport, it was too late in her high school years to join the team. So instead, she became a spinning instructor, which you could kind of say happened by accident.

It all started in the Spring 2017 semester of school. Bennett’s friend invited her to a spinning class and she instantly fell in love! For her, it was more than the physical change — it was mental stability, especially when dealing with the stress of school (on top of everything else).

As an instructor, Bennett says she wants to be the “motivator” in the college setting. Every week, she dedicates her time to personalizing unique workouts for three BoyWise spinning classes. As the participants make their way to class, “I play music and begin introducing myself. I check bikes, gets to know people” and overall make the environment pleasant. Before the workout (or even the warm up), Bennett talks safety and familiarizes each student with parts of the bike. “Warm up takes about ten minutes, “it really just depends on the workout.” For her, heavy strength or endurance workouts equals longer warmup to prepare the muscles.

So what exactly makes Jamiah Bennett so different? The care she takes in putting her students body needs first. She’s constantly alternating workout routines for those challenge ready individuals also dedicating themselves to the class every week.

During the cool down process of the workout, Bennett give participants a minute or two to relax. It later becomes more structured with arm stretches and leg resistance. Off the bike “they stretch their quads, hamstring, & glutes.” At the end, “I always end with three big breaths to help with reducing heart rate. I also give them high five and “great job!”

When Jamiah is not instructing — she’s either studying or taking on her resident assistant job responsibilities. In the future, she hopes to get “Small Group Certification”, which allows her to teach small fitness classes with cardio, strength, & high intensity strength training.

Shout out to Kaisa Keranen, who Bennett is heavenly influenced by. She enjoys watching her workout videos, which she also implements in her daily workouts and classes.

If you’re interested in becoming a certified spinning trainer or you’re one already, here are 5 tips you should consider.

Think About Why

Why do you you want to become an instructor? As an instructor, you’ll be working with a bunch of people — so it’s not wise to just think about doing it for yourself. Really and truly, it’s about the participates. Why is fitness & wellness important for you?

Be real

People tend to look at fitness instructors as these perfect people on a Pedestal. They are human! So don’t try to put on a ficade.

When You’re An Instructor…

When you actually become one. Think of the purpose of your workouts. Don’t just put it together because you like it. Think about why you’re doing that workout, and why you’re getting others to do it.

Get To Know Your Participants

Once you know your students, it’ll allow them to appreciate & encourages you as the instructor to remember the little things they tell you.

Have Fun With It

Don’t make it feel like a burden. Have fun doing the workouts, making the playlist, etc.

What motivates you to keep teaching when you don’t feel the greatest?

The participants. They make it enjoyable. I realize that they are coming to my class for a purpose, so I have to cater to accomplishing their goals.

How do you motivate yourself  to work out your own?

I know it’ll benefit me. Working & moving out. It’s hard to think of a reason not to go. I always keep in mind the quote, “Mind over matter” and think of the afterward feeling.

When you don’t have access to the gym, what do you do?

Body Weight workouts, go for a run. You do not need a gym to exercise, not at all. Those days that I don’t want to go to the gym, I use what I have around me. My fitness influencer shows herself using suitcases, or any other materials around her. Whatever she has to do to get that workout in.

I try to do the same thing.

A one hour workout is only 4% of your day.

Currently, Bennet is also a certified AFAA Small Group Fitness instructor.

7 Inspirational Quotes Written by Black Women

Shirley Chisholm

“You don’t make progress by standing in the sidelines, whimpering, and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

Diana Ross

“You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.”

Oprah Winfrey

“Whatever you fear most has no power – it is your fear that has the power. The thing itself canning touch you. But if you allow your fear to deep into your mind and overtake your thoughts, it will rob of your life.” 


“Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God have you the talent, you should go for it. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s hard!” 

Maya Angelou

“Nothing will work unless you do.” 


“You have the power to change perception, to inspire, and empower, and to show people how to embrace their complications, and see the flaws, and the true beauty and strength that’s inside all of us.” 


“I always believed that when you follow your heart or your gut, when you really follow the things that feel great to you, you can never lose because settling is the worst feeling in the world.”


#CivilChat A Conversation with ‘her sweat’ Co-Founders Adelle Platon & Niki McGloster

By Posted on 69 5 m read

‘her sweat.’ is a digital platform that seeks to highlight health and fitness from a woman’s perspective. Why was it created? “Because we can” says co founders Niki McGloster and Adelle Platon. Its “the perfect hub for women who love the sweet trifecta of sports, fitness and lifestyle….”

Today, via twitter, Live Civil had the opportunity to dive into a meaningful conversation. The co-founders discussed everything from how they came up with the idea of ‘her sweat’, to what motivates them as individuals, to continuing working together.

If you missed Live Civil’s #CivilChat with @hersweat, head over to @hersweat + @livecivil‘s official twitter pages to see what went down.


How did the idea of ‘her sweat.’ come about? What inspired you both (Adelle & Niki) to join forces in bringing this company to life?

we came up with the idea while working at together. tbh, we just wanted to create a pop culture-infused digital space for young boss women actively pursuing a healthier lifestyle to learn and be able to relate. nothing stuffy or too clinical – just real.

s/o to for pushing us to really do it!

What do you wish you knew before you first started building ‘her sweat.’?

everything! lol, so much is learned through trial and error tho. we’ve learned a ton from our individual careers (writing, on-air talent, hosting, etc.), like managing biz relationships, learning graphic design and tackling legal. we’ve handled the learning curve well.

Two women working under the same roof. How do you both manage to stay motivated & continue working together?

we secretly hate each other. can’t you tell? sike, no! we’re friends first, then we balance one another quite effortlessly in biz. if one of us is out of pocket for any particular reason, the other hops in and takes the reins.

+we both want to create change through our co., so we’re equally invested. this is our baby frfr and we’re damn good at co-parenting.

What frustrates you most as a business owner/fitness enthusiast? How do you balance the two?

it’s hard not to fall back into old unhealthy habits. as biz owners/entrepreneurs who have our own separate endeavors, it’s tough not to guzzle champagne or skip one (or three!) week of gym sessions. but you gotta walk it like you talk it. period.

+it’s not so much that’s it’s frustrating but it definitely requires discipline. we hold each other accountable too, which is what is about – having a friend to keep you in check.

How does maintaining a consistent fitness routine in your personal life improve your perfroamnces as the faces behind ‘her sweat.’

making healthy choices consistently really helps us learn what other women are dealing with in this space, which helps us connect to the community we want to build. it allows us to stay aware of trends, how to cover health and to be inclusive, too.

I imagine running a company is not as easy as it sounds, when you’re not going over logistics for the company, what does self care look like for Niki & Adelle?

. will disconnect from social media quick! that’s the best self-care for her – just to be still & live in the moment. loves to tackle any type of adventure but finds her “me time” by unplugging, getting a massage & practicing mindfulness.

What kind go culture exists within ‘her sweat.’? How did you establish it? How do you continue to maintain that environment?

tbh, we’re still building the culture. but we would like it to be an ever-growing community of women of all backgrounds nurturing one another & being kind to their bodies while also stepping up to create change through community initiatives.

+whether it’s participating in blood cancer awareness drives, running for causes, and developing a real movement toward healthy living for all.

You’ve interviewed everyone from Jeanette Jenkins, to Broadcast Journalist Cari Champion, & dancer (for Beyonce) Quinny Wilmington — What was the process like when landing those collabs?

aw man. these were some of our first interviews, and we tapped them bc of their work and personal stories. we knew their experiences would be inspo and helpful to our audience…

+thankfully we’ve fostered some really great relationships in our industries, so we look forward to bringing y’all more content like this.

How are you applying what’s happening in the industry to building your brand? For example, social media is replacing websites and how brands market themselves. How are you able to adjust to the growing industry?

great question! we started out wanting to provide written coverage of the health/fitness world, but we’ve had to pivot to utilize more video, rework our marketing strategies toward more in-person opportunities and lean more heavily on our social media sphere.

+it’s been interesting to say the least but the change has undoubtedly worked in our favor. our site is still in the works but you’ll certainly see more original content on our social channels in the new year.

What are some of your favorite parts about being co founders for ‘her sweat.’ specifically? Do you have least favorites?

the best part is that we get to do this together (*cue the “awww”*)! and ya know, so many of our peers and even people we don’t know support us every single day. that’s love. least favorite part? can’t say we have one. rn we’re enjoying all the highs and growing pains.

What advice would you give to those interested in becoming not just business owners, but fitness entrepreneurs?

do your homework, utilize your network and live this life. you can’t be a fitness entrepreneur without knowing your industry, so learn a little more every day.

How can those interested in learning more stay in touch with ‘her sweat?’? Niki? Adelle?

well, certainly follow us at on all social channels. re-launch party coming in Q1 (😉) and we’re announcing some major opportunities before the end of the month!

+our newsletter sign-ups start next week, too, which will include lil messages from us to keep women encouraged and also events, by us and our fav fit friends, that we feel you should attend. be prepared to see a LOT of next year.

Here are some of the questions from our viewers…



#CivilChat Thread 

44 New Goals to Set for the Beginning of the Month

As the new month, in conjunction with the new year approaches, it’s important to set/re-set those goals you’ve been meaning to achieve. Stuck on where to start? Here’s 44 new ideas to jump start your focus for the new month.

44 New Goals to Set for the Beginning of the Month 

  1. Pay attention to your mental health.
  2. Make a new connection.
  3. Read at least 5 books.
  4. Write a book about your life journey.
  5. Improve your communication skills.
  6. Push your limits and get out of your comfort zone.
  7. Stop procrastinating.
  8. Embrace your flaws.
  9. Meditate every morning or night
  10. Start a gratitude journal.
  11. Squeeze 30 minutes of ‘Me’ time in your schedule.
  12. Work on time management.
  13. Start a new workout routine.
  14. Organize your calendar.
  15. Become less available on social media and more present with family & friends.
  16. Attain a leadership role in your work space.
  17. Create a vision board of your life goals.
  18. Take part in a “no spending” challenge.
  19. Create a safe space to put yourself first.
  20. Travel to at least 10 continents. Your money will return, your time won’t.
  21. Make at least 1 new friend in every country you visit.
  22. Go to a concert your favorite band is performing at.
  23. Reminisce on the past and present.
  24. Think about the future opportunities you’d like life to present you with.
  25. Begin that new venture you’ve been meaning to get started.
  26. Get used to daily affirmations.
  27. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day.
  28. Volunteer with a school or shelter.
  29. Be kind to those that are less fortunate.
  30. Add $100 to your savings every pay period.
  31. Schedule and attend all your necessary doctors appointments.
  32. Physically, mentally, and spiritually let go of anything that’s not serving you well.
  33. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  34. Acquire the information and knowledge you need, in order to achieve.
  35. Begin therapy sessions.
  36. Repair a relationship that’s worth saving.
  37. Learn a new language.
  38. Face your worst fear.
  39. Create a side businesses.
  40. Write a letter to your future self.
  41. Make a list of the things that make you happy.
  42. Learn to say no.
  43. Go skydiving.
  44. Buy a new car.

5 Simple Ways to De-Stress

By Posted on 0 2 m read

What is stress? 

Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, stress is a part of life.

Our environment, body, and thoughts are constant factors that continue to trigger stress.  

Helpful Tips for a Stressful Situation 


Take a couple breaths. 10 to be exact. Close your eyes, and take a couple slow deep breaths.

Focus on your breathing. Focus on inhaling, releasing, and letting go. 

Take a 15 minute walk 

Exercise is a stress reliever. Taking 10-15 minutes out of your day clears your thoughts, and in fact, reduces stress hormones. Take the time during your lunch break or in between classes. 

Eat Clean

The types of food we consume, affect our moods. During the most stressful times, we tend to eat comfort foods that temporarily make us feel better.  

When your healthy eating habits improve, there’s an immediate change in energy, physical, and mental health. 

If you’re having trouble figuring out what to eat — stick to fruits, vegetables, and clean protein. 


Visualizing brings everything you need and desire into focus. Try this — lean back. Visualize what you want to accomplish in your life. How are you going to reach those dreams? 

Laugh It Off 

Lighten up the mood. Everything doesn’t have to be so serious. The clock isn’t ticking any faster. Just your mind. 

So, watch something that will force you to leave. It takes your mind off of your thoughts. 

How Well Do You Know Body Language?: Take This Quiz

By Posted on 0 1 m read

5 Questions That Can Determine How Well You Know Body Language

Answers and scoring available below! Let me know how it goes!

  1. Body posture is a very good way to communicate _______. 
  • a. love.
  • b. disgust.
  • c. dominance.
  • d. attitudes.
  1. In order to distinguish a true (Duchenne) smile from a fake smile, you need to focus on the:
  • a. lips.
  • b. eyes.
  • c. eyebrows.
  • d. cheeks.
  1. It’s said that a genuine smile is almost impossible to produce on command. But what gives away a fake one:
  • a. The smile begins slowly and spreads across the rest of the face. 
  • b. The lack of crinkles around the eyes  
  • The person’s eyes close slightly
  • d. Eyebrows are raised 
  1. True or False 
  • The shape of your face is related to how attractive you are viewed by others.
  1. True or False
  • Being able to gaze into one another’s eyes is a good indicator of love.


  1. (C) Posture is important in communicating dominance. 
  2. (B) A true smile (one of happiness) is distinguished because of narrowed eyes and the “crow’s feet” at the corners.
  3. (B) The lack of crinkles around the eyes.
  4. True 
  5. True 


Give yourself 25 points for each correct answer. 

Body Language Extraordinaire (100)

Body Language Master (60-80)

Body Language Learner (0-40)