Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
Sometimes, another’s tragedy can become the inspiration for one’s own destiny. After my grandmother passed away, my father found a scrapbook of her life as a performer. Until then, I’d known her as someone who sang songs in Yiddish at Jewish charitable events and similar functions. That scrapbook opened my eyes to a story I’d never fully appreciated.
At 16, my grandmother, Bella Peisach Zalkin, was the youngest person to be admitted to the Vienna Conservatory of Music to study opera. Unfortunately, because of the Holocaust, she was denied her dream and had to flee Europe. What the scrapbook revealed was her tireless dedication to finding a way to express herself as an artist despite the hardships she faced just to survive.
Although I’d always admired my grandmother’s musicianship and had emulated her as a singer, it was only after I spent time with her life as revealed in her scrapbook that I felt the power music can have to change and even save people’s lives. Until that moment, I had defined myself by what other people thought of me and what I should be. The images of my grandmother’s story ignited a fire in me to take charge of my own destiny. If she could pursue a semblance of her dream despite the hardships she faced, I could have the strength and determination to pursue the entirety of my dreams.
Music is the universal language capable of producing a harmonious world. My mission is to further my grandmother’s legacy by creating music that empowers others to find inner peace, full self-expression, and the courage to live a life worth living.
No matter what has led you to this moment, you’re here for a reason. We each have a purpose. Instinctively, we know what that purpose is. All you have to do is trust yourself, no matter what obstacles life puts before you.
Thank you, Nana.
– Alisha Zalkin
Explore More Meaning
avid meditator. awareness expander. soulmate.
Brian Hilliard has developed, managed, and invested in commercial real estate, telecommunications, publishing, and entertainment. Currently, his primary focus is on humanitarian projects and assisting non-profits with fundraising and hands-on participation.