Embracing a Decade of Success: Chosen Pen’s 10th Anniversary Celebration
Actress. Author. Believer. Comedian. Mental Health Advocate. Philanthropist.
Dr. Kiana Dancie is a powerhouse actress, best selling author, comedian, transformational speaker, coach, and former CPR Cell Phone Repair Franchisee, founder and director of B.A.G.S. a nonprofit organization. Through “Baggage Claim,” her international women’s empowerment celebration & one woman show, she candidly and shares her story of being a child molestation survivor and how she turned that pain into purpose — and, more importantly, how she teaches others to do the same through laugh therapy and transparent conversations designed to help attendees start their healing process. During the pandemic, Kiana joined forces with organizations like Lift Atlanta and Life Changers Christian Community Center to provide food and other essentials to help alleviate the financial strain many experienced during that difficult time. Additionally, she continues to spend countless hours working to heal broken women and girls by giving them the tools to become more confident, emotionally stable, and financially secure through one-on-one and group sessions.
Due to her consistent activism, Kiana was recognized by the White House for her humanitarian efforts to build stronger ties to the community through volunteering and is a 2022 recipient of The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Biden Administration. In 2023 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humanitarianism from Global International Alliance.
Kiana was one of the original hosts of the TV One nationally syndicated talk show “Sister Circle Live”. Her amazing performance during the filming of Kevin Hart’s LOL at the 2018 Montreal Comedy Festival led to her to be casted in two movies – a BET feature, “One Crazy Christmas” and the Marlon Wayans Netflix hit “Sextuplets.” Kiana has also toured with Kountry Wayne, Jess Hilarious and has worked with Donnell Rawlings, Louis CK, Aida Rodriquez, Earthquake, and most recently Dave Chappelle. Her book “Bye Bags Bags – Laughing To Lighten The Load” discusses healing yourself whole thru laughter, is an Amazon best seller and is available on her website, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
In the heart of Fayetteville, North Carolina, under the warm September sun, a remarkable event unfolded, leaving a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of all who attended. Chosen Pen Publishing, a beacon of literary excellence, celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an event that resonated with the power of storytelling, forgiveness, and personal empowerment. This grand celebration, co-powered by the prestigious Forbes Business Council, took place over two unforgettable days, on September 15 and 26, 2023. The result? A resounding global reach of 11.3 million throughout the month, proving that the world is eager to embrace the unique narrative potential of Chosen Pen.
Unlocking Unique Narrative Potential
At its core, Chosen Pen’s 10th Anniversary Celebration was about celebrating a decade of inspiring storytelling and forgiveness. Dr. Norma McLauchlin, the visionary creator behind Chosen Pen Publishing, embarked on this journey ten years ago when she accepted the call to publish the stories of others. What began as a simple “YES” has since evolved into a global literary movement, headquartered right in Fayetteville, NC, but with a reach that spans the globe.
“Growing Globally with Chosen Pen” became the event’s mantra, a testament to the belief that every author has a story to tell, and every story deserves to be told. Chosen Pen Publishing stands by its writers every step of the way, from the earliest sparks of an idea to the final, polished publication. Their mission: to help authors produce high-quality, engaging, and entertaining books that touch the hearts and minds of readers worldwide.
Can you share with us a memorable experience from your journey as a speaker and how it relates to the themes of forgiveness, inspiration and empowerment, especially in the context of Chosen Pen’s mission?
Dr. Kiana Dancie: Honestly, it took some time for me to come to the point that I was this transparent. For starters, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to tell my story, but later it became apparent my story needed to be told to give others the courage to tell their own. I began by forgiving not only myself, but also those who had hurt me. I had to understand that forgiving the people who hurt me was more about healing myself and letting go of the pain versus anything else. When you forgive, it really does equate to mental wellness. My greatest fear has always been allowing the fear to forgive or let go take over my life, I am grateful for the maturity to be at peace with forgiving those who hurt me, even if they don’t believe they have done anything wrong.
Chosen Pen Publishing believes in the power of storytelling. How do you see storytelling as a catalyst for personal growth and forgiveness, and can you provide an example from your own life or work that illustrates this?
Dr. Kiana Dancie: Through my ability to paint the vivid picture of some of my traumatic experiences, I have not only encouraged and empowered others but I have also stretched myself to dimensions that I never would have thought I’d experience. My One Woman show is funny and transparent! It will make you laugh and cry! Once I openly discussed my childhood trauma as a molestation victim, people began confessing to me that they had never told anyone about what happened to them and that they were emboldened by my candor and strength! It became clear to me that I had a responsibility to shine a light on how I got over and through that time in my life. I reminded the audience to 1. Identify there is an issue. 2. Be honest about their feelings, 3. Seek professional help! 4. Extend grace to yourself and those who hurt youm 5. Laugh and let it go!
As the speaker for Chosen Pen’s 10th Anniversary Celebration, what unique insights or perspectives did you bring to the event to inspire both authors and readers in attendance, especially in the context of your association with Forbes Business Council?
Dr. Kiana Dancie: I reminded those in attendance that the unwillingness to forgive prevents productivity, interpersonal growth and can create hostile home and work enviroments.
How do you think Chosen Pen Publishing has contributed to shaping the landscape of professional publishing and why do you believe it is considered a writer’s preferred choice? Can you highlight any specific success stories or partnerships that exemplify this?
Dr. Kiana Dancie: Chosen Pen gives writers, especially young and inexperienced writers hand up to become professional best selling authors. They are easy to work with, work diligently to understand your voice and complete your project. I expressed I needed help with finding an editor that would understand my voice and the editor that they recommended was amazing! She was patient and very easy to work with.
Given the diverse range of topics covered by all the speakers, from personal empowerment to literacy and forgiveness, how do you feel the event succeeded in achieving its goal of inspiring storytelling and forgiveness, and what impact do you anticipate it will have in the long term?
Dr. Kiana Dancie: I was overwhelmed with the amount of worldly experience that was in the room. There were so many amazing people from all around the world. Many of the people there were uber successful and extremely willing to collaborate with each other. I believe that every person that spoke brought something different to the table, but it was a perfect mix to learn and build together and take whatever you’re working on to the next level! It was a phenomenal experience!
You can catch my Women’s Empowerment Celebration Tea: Baggage Claim-CLT in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28th and my One woman show, “Baggage Claim” November 4th at the City Winery ATL.
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As we celebrate #ChosenPenTurns10, let us all embrace the power of storytelling, forgiveness, and personal empowerment, knowing that the best stories are yet to be written.