When I began this project, I had a powerful dream. I dreamed that I was paddling a small raft, far, far out into the ocean. I was “pushing off into the deep.” I was told in the dream that although I was in deep water, definitely way over my head, and far away from shore, I was safe.

I want to acknowledge and thank the following people for encouraging me when I periodically lost my bearings and didn’t know how to navigate. They provided me with guidance in the “deep waters” and reminded me that I really did know where I was and could find my way.

I am deeply grateful to the women who shared their stories with me. Their time and their patience with me, and the process were invaluable. In addition, several of them recommended others that I should contact. And, so, the project grew.

George McLaird and my friends at The Sausalito Presbyterian Church have contributed greatly to my personal process. Keith Arnold, Albert Sombrero, and Joe MacDonald are true brothers, always supportive and encouraging. Dana Patterson and Tina Powers shared their gifts of intuition to guide me.

Afeni Shakur was encouraging from the beginning. I would hear her voice on my message machine saying, “Hi, beautiful!” It lightened my day.

Marci Shimoff, Rev. Susan Sims Smith and Dr. Richard Smith, Kay Cash-Smith, Susan Johnson, Dr. Michele Saloner, Dr. Brigette Lank, Arthur Bosse, Dr. Kenneth Perlmutter, Dr. Ana Nogales, Martin Shore, Judy Karau, Leda Nix, Denise Mozetti, and Laura Welch: these friends and colleagues offered moral support and encouragement.

Some offered names of women to contact. Steve Long helped me find women I was looking for and wasn’t able to locate.

Janet Ray, Carolyn Saade, Andrew Dieden, Rhonda Daley, Dedocio Habi, Arundati Simmons, Jan Kingaard, and Benelia Terry were kind enough to read early versions and offer suggestions.

Cynthia Stewart’s work and encouragement as my agent, was so helpful, as was that of Lynda Banks.

Thank-you Sherri Powers, JD, MFT, and Gary M. Hoeber, MFT, for the valuable lessons of “Race Matters.”

And finally, thank-you to my mother, Delight Wiseman, for teaching me the values of dignity and respect for all people. She gave me my original lessons in social justice.


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copyright 2011 Dr. Sonnee Weedn, The Sonnee Weedn Institute for Integrated Therapies,
Chispa Publishing & Many Blessings: A Tapestry of Accomplished African American Women