Ariana Proehl is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur championing the causes of personal change and social change, and proving that Knowledge of Self is Sexy™. She is the creator, producer and host of the online talk show Know This! with Ariana featuring interviews, news and pop culture commentary with a smart and socially conscious point of view. Named one of the Women’s Media Center’s “Progressive Women’s Voices” of 2011, Ariana’s passion for personal development work, roots in social justice education and young, fresh appeal, make her a fierce voice of this generation, empowering people to make lasting change in themselves, and in the world. Ariana holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master of Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. A former Executive Director of youth development and diversity education organization DiversityWork, Ariana’s leadership garnered recognition by the East Bay Business Times as one of their “Top 40 Under 40” in 2006 and by the Center for Young Women’s Development with their Cheyenne Bell Leadership Award the same year.
Today, she is taking her diverse work experiences and the wisdom of her personal journey into her writing, speaking and online media work that seeks to make developing respect and love for oneself ‘more sexy than any sex-tape’s five minutes of fame’. In 2011, Ariana embarked on a 16-city U.S. talk show tour interviewing next generation voices doing inspiring work with passion and purpose, to show and prove that we are much more than housewives and Jersey Shore. Powered by issues with self-esteem, relationships and inequalities in her own past, Ariana was inspired to spread the power of knowledge of self and knowing your self-worth.
?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?
AP: I choose a future where every person in the world will be able to develop a healthy self-esteem in a supportive environment. Every person will have access to resources and encouragement to explore and express their true selves. Every person will know self-love and self-respect, and that love and respect will also be reflected in our media, policies and society’s culture as a whole.
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?
AP: Taking from the last ‘think’: “Personal Change = Social Change,” I think an act we should all be doing is introspection, self-reflection and deepening our knowledge of self. Whether that’s through writing in a journal, taking five minutes of quiet time a day, talking to a coach or therapist, finding a book that helps us dive deeper into ourselves–whatever process works for you, as long as you’re taking time to pause and thoughtfully reflect on who you are, who you’ve been, who you want to be. We walk around with a lot of wounds that go unhealed, ultimately being projected onto others. We also walk around distracted by all the flashing billboards telling us what we should want for our lives, how we should look, act and think. Our unique selves and special gifts we were given to share with the world get lost and buried under past shame, or in the hustle to be like somebody else. The more we acknowledge the beauty in owning our whole selves, for better and for worse, the more empowered we will be to make change. As Biggie Smalls said, “We can’t change the world, unless we change ourselves.”
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
AP: With your signature: Color of Change – “Changing the color of democracy”
With your time: Organize around the Contract for the American Dream
With your awareness: Lit World Girls Clubs – Empowerment through literacy
With your viewership: Shameless plug, but my show Know This! with Ariana (and really any other independent show looking to change up the status quo) can’t exist without viewers who believe we can create media that educates, entertains and empowers
?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future?
AP: Future Song: Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground
?!X: What are your five all time favourite weblinks?
- Daily Good
- Colorlines – News for Action
- Xhibit P – Online gallery putting “Pop in Perspective”
- Awkward Black Girl comedic web series
- GOOD news
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