24 Apr

Carolyn LeCroy & The Message Project

In my life, I have found my deepest courage comes with the freedom of speaking my truth. I would imagine Carolyn LeCroy could say the same thing. This CNN Hero so inspired me when she emailed me last month following the launch of this site. Her story blew me away. When I think of women saving the world, my mind immediately goes to women like Dr. Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement in Kenya or even to my previous post on the amazing Marie Da Silva and the AIDs orphans she is helping in Malawi. I think of Eve Ensler and her work in the Congo or the work of the Nike and NoVO Foundations with their Girl Effect. The direction of this website to date supports that perspective.

So when I read Carolyn’s story, I was moved to think out side of my own bias that “saving the world” means going somewhere outside of our own backyard. Of course I was aware that we have issues in the USA. We all know that now better than ever since over the past year and a half. But saving the world? Could it start here? Could it be that until we save ourselves, we are not prepared to help others?

In the following three videos, Carolyn LeCroy speaks about her life’s mission to heal the relationships of mothers in the prison system and their children who have been left behind as innocent victims of circumstance. Carolyn knows this first-hand as she spent 14 months in prison for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

While in prison, she observed the mothers who were unable to see their children due to individual reasons surrounding their incarceration. Most of these families had painful stories. Carolyn made it her mission, once released, to get these mothers to video their apologies and amends to their kids – thus beginning the healing and stopping a cycle of crime. I learned from her that children of incarcerated parents are 7 times more likely to be involved with the prison system in their own lives.

Healing lives and families is a tremendous gift that Carloyn LeCroy is giving to many mothers. Her program, The Message Project, in in several states now and she is anxious to expand as far as funding and partners will take her. In my opinion, this program belongs in every state in our country and if developed could lead to great healing across the globe where parents and children are separated or relationships are severed.

If you would like to contact Carolyn about her work, please reach out to her. She is a warm and enthusiastic woman whom I know would embrace your support. Thank you Carolyn for your deep commitment to and passion for your work. You are indeed helping to heal and save our world.




18 Apr

Discovering LOVE in 365 Days

I have heard it said that the only two fundamental emotions are fear and love. Many people believe that what we are witnessing in the world today (from economic to social & environmental issues ) is a result of all of the fear created by humans. Some go as far as to say the Earth’s climate changes are a result of that fear which drives us to deplete the Earth’s natural resources, raze our forests in the name of development and progress and pollute our oceans with plastic and other toxins.

It is fear which leads us to believe that in order for ME to win, YOU must lose. This same fear that tells me that there are a finite amount resources and it is my job to find and protect my own piece of the pie at the cost of others. It is fear that drove us into the ME generation. But perhaps it is the opposite of fear, which is love, that is bringing us into the WE generation.

So where is this love? One woman I know, Clare Evans, is on a 365 days journey into discovering love. Not necessarily romantic love, but rather all human and natural expressions of love. Clare, a native of the United Kingdom, has actually team up with her friend Maggie to “embark on a journey of discovering all things they love in the world as well as of self.”

Whether it is music, nature, flea markets or even a pilates class, these two women are pointing out to me that LOVE is everywhere and expressions of freedom and gratitude can be found in the most honest and simple places. I encourage you to follow their blog as they journey into the year. They are currently on day 61 and I, for one, can’t wait to see what their path uncovers. It is sure to inspire.

Just imagine that if we all cleared our heads and hearts and began to look for the love in everything, what would happen to fear? And without fear, how would you live differently?

16 Apr

The Sisters of Sustainability with Tom Feegel

One of the beautiful things about Social Networking is the ability to find like-minded friends. Several weeks ago, I was invited to join the “Green My Parents” Facebook group and through that invitation met their founder, Tom Feegel. Green My Parents is an organization which sets out to have kids encourage their parents to make environmental changes in the home. The commitment is to reduce household spending by $100 a year via these changes. Tom’s goal is to recruit a million kids and their parents to commit to saving $100, thereby creating $100 million dollars for the environment.

Given the nature of his work with Green My Parents and the work I am doing to document green heroes for my own book project with Laura Seydel, I found myself on the phone with Tom to discuss our common interests. In that conversation, Tom told me that he believes the sustainability movement possesses qualities which traditionally have been female in nature. Tom mentioned the growing tribe of the “sister of sustainability.” Don’t you LOVE that term?

I have asked Tom to speak more on this subject for Woman Are Saving The World Now as I believe his opinion carries much truth. In the following three videos, Tom speaks with me in a very frank and honest manner about his observations on this topic. What I love about Tom is that he is a careful messenger and I can tell is understands the sacred nature of this conversation as two men enter into a dialogue on a long running and important story of male and female. Thank you Tom for your time and passion.

The book, Green My Parents, comes out this month. I hope you will encourage your girls and boys to join the Facebook group and get on board with this work.



12 Apr

H.H. The Dalai Lama in Atlanta

Last week as I was working with the fine folks, Daniel, Michelle and Marc, over at BeDo, The Hub, I learned that His Holiness The Dalai Lama is going to be speaking again at Emory University, my graduate school alma mater, in October of this year. I quickly purchased my ticket for the event on Sunday 10/17. I have a fantasy that he will find out about this website before then. ~ Lewis

10 Apr

Anisa Telwar, Conscious Capitalism in the Cosmetic Industry

I have known Anisa Telwar, founder & CEO of Anisa International, for several years now. We began as friends and now I am assisting her company with their sustainability initiatives. As I launched WSWnow a month ago, Anisa has been an avid supporter and we have had several conversations about the role of women in the world. As more and more women enter the world economy as CEO’s of global companies, such as Anisa International (manufacturer of cosmetic tools), I believe she is part of a group of women who will continue to serve as a role models. Giving back has always been built into her business model. And she is very focused on creating products which are responsible, healthy and sustainable, not only in the consumers hands, but along the entire production and supply chain. Conscious Capitalism is a second skin for Anisa Telwar.

I was excited to sit down with Anisa this week and discuss how being a women has played into her role as founder and CEO. Interestingly, she is a women leader in an industry which was dominated by men, who make products for women. Sort that one out!

Below are two videos from one of our conversations this week. I view Anisa as a “Women Saving the World” by affecting change in an industry which creates products for women, marketed to women, used by women and who employs almost all women (in the USA and China). Her new CFO/ COO is a man so she is certainly not exclusive. Anisa also understands the balance of the masculine and the feminine needed in business and in the world. She speaks on that in video #2. This is an important topic emerging in my talks over the past month. Thank you Anisa! Your strong heart and mind continue to inspire me.

VIDEO 1: CEO & Founder of Anisa International on Women

Video 2: Anisa On The Masculine & The Feminine

9 Apr

Marie Da Silva, Jacaranda Foundation

Several weeks ago, I posted about my visit with Ricki Lake and her amazing work creating The Business of Being Born documentary. Since that time, I have grown to see how loved and respected she is by many many woman for her dedication to this topic. In that post, I also mentioned that Ricki had introduced me to the work of Marie Da Silva, and the Jacaranda Foundation. Marie is a passionate and dedicated woman from Malawi who saw a great need to educate children who are AIDS orphans in her home community. Her tireless work to creating funding for a school and home for the children earned her recognition from CNN as one of their Heroes in 2008. Maria was also Ricki’s nanny and while Ricki was very supportive of her mission and did make gifts to the work, it was Marie’s continued efforts and gathering of her nanny friends that created the foundation. There were even days when the Foundation had negative balances in the accounts, but Marie pushed forward and never gave up. Today, the school provides eduction for over 400 kids.

Last week, Ricki sent me a letter from Marie about a young girl who died of AIDS, Upile. The story was a powerful one which described how the quality of life for this girl had been transformed with friendship and love as a result of her ability to attend school and form those close bonds. The pictures below are from Maria and show Upile at the school in Malawi.

Yesterday I had the benefit of speaking to Marie live via Skype. It was an uplifting experience and one that I have been thinking deeply about over the last 24 hours. In our talk, Marie confirmed to me the amazing qualities of women, as she and her sisters in Malawi and her nanny friends in America, understood the the need these children had for mothering and love and how the school would literally change the community.

There is so much I could write about this angel of a women and it was a challenge to pair down the video. I will post the entire interview on youtube for those who are interested. For more information on here work, please visit the Jacaranda Foundation website. Marie is now full time working for the Foundation. I hope you enjoy watching these videos as much as I did meeting with Marie and making them.

Marie on the Foundation

Marie on the Nannies, CNN and Girls

Marie on Women

8 Apr

The Anima & The Animus

My new friend Randy Siegel reminded me of the anima and animus in Carl Jung’s school of analytical psychology. Randy works with companies to communicate in a way that better utilizes both perspectives. The anima and animus are both part of our collective unconscious. The anima represents our inner feminine personality while the animus represents the inner masculine. As you explore each of these sides of the human psyche, you see levels which represent distinct development characteristics. In the amina, they are eve (beauty), helen (insight), mary (virtue), sophia (wisdom) and in the animus they are the athlete, planner, professor and guide. I present this as a framework because I have been thinking we need different language besides masculine and feminine to relate to the various skills and qualities possessed by both women and men. I am sure many of you know much more about this than I do and I would love to hear you feedback.

As an aside, be patient as I upload several new video interviews. It was a productive week and I am excited to share conversations with John Marshall Roberts, Tom Feegel, Anisa Telwar, Brenda Isaac and Marie Da Silva. Stay tuned as I will be busy editing this weekend. And a continued thanks to all of the supporters of the site from these early days. Also thank you for getting our Facebook group WOMEN ARE SAVING THE WORLD NOW to over 500 in less than two weeks. Lewis

6 Apr

April’s New Moon Grandmother

My friend Tom Blue Wolf writes about this April’s New Moon Grandmother:

“Aprils New Moon grandmother, while deepening our love and the ability to receive love, will prepare us for the Green Grass Full Moon of April and our power to manifest. “The world will be saved by the western woman,” said the Dalai Lama during the September 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit. Western women of all ages are in a perfect position to speak out for justice and to take on the responsibilities of “the priestess” … to take loving care of the planet and its people.” The original meaning of the word “priestess” in indigenous language referred to a women with great powers who was responsible for the land, the waters and the people.”

While I had heard of Tom for many years through close friends in Atlanta, I finally met Tom last year through my dear friend and co-author in an upcoming book on Green Heroes, Laura Seydel (another Woman Saving The World). Since then Tom has become a very important mentor, guide and friend to me in my human and spiritual journey. The first day I went to Tom’s home in North Georgia, we spoke about the return of the mother. He has had a powerful impact on me with the topic of Women Saving The World. Since our lodge ceremonies are sacred, I will not speak of them in detail, but they have been was full of great honor to our grandmothers and women as a whole. I have met some remarkable men and woman through Tom. You can learn more about him on his website.

5 Apr


Reprint from LUXECO LIVING

The World Will Be Saved By Women
By: Lewis Perkins, Founder of Women Are Saving The World Now

I did not grow up in a home where women were demeaned. There was no abuse. No misogyny. No violence. So when I entered school and the world at large, I was confused to see how boys and girls were treated differently. I remember being told that certain behaviors were appropriate for a boy and certain behaviors were appropriate for a girl. And I remember feeling that any crossing of those lines was not acceptable and in fact I was made to feel shame and guilt for being a creative, empathetic boy. So not only did it make more sense to embrace the masculine as I developed myself into a young man – it was a critical requirement for survival.

When I first attended business school at Emory University in 1998, I participated in a workshop with poet and author, David Whyte. He had just published his book The Heart Aroused: Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. In that workshop we described how we leave our souls behind when we go to work each day: 10% in bed, 15% in the car, 20% outside the building, 25% in the elevator, etc… so that by the time we arrive at our desk, we have left all of that which is our true spiritual core behind. Because if that core part of us saw the compromises we make in our jobs we would not be able to live with ourselves. It is true. In many of our corporations we are asking our employees – both men and women – to show up physically and mentally, yet to leave our emotional selves behind. We are learning much more today about emotional intelligence and how it relates to a larger capacity for self-awareness, group awareness, and the ability to manage one’s emotions and those of others.

When I worked inside a Fortune 500 company, I observed just what Whyte so accurately depicted. Yet I also heard people, usually during lunch breaks or at the water cooler, speak of their church picnics, yoga practices and other spiritual pursuits. So if they had a spiritual practice, was it simply meant to occur off hours and not at work? Why this disconnect? Why the line? Now imagine if a person was encouraged to bring not only their emotional self, but also their spiritual self into their daily decision making. Perhaps it would be harder to pollute rivers, or carry a high carbon footprint. Maybe land-fills would be less dense and products would be manufactured without toxic chemicals? I am not speaking about religion here, I am speaking about core human ethics.

I believe that this ability to bring soul and purpose into the workplace is a quality that we traditionally refer to as a feminine trait. I am reminded of another quote from David Whyte: “There is something about the way that the feminine psyche involves itself in the world in an incredibly vulnerable way, and so for that psyche to actually come the the table – where she can say in absolute and complete and utter confidence , I KNOW the truth (or rather WE know the truth). No need for anyone on this earth to struggle.”

I also observed something very interesting around the feminine in most of the “for-profit” corporations in which I worked. And that was that the women who succeeded adapted a certain set of principles that made me wonder if once they passed the glass ceiling, would they think it was worth it? Oftentimes, executive level women in corporations are not supportive of the other women in the organization. There is a high level of competition among them and they usually adopt a “one of the boys” mentality. Rarely have I seen a women lead the “for-profit” world in all of her feminine strength and qualities. In the non-profits where I worked, however, women could show up with empathy, compassion, collaboration and intuition. Make no mistake, we do the same to men. We ask them to check that feminine part of themselves at the door too. A friend who is the president of a health insurance company based in Atlanta recently told me and a group of trusted friends that he felt men DO have all the same feelings and emotions as of women, we are just trained early to suppress them. I could not agree more.

Now remember that at least 85% of Fortune 500 executives are men. According to a 2008 annual study on women in the work force from the White House Project, a national nonprofit organization, women hold nearly 40 percent of leadership positions in non-profits in the United States. The study also stated that women also hold two-thirds of all nonprofit staff. To me that says that, as a culture, we view profitability as a masculine pursuit while we view solving social and environmental issues as a feminine one. But women have truly been in the workforce in this country for the last 70 years and in the leadership roles over the past 40. Why have we not seen more equality and integration?

So, this fall, when his Holiness the Dalai Lama said “the world will be saved by Western women,” I immediately thought of the hundreds of women I have come across in my work who are effecting significant change on this planet. And it is not just western women, it is all of our women on this planet and the feminine perspective they bring to restoration. At a time when transformation is critical for our survival – a time when we are rapidly shedding the old model of “profit only” business and looking to our companies to assist in solving dire social and environmental issues of our times, these feminine skills are urgently most needed. And what I know is that the skills we need to tap into today – as we redesign, recreate and retool – all center around collaboration, partnership, and intuition and require a greater level of empathy and compassion for humanity and our ability to integrate into the planet with health and sustainability on the forefront.

So what if we began to train our leaders, both government and corporate, to embrace the feminine and think outside of the traditional capitalist profit-only mindset and into conscious capitalism which shifts us from a shareholder centric business model to a stakeholder model. In this model all of those who invested in the health of the organization will benefit: NGOs, non-profits, vendors, customers, employees, citizens and yes, even shareholders.

In creating Women Are Saving The World Now (www.wswnow.com ), my intent is not only to honor the manifold women who are creating significant chance for our human race on the planet, but also to lead a dialogue between men and woman on what the Dalai Lama’s quote means to us all. And what it means to be feminine. For this is not feminism, this is embracing that feminine (and masculine alive in all of us) in us all in order to evolve. Even Ted Turner has acknowledged the dire need for our women leaders. He has been quoted saying “Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world. … It would be a much kinder, gentler, more intelligently run world. The men have had millions of years where we’ve been running things. We’ve screwed it up hopelessly. Let’s give it to the women.” And while I would not ban our men from leadership, I would simply call us to learn from our sisters and strengthen our feminine psyches. This is how we will solve the issues of our times. Our intuition tells us the truth, and we already know the answers. In this last month, since launching Women Are Saving the World Now and as I have truly embraced the feminine psyche in me, I have begun to feel more completely whole and full in my masculinity.

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4 Apr

Embracing the Feminine with John Marshall Roberts: Video 1

I first met John Marshall Roberts at the Sustainable Brands International conference in Miami in 2008. I attended his workshop called Igniting Inspiration (also the title of his book). I was so intrigued and moved by the concepts Roberts presented in his World View model, that said when we authentically communicate at the spiritual level, we are able to move individuals to action. I learned from John all about the Clare W. Graves, mid-20th century psychologist, and the subsequent work of Don Beck and Ken Wilbur called Spiral Dynamics. I could write an entire post on this theme alone and the how the eight color coded levels apply to human evolution and thinking. However, you can read John’s book for that.

What I found so intriguing about Roberts was his keen insight as to how this work, which had been out in the world for over half a century, could be utilized to transform our world. In fact, Nelson Mandela used Graves’ work to end Apartheid. He understood that the many audiences he must reach with a different set of needs and perspectives – Afrikaans, British Colonials, Tribal Leaders, etc…

Since Miami, Roberts and I have worked together in various capacities. It was John’s encouragement which lead me to create the WSWNow Project – as he listened to me discuss my passion for the work of women on the planet today – just six weeks ago. I will be launching several videos on our recent conversation about women, the feminine psyche and how our leaders will benefit from tapping into greater levels of this skill set. And it is not just our leaders, it is all of us – as everyone one of us who is alive today is called to do the work.

Thank you John for your time and your encouragement of this topic.

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