Welcome to the Wake Up Everybody Virtual Community!


Where We Choose to Awaken, Transform and Ascend


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Choose to Awaken with the WUE Nation!

On March 29, 2020, Spirit of A Woman, LLC, launched the Wake Up Everybody (WUE) Virtual series in partnership with community healers, thought leaders, coaches, medical and mental health professionals, educators and artists from across the nation. WUE was created to provide community members, from across the country and abroad, with an opportunity to keep their mental, emotional,  physical and spiritual well beings balanced and whole as they navigated the impact of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 global health crisis. 

WUE was  originally designed as a 30 day offering that would provide “temporary” covering and support for participants until the quarantine period ended, however, the producers and community members quickly realized that the WUE journey would last much longer than they originally anticipated. 

The series was created by Shawnee Benton Gibson, CEO, of Spirit of A Woman (SOW) Leadership Development Institute, who was inspired by the lyrics of the song  “Wake Up Everybody” by Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. The song, which was popular in the 70s, speaks of issues that we are still glaringly relevant today; (racism, war, poverty, sickness, political strife, corruption, etc). The WUE Virtual series was designed to “WAKE UP” the masses by providing empowering messaging, holistic healing tools, guidance for daily living and strategies for addressing the injustices, pain and imbalance that exists in the world. 

All of the “Wake Up Everybody” sessions take place 5 days a week (every Sunday, Tuesday, & Thursday from 7:00am - 8:30am EST and every Monday and Wednesday from 7:00am -7:30am EST.) over Zoom and Facebook Live. Every session is facilitated by powerful and prolific presenters from various backgrounds and areas of discipline. Each facilitator guides participants through an interactive experience that fosters education, conversation, new insights, empowerment  and expansion. 

The WUE Family invites you to join our phenomenal community so that you can share, heal and grow as part of the collective. You are free to join as a community participant, as a session facilitator and/or a member of the admin team to support the magic that happens behind the scenes. We hope to hear from you. 


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Sunday, April 21st - "Get Down Off That Auction Block!"


Facilitated By: Gina Leito-Diouf

We'll examine ways that we sell ourselves out by trying to please others. We'll look at why we may be doing it and come up with strategies for how we can change.


Monday, April 22nd "What Brings You (Your Own Understanding) JOY (Just Open Yourself)?"

Facilitated By: Yvette N. Richardson-Hudson

A lot is always going on in our lives daily. And in my own life I’ve been dealing with many challenges. My children’s depression, suicidal ideations, other health problems and my own challenges: I am currently going through a yucky divorce And in dealing with all of these challenges I have made a point of searching for and creating moments of Joy. Some small and some BIG. So this is a discussion about JOY and what brings “YOU” JOY There will be A few slides, a couple of songs and hopefully a whole lot of JOY.


Tuesday, April 23rd "Media Ventures Purpose"

Facilitated By: Bob Gore

Join us as we explore several radio, TV and publication projects CEO, author and photographer, Bob Gore, has created for Afro-/Caribbean audiences.


Wednesday, April 24th "Knowing The Fundamental Forces of Yin & Yang Through Mind & Body" Part 3

Facilitated By: Baba Afam

This three part series of sessions will highlight the fundamental forces of nature known as Yin and Yang in Chinese (In Yoruba, Ibi and Ire), sharing the power and flexibility in using these energies as a way of successfully dealing with the flow of life and how to use the mind & body to access them. Simple but deeply profound, getting familiar with Yin Yang (Ibi Ire) can pay huge dividends as the concepts can be used in endless ways for healing, manifesting, troubleshooting, planning, decision making, discerning, predicting etc. The content of the sessions will move in the direction of the Afrikan roots of Yin Yang while also teaching the meditative breathing technique called the Universal Breathe, but in Ghanaian Twi language its called Amansan Ahome.

This simple powerful breathing and movement technique can be used in multiple ways for clearing the mind, relaxing the body, clearing out negative energy, reading the body and more. We will use this breathing practice in each of the three sessions in conjunction with three mind/body practices; In session one we will learn the Microcosmic Orbit, in session two the Taoist 9 Count Breath, and in session three the “Water Wheel” Qigong form. All three of these practices are firmly based on the Ire Ibi - (Yin Yang) concepts and are easy to learn.


Thursday, April 25th "Think and Grow Rich Chapter 2"

Facilitated By: Dr. Lavonya Douglas 

Chapter 2 of "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill focuses on the importance of having a definite, clear goal or purpose in life. Hill emphasizes that success begins with a burning desire to achieve a specific objective. He explains that this desire should be so strong that it becomes an obsession, driving one to take persistent action toward its realization. The chapter highlights the significance of setting goals and how having a well-defined purpose can align one's thoughts and actions, ultimately leading to success. Hill stresses that clarity of purpose is essential for achieving wealth and success in any endeavor.

Upcoming Facilitators!   

Gina Leito-Diouf is the owner and operator of Sankofa Sojourns. At Sankofa Sojourns, she shares her vision of healing the world of racial trauma by providing positive, transformational travel experiences.



“Fitness is my life!” This is the mantra that has resonated with Yvette N. Richardson-Hudson since her teenage years when the high school athlete was first introduced to weight lifting as she ended her senior year. However, her weight lifting journey began in earnest in college where the only weights available on campus could be found in the men’s baseball team’s gym. Though she was the only girl using the weight lifting equipment during her entire college experience, working out at the gym was the one thing she could do to feel good and de-stress from the rigor and pressure of completing a successful college career.

As an adult, the gym continued to provide comfort and solace, especially once Yvette began teaching high school and had to regularly deal with students’ issues and problems. Once again the gym was her go-to-resource for relaxation, and working out became her moving meditation. Her enthusiasm for fitness led to part-time work at a gym and enabled her to secure certifications as Personal Trainer and Spin instructor. It also eventually solidified her interest in body building. Soon afterwards, promotional before/after pictures for a body-sculpting and body transformation program caught Yvette’s attention. She was so impressed with the results achieved after completing the 12 week program, she decided to compete in the INBF Natural Body Building Contest and won 1st place in the competition 16 weeks later!

While marriage and motherhood has shaped the past 20 years of her life, Yvette continues to work out regularly. Her eldest daughter, who is now 18 years old, has been a certified gym-rat since she was 5 months old, and her now 15 year old sister is similarly qualified as well. In 2018 she participated in the New York City Five Boro Bike Tour in May and ended the year in November with the New York City Marathon. Yvette has been an avid runner since.

Yvette currently teaches classes at several gyms in the New York/Long Island area. In addition, she trains and coaches her clients virtually and in person. Home-schooling has allowed Yvette’s commitment to fitness, health and wellness to flourish even as she has expanded her efforts to include Personal and Group Training for children and young adults, both groups suffering from heightened levels of weight consciousness and obesity. To address these and related issues, she has designed the Luv Live Fitness 1 System to teach basic fitness, body movement and nutritional skills as tools for creating healthy lifestyle habits for all.

Group Exercise Instructor Queens College - MS - Mathematics Education
Personal Trainer Rollins College - BA - Mathematics Education
Pilates Mat
Aquatic Exercise
Nutritional Coach


Bob Gore has been a photographer for well-known organizations, including the Schomburg Center for Research in A Better Chance, Black Culture, Columbia University, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the New York NAACP. His long-term focus is documenting the varieties of African-derived worship in the US and the Caribbean. Mr. Gore's photography has been published widely in print and digital publications and in three books, Know Justice Know Peace, Black Lives Matter Protests in New York City, My Haiti, The Work of Bethlehem Ministry, and We've Come This Far: A Photo Journal of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. His current work in progress is Courage, a graphic novel based on the life and work of Dr. CT Vivian, a civil rights legend. His work is in the collections of ARSTOR, Brooklyn Public Library, National Museum of African American History and Culture, New York Historical Society, and Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture. His broadcasting experience ranged from production roles to executive positions in public broadcasting stations and Boston and New York, where he was station manager of WNYC-TV, program sales management with Westinghouse TV (CBS) managing partner with the Caribbean International Network. His activism spans several decades and includes being a community organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, VISTA (Volunteers in Service For America), and the United Methodist Church.


Darryl Aiken-Afam, the creator of the Ambient Noise/Contact and Conversation racism reduction programs, is a practitioner of Taoist and Zen based meditation, yoga, and martial arts practices for over 25 years. He’s also a certified shiatsu practitioner and personal trainer. He’s worked with collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes, as well as celebrities like Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. He holds an Associates degree in engineering, a Bachelors in general psychology and a Masters in Leadership Psychology, the latter two from Penn State University. Darryl has also lectured at The University of Illinois Chicago, Northwestern University, the Silver School of Social Work at NYU, and at Mount Sinai Hospital to professional therapists of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, on topics including holistic self-care, movement and energy in sports performance, and mindfulness-based racism reduction.


Dr. Lavonya Douglas is a distinguished scholar who holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Psychology with a specialization in African and Caribbean Mental Health. Her expertise lies at the intersection of psychology, leadership, and cultural diversity. With a strong commitment to enhancing individual and community well-being, Dr. Douglas specializes in developing professional development and leadership programs. Through her research and studies, she has gained profound insights into the psychological dynamics within these communities, enabling her to design impactful initiatives that foster personal growth, leadership skills, and mental health awareness. Dr. Douglas' work not only advances the field of organizational leadership psychology but also addresses the crucial requirement for culturally sensitive approaches to professional development and mental health support. Dr. Douglas is a leader, mentor, mother, and energy producer! She is a leader of leaders who leverages individual strength. She’s a coach and mentor to her colleagues and teams. She helps transform lives, create a sense of purpose, and instill a passion for excellence in individuals and organizations.


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