Category : General Posts

314 Day Challenge 2018

It’s #PiDay to the world, but to those of us in St. Louis, MO, it’s #314Day. To celebrate, I decided to challenge my friends across the internet to share the 3 places and 14 things they loved most about our city. With Vogue Magazine’s article, “An Insider’s Guide to the Magic of St. Louis,” as inspiration, the challenge included the following levels:

Simple Challenge: Write It Out

  • List 3 places people should know about in STL.
  • Share 1 experience you love most in St. Louis.
  • Tag 4 people who’ve influenced your St. Louis experience.
  • Post your answers using hashtag #314DayChallenge on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Bonus: If you use the Stories feature on Instagram and Facebook, use this photo to tag your favorite places and people in the city:

“Show Me” Challenge: Show the world what you love about St. Louis.

  • Film yourself in your home or favorite place in the city and answer the 14 questions below about you and the things you love most in St. Louis.
  • Post the video using hashtag #314DaySTL on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • Tag 3 people to do it too.

Simple rules: Make it awesome. Let’s show the world how much heart and pride the people of our city have.

Level Up Challenge: 3 Places, 14 Questions

  • Film yourself in three (3) places around the city and answer 14 questions about you and the things you love most in St. Louis.
  • Post the video using hashtag #314DayChallenge on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • Tag 3 people to do it too.

14 Questions to Consider

  1. How long have you lived in St. Louis?
  2. What neighborhood do you rep?
  3. How do you feel you contribute to the culture here?
  4. Favorite spot to eat?
  5. Best local artist or band?
  6. One person everyone should know in St. Louis?
  7. Best experience/memory you’ve had while living in STL?
  8. What’s one place that used to exist that you would bring back?
  9. What do you do on the weekend?
  10. If you told someone to “Meet Me in St. Louis,” where would you take them?
  11. Most underrated thing about the city?
  12. What keeps you living here?  
  13. If you could envision one thing to make STL better in the future, what would it be?
  14. Who else do you think people should hear from? (Shout out three people)

Want to add more questions/ideas: Connect with the creator of this challenge, De Nichols, via Facebook message or Twitter (@De_Nichols).


I am overjoyed and grateful for all who participated in this one-day challenge. It was fun to watch the different social media stories throughout the day, and some people actually leveled up and joined me in creating videos. Here are three from YouTube:


Video: “Creative Unrest” in Designing from the Margins by Jessica Bellamy

Designer, Jessica Bellamy, started a YouTube and Instagram series titled “Designing from the Margins” to engage elements of black identity through design.

In this episode of “The Black Aesthetic Vol 1,” Jessica assesses#CreativeUnrest and includes a clip of De Andrea Nichols discussing this subject during a 2014 Creative Unrest conversation series she organized amongst artists during the uprising in Ferguson, MO.



Teaching “Design as a Catalyst for Change” at Washington University in St. Louis

In “Design as a Catalyst for Change,”—a course designed and taught by social innovator and designer, De Nichols—students learn and practice skills of community-based social impact design. The focus of this course emphasizes how values of empathy, equity, privilege, relationship building, and justice integrate into the communications design process when working with and within communities. As students identify and select a social cause on which to focus, they develop a series of print and digital works that communicate their chosen issue, pitch proposed design interventions, and visualize a collaborative implementation processes. Learning modules feature weekly readings, direct engagement with national social design practitioners, design charrettes, and on-site learning, allowing students to gain greater depth and perspectives for harnessing design as a catalyst for change.


Some of the great insights I was able to capture at Blavity’s EmpowerHer conference. Inspired by all the women who shared time and space while there.

Some highlights:

Fireside chat with Zim (TravelNoire)

Zim on time management: “Distractions are the enemies of progress.”

  • Here are some shared tips on how to live a distraction-free lifestyle:
    • Check email in the afternoon, not the morning. Preserve your morning energy doing things that fuel you and not drain you.
    • Master your iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” setting during core work hours and time span when you seek to focus.
    • Use the Google Chrome plug-in, FB Purity, to clean distractive posts from your newsfeed.
    • Measure time in pomodoros.
    • Use a project management app to help keep you on task.
      My recommendations: Basecamp, Asana, or Dapulse

Zim on teambuilding: “The key to keeping really great people is by being a really great person.”

  • Here are some teambuilding tips suggested by Zim:
    • Set 10 “culture values” for your company, and recruit by those, not just skills and “fit.”
    • Adopt an “everything is figure-out-able” group mentality.
    • Be a doer/executor. If that’s not you (aka if you’re like me, and you are great at ideas), recruit doers to balance the idea mavens, researchers, and strategists.
    • Use Slack for team communications to keep conversations out of your inbox.
    • Build a positive family and supportive tribe for your team members.
    • Take significant time off to keep your energy in balance for smart, productive work.

Dawn of Birthday 29: In Remembrance & Celebration of Life

On this day 9 years ago, I gave a eulogy at the funeral of my best friend (and high school sweetheart), Santez Walker. The next day, June 1, was my 20th birthday.

I remember returning from Memphis back to St. Louis on my birthday–heavy-hearted–and entering my apartment where Erin and other friends had prepared a surprise cookie cake to try to cheer me up.

I still get emotional when I think about those moments. At the time, I thought celebrating my birth and life was unfair when his was unexpectedly and suddenly lost. I didn’t know how to appreciate my friends in the midst of my own jadedness about losing him. But in following years, I learned to honor the creative, daring, and loving spirit of Santez through my birthdays. I committed to making them a little more meaningful, a lot more creative (like him), and as full of love and friendship as possible. And for most of these recent years, I have kept this commitment because of you–my friends.

Thank you all who have celebrated past birthdays with me. You are my tribe, and your presence has meant more to me throughout these years than I have ever admitted.

I look forward to tomorrow, and I’m grateful for the reminder it brings to celebrate life, cherish friendship, and fill our lives with love/gratitude.


DE/tour Mailer 01

Did you know that I’m on a “tour” right now? 

Me neither, but I’ve entered a deep wave of public speaking and travel that lasts now through July, and one of my mentors, Roseann Weiss, proclaimed it as the “The DE(TOUR)” (get it?). She’s pretty wise, so I ran with it.

On this detour from life in St. Louis, I am making stops through Baltimore, Chicago, DC, San Francisco, New Orleans, Houston, and more to engage with creative changemakers across the nation and make magic happen, and now you can come along with me to capture some of the moments through my YouTube vlog channel and Instagram Stories.

Learn more about it at, and
check out moments from the first city (Baltimore!) below:

The Day I Talked about Sticky Notes and Mental Health in Baltimore | DETOUR
The Day We Used Sticky Notes to Talk about Mental Health
I was welcomed back to speak at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and I chose to share about how activism has affected my mental health as a creator.Watch moments from
Designing Civil Rights.
The Day I Got Lost in Baltimore | DETOUR
The Day I Got Lost and Found a Mural Haven
When I travel, I love moments when I get the chance to explore space, culture, and creativity within a city.Check out some of the graffiti
and art murals I stumble upon
in Baltimore

And Over on My Main Channel…

I’m making (semi)weekly videos that take you through the inspiration, stories, and reflections around some of the most popular notes from my project, Sticky Note to Self. Watch the latest video, “See It, Seize It,” and be sure to subscribe for all the upcoming videos, posted on Sundays.