Professionals Against Bullying

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thankful and all of those fuzzy thoughts...

Ok Readers! This is the time to say than you. Feel thanks and give more! I agree that we should feel this way everyday but November is a nice reminder for us. What will you do to encourage, love, share, give and care? My goal was not to rhyme but it was to make you think. How can we make our selves better people by thinking of others a bit more? That sounds a little selfish doesn't it? Isn't it funny that when we give to those around us we truly give to ourselves? I give myself secret giving challenges and it is always ironic how I feel when I am not acknowledged for my kindness. Although it is great to be recognized for giving-isnt it better when we are not? It is better for our own hearts when a kind gesture is not rewarded because it challenges the true motive for being thoughtful. Do I give for others to say how sweet I am-or do I give because I should. Because it is needed. Because it is my belief that giving is better than receiving? Feel free to share your thoughts on my morning ramblings. Keep in mind we are headed into the season when everyone is expecting gifts and even kids are writing lists about what they would like to appear under their own proverbial and literal trees…how can we teach them to savor and cherish the message of the giving tree and appreciate sharing a bit more than thinking about what they would like to get. I have a lot to teach this little guy about giving back and he reminds me everyday why I should give without expectation. -Read something great

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Blessings

I told many of you about my book signing weekend with the Big Brains Book fair at Barnes & Noble (Shelby Twp & Troy). It was an amazing experience to connect directly with readers and talk to them about my writing process, anti-bullying and my love for what I do. So many customers shared their own personal stories and talked to me about their goals, their experience with bullying and their own interest in my writing. Did you know that I will be back at Barnes in Noble in Troy on November 16th? Be sure to save the date-I would love to sign out one of my books for you! This week I was consumed with designing and presenting programs for local teachers, case workers, parents and many people in the mental health field. I connected with a nice bunch on Tuesday and will be able to meet with a different group tomorrow. It makes me feel good that people care about kindness and that they are willing to learn what they can do to make a difference. -Read something great

Friday, October 11, 2013

Let's catch up!

Please forgive my absence. It has been an eventful Summer. As many of you know I have been working on more books and lots of educational activities related to anti-bullying. This past season has been rewarding both professionally and personally because I was able to welcome a new family member into my life. My son was born in early September and he has been a complete joy to me. The more I connect with him the more I feel connected with the purpose of self-esteem, literacy and diversity education. My son is not even two months but I have already encountered adults saying that he will be teased when he gets to school because of his name. This made me think about how we should all be more careful with our words. If an adult is predicting that a baby's name is justifiably "teaseable"   does that set an example for kids to do it with vigor because his name is not a common one? In some ways do we set the stage for our young people to bully and be bullied? I have talked to so many kids and parents that have said they were teased around adults and that the solution was to grow thicker skin or to brush it off. I was just thinking at what point do we hold not only the perpetrator of bullying accountable for their actions but also those who witness it or justify it? I am excited because this weekend not only do I get to sign books at the Shelby Township Barnes & Noble (Sat. 4-6) and the Troy location (Sun. 4-6) but I also get to discuss anti-bullying and get others engaged in the topic.
-Read something great

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cheers to Cheerios and harsh reality for many of us...

Many of you know that my books focus on self-esteem, diversity and anti-bullying. My interest in the topic is both professional and personal. When Jason and I began dating we were both shocked at the reaction that we received from many of the people that we thought we knew well. People said comments to us such as "what will you do with your kids?" How will you raise them?" etc. We knew that something needed to be done. We knew that if we stayed together and had kids that they might hear these questions as well. We chose to make the family business about educating our communities on the power of words, cultural competence and why bullying is a bad idea. In 2008 our first adventure started publicizing our work and mission. We have been able to talk to many amazing schools, individuals and organizations. We feel as though we are making a difference. We also know that we have a long road ahead of us. Jason and I were watching television recently and we saw the most adorable girl on our screen asking her mom about heart health. We laughed as we saw the punchline of the commercial. We noticed that the family was interracial but we did not talk about that as much as we thought it was a cute and creative ad to show the mind of a child helping her father. Imagine my shock when I saw the firestorm of remarks documented on youtube in reaction to this sweet and lovable commercial. I am pregnant with my first child and I realize that my biggest challenge will begin soon. I have worked hard to educate a community and now I will have to work harder to educate my child and teach him what I have been sharing with classrooms and boardrooms as I am in the process of decorating his bedroom. Cheers to Cheerios for featuring this family and for coming up with creative and fun content. My first book "Who I Am Not What I Am" ( ) features Janelle, a young girl who goes to school for the first time and is asked "what are you" by classmates. In the end Janelle understands that everybody does not get that she is more than what people see on the surface but an amazing person, a creative kid and a girl who loves to talk. This incident has received national attention for the words that others decided to write refuting the ad. I thought I'd share my own words celebrating the ad for the opportunity to reflect on the change that still needs to happen. -Read something great

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mommies, Memories and Meaning

We are approaching the special day in which Mommies are honored for their care, concern and commitment to their kids and families. My mother has been a constant in my life. Some of my favorite memories are of her teaching me the little things that girls should know and the big things that change our outlook on life. She has not had a easy life and she has overcome a lot. I am thrilled because this Saturday we are going to celebrate together for the first time as mothers as opposed to just mother and daughter. Since I have been expecting she has imparted lots of wisdom with me in regards to pregnancy, childcare and life as a working mommy. I want to reach out to all of you reading this because if it was not for you I would not have the best job in the world. You have bought my books for your children, made sure that your young one's attended my seminars and conferences and you have encouraged my growth. I hope that this weekend you make some great new memories as you recall the old ones. -Read something great

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Who I Am Not What I Am: becoming my own reality

My husband Jason Michener and I were honored to give a joint speech at the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Event in Metro Detroit on Sunday. We talked about our relationship and how our personal story leads to our professional message of anti-bullying, diversity and self-esteem. Maybe you have read my books and you realize that they range from picture books to young adult and that they focus on positive messages about embracing culture and inclusion. Maybe you have heard a few of our personal stories about our days of dating when I was in my undergrad program in college. If you have done neither-I will remind you. Jason and I became great friends when he moved to Michigan from New Jersey in 2003. He was fun, smart and had the best heart I had ever seen on a human. I fell in love and yeah-he did too. When we decided to date-we were elated. I felt as though I had been blessed with my soulmate. The only man in my life who not only loved my snort-like laugh but also worked very hard to make sure I was always laughing so that he could hear it. Our happiness was not mutual with everyone around us. I was shocked because we received an amazing amount of speculation, judgement and raised eyebrows from those we cared about and even from strangers. Why are you two dating? What will you do with your children? Your relationship is not fair to the future of your family. Yes we heard it all. We were shocked...confused and hurt. My response what are you talking about kids? We are just dating. On the other hand if this relationship goes farther than dating and we get married and have kids-we will raise them! Once we continued our union into marriage and beyond-I began my true writing career. I have been able to travel all over the United States and share my books and story with many people who needed to hear it. Now I get to share my story with the most important person that will need to hear it and understand others need to box him in. My future son. I am pregnant (5 months) with my beautiful baby boy. He is already spirited according to the ultrasound because he can't stop dancing and performing flips in my belly. I want him to keep his jovial energy and not be tainted by those who feel like his life needs to be downtrodden before he gets here. I want him to know that he is more than a color or two. He is his personality. His interests. His smile. He is our child and he is not a "what" he is a "who". -Read something great

Monday, April 15, 2013

UN Learn. UN hurt. UnBully

This Saturday I am able to facilitate an amazing seminar dedicated to a new term that I coined... "UNbully". If we can take some time to look at mistakes that we have made, words that we have used in error or haste and actions that we wish that we could take back-we might be looking at a different future. I want to attempt to make that happen. This Saturday's seminar is dedicated to anyone from pre-k to workplace in regards to bullying. It takes a community to change our future so the community is invited. Strategies, tools and techniques to change the scope of relational, indirect and social aggression will be discussed. We hope that you can join us. You can register on the right side of this page. This is a must attend for anyone who has ever witnessed bullying in their environment. Our goal is to inspire, educate and motivate our participants in regards to this relevant issue. $25 per person includes refreshments and materials. Michener Associates - Counseling Center 850 W. University, Rochester, Michigan 48307 More info: 734-968-4458 or email -Read something great!

Monday, March 4, 2013

March Is Reading Month!

If you read this blog often-you know my mantra is read something great. This month you don't have a choice. It is reading month. Please get involved by taking your literacy to the next level. Make a goal to skip a tv show and watch a book in that same time slot or volunteer at a local library and read to kids. Let's get excited about books! This month if you buy any of my books from my website-you are eligible for a special surprise with each purchase. Let's make this month magnificent! -Read something great

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Passing down the legacy of Literacy

Readers! We have spent many years discussing the importance of reading and writing. My love of writing began by being read to first. I can easily recall being a small child and snuggling under covers as my parents read to me. There was nothing better than being cross-legged on the floor of my classroom while my teacher shared a story with us. Do you remember who read to you the most as a child? Have you ever thanked them? Those who read to us when we are small plant incredible seeds of hope in our life. This brings me to the special person that I am reading to own baby. Yes-I am expecting my first child. I read to my child everyday and although my baby has not been born yet this is setting a lasting precedent. Do you have any favorite books that you think I should read to my belly? Let me know. Share your memories, your ideas and and your hearts-I am listening and am just as excited to hear your story as I was to hear stories as a child. Read Something Great!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Elite Blessing

This month I have been blessed to be able to be honored with 39 amazing professionals who are making a difference in Michigan. I have been named one of the L. Brooks Patterson Elite 40 under 40 in Oakland County. To be included in such a great group of doers is a true honor. This recognition is not only a gift to me but you, my community. Without your loyalty to the cause of anti-bullying, literacy and self-esteem I would not be able to do what I love. So I am saying thank you to you-because you make me a better me! -Read something great!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February Friendship Challenge

I know. Everywhere you go-you see hearts. Candy sentiments. Balloon bouquets. Reminders of relationships and valentines day consumes your tv, computer pop-ups and your inbox. Let's start a new trend. Let's make February the month that we focus on friendship. Who has been by your side all year? Who has sat with you at the hardest times in your life? Who could use your support right now? Let's do some reinventing. I propose that we make over February. I am not saying that we completely do away with recognizing our significant others (I mean, I still want stuff from my hubistrator). I am proposing that we include friends and even a few strangers in our kindness efforts this month. Can we make cupcakes for the office? Bring candy bars to the classroom? A small gesture like a handwritten note can make someone smile in a beautiful way. If you want to take the February Friendship challenge. Please tell us how it went. We want to know! -Read something great

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Dreams!

How has this year been for you so far? Are you watching your goal list closely? For me it has somewhat of a whirlwind. A few of my favorite moments from this year are worth sharing. Last year I won an award called "Keeper of The Dream" this award salutes people who exhibit principles, character and contributions that follow in the footsteps of Dr. King's vision. This year I was able to be a guest and meet the new winners of the award. They all had amazing accomplishments, stories and hope for the future. I also was able to meet a business person that calls me higher and inspires me to grow and continue to reach for the best.
Daymond Jon, Sharktank Star, author and entrepreneur gave an incredible speech to remind us of the dream keepers that we see everyday and to celebrate each step and contribution respectfully. The other amazing opportunity that I had this year was to present for a group of parents of preschoolers on the importance of prosocial development. It seems small to always remind a child to say please and thank you but this is the seeds we plant when we want to create the next dream keeper. Have any of your January dreams come true? Are you still working on them? The month is not over yet. -Read something great

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Miracle of me...appreciating and acknowledging your path.

Have you ever heard of the description "modern day miracle"? What exactly do you think about when you picture a miracle? Is it a check with lots of 0's at the end of it? Is it a cure for a rare disease that will save millions of people? Those examples are both accurate. Think about this for a second though: You are a miracle. You are able to live and breath. Your efforts make a difference (whether good or bad) in the lives of others. You have outstanding potential and possibility. So...yeah, I'd call you a miracle. Acknowledge the things that you do on a regular basis. They may seem big or small but they have impact. They count. Once we acknowledge the depths of our own potential-we must have sober judgement about others potential as well. Is there someone in your life that you are having a hard time with? Someone who you have given up on? Keep in mind-this life is full or miracles and they might be the miracle in your life. People that exude behavior that is questionable also exude the ability to surprise us with a new outlook and respect for their own behaviors. Take a look around today and think about the many miracles that surround you. -Read something great

Monday, January 14, 2013


TGIF is very familiar to us. Friday comes and people cheer...they welcome the day before Saturday signaling a break from the week. I love Friday too. I have a proposal though...think about Monday. Monday is met with doom and gloom. People typically call Monday the day that they least appreciate. How man phrases have you heard that put down Monday as dreaded and dismal? Okay...I know you are waiting on my proposal. So...let's make today mindful. Instead of running away from the fact that Monday is another day that we have been given as a gift-let's celebrate it. If we put our best foot forward and think about the fact that Monday gives us a fresh start-I think our week will benefit from it. When the new year rolls around people get excited. They are ready to be done with the old and embrace the new. Let's do the same with Monday. Let's make it our new week celebration. You can do a countdown, have a special coffee and/or make resolutions/goals for your week. What do you say? Are you with me on a mindful Monday makeover? Let me know your plans! -Read something great

Friday, January 11, 2013

Take a risk...Smile at a stranger!

This year is fresh and new! We all have traditions when the month of January rolls around. Some people decide to exercise more, try a new hairstyle or embark on a new adventure. I have a suggestion to add to your goal list...give unbridled kindness to those who come across your path. Life is not always easy and some people smile through incredibly hard circumstances. I propose that we add our own smiles to the mix and share them freely with those we don't know. Now I am not saying that we have to restrict free smiles only to strangers-everyone could use uplifting. I have found myself waiting in a line at a coffee shop or driving in heavy traffic and when I give a simple smile at a person who makes eye contact with me something special happens...they smile too. It is contagious, heart-warming and can change your day and the days of those that you don't even know. Do you want to be a difference maker? Smile! -Read something great.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pre-school, Pro-social behaviors and prevention

How early is too early to talk to kids about bullying? This is a question that I am asked often by parents. This year I am honored to share that I have been asked to address parents of pre-schoolers in exploring prevention strategies and pro-social behavior seminars. The first one will be at the Lowry Center at Oakland University this month. Bullying is a hot topic amongst elementary through high school populations. My goal is to make sure that dialogue is not exclusive and that education on relational aggression can be a safe topic to discuss in any age group. The first time that I recall being bullied was when I was four years old. Many people can attest to earlier signs of relational aggression. Pro-social strategies can help children embrace behaviors that focus on kindness and fairness. Is your school or organization interested in having a Pro-social prevention seminar? Please feel free to email us for more information at
-Read Something great