“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

In honor of the late poet, take a look at this Time.com guide to Maya’s most beloved books and listen to this interview with Terry Gross (via NPR Fresh Air)

On her official website, Maya’s son writes:

Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.

Guy B. Johnson

May you rest in peace.

Venas Matthews-Bazin, Senior Manager of External Relations. (Credit: Alliance for Young Artists & Writers).

Primary role: As Senior Manager of External Relations, Venas Matthews-Bazin oversees all components of meetings and events here at the Alliance. Her keen attention to detail and communication skills play a big role as she works with multiple venues, negotiates contracts with vendors, selects event locations, determines the design and layout of event spaces, and oversees the audio-visual and special effects for programs. In addition, she’s in charge of organizing, launching and managing the Alliance’s fundraising campaigns, including the Gold Key Society and the Friends of the Alliance. Her job might sound tough, but she also gets to sample and select all of the yummy catering menus for events too!

Secret fact: Venas always wanted to be a lawyer. She also wanted to be a gymnast until five years ago when she actually practiced again on the uneven parallel bar.

Venas: One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Before coming to the Alliance, I worked for Time Warner, The Apollo and MTV Networks—and when I say Networks I mean the whole company of MTV brands. Read More