The Transformative Power of Music, Literacy, Inspiring Women, Our Newest Americans and Investing in Building Better, More Caring and Sustainable Communities

This week:


The Power of Music
Music IS Transformational. This story reminds of how powerful music can be and how it works…

Benjamin Zander: How Does Music Transform Us?
Years of conducting a world-famous orchestra have shown Benjamin Zander the power of classical music. He says music speaks to our emotions — and has the ability to reach everybody.
This is one of my favorite Ted Radio Hour episodes…

 The Power of Meeting Kids Where They Are At, With Anonymity and Generosity

This StoryCorps classic will touch your heart!

How A Librarian Changed A Future Judge’s Life:
In 1950s Arkansas, Olly Neal didn’t care much for school. Then one day, he cut class, wandered into the library and stumbled onto a book by author Frank Yerby. The discovery changed the life of a teenager who was, in Neal’s memory, “a rather troubled high school senior.” Years later, he told his daughter, Karama, at StoryCorps in 2009, he learned that the librarian — his English teacher — had quietly and generously orchestrated the effort to transform him into a big reader. Neal went on to attend law school and later became a judge, retiring as an appellate judge of the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Whose Shoulders Do You Stand On?



“The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence… who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins.” — Joan Chittister

I’ve Been Thinking…

The other day, my daughter Christina watched the documentary “RBG” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and said she couldn’t believe how much this one woman has done in her lifetime on behalf of other women. She said it got her thinking about all the other women who have done so much, yet whose stories we know so little about.

“It’s crazy that so many women my age don’t know about all of the barriers they’ve broken for us,” Christina said. “We don’t know enough about what these women have accomplished, or about what they’re still doing to instigate change.”

Amen, I thought. Amen to acknowledging all that has been done before us, and all that’s still being done. Amen to taking a moment to acknowledge all the women whose shoulders we stand on.

Christina’s words came to mind this Tuesday when I learned that veteran journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away due to breast cancer complications. I gasped when I heard the news.

Like me, Cokie was a child of politics who found her calling in journalism. When I was starting out, Cokie, Barbara Walters, Linda Ellerbee, and Nancy Dickerson were among the women who were out there working hard so that women like myself could succeed.

I looked up to her. I admired how she combined her many roles with grace and class. Cokie’s death made me stop and think about all the other women who have inspired me over the years, and who paved the way for me and so many others.

When I look at the women running for president today, I am constantly reminded of all the pioneers who came before them. When I look at women fighting for social change today, I think about my mother and how she fought for the rights of the intellectually disabled up until her dying day. I also think about the hard work of Rosa Parks, Dorothy Day, Coretta Scott King, and others.


Like Christina, I am in awe of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I deeply admire her tenacity, her brilliance, her guts, her persistence, and her work ethic. I mean, I pray to God that I can still be out there pushing for change in my 80s, just like she is. I have the same respect for Sandra Day O’Connor, who I got to work alongside in pushing for the passage of the National Alzheimer’s Strategic Plan.

Every young woman today should know these elder women’s stories. They should know what they were up against, what they endured, and how they charted their own path. Thank God many of those I admire have written their stories down in books. Gloria Steinem’s “Revolution from Within” is a must-read. So, too, are Eleanor Roosevelt’s books. And Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s  “Gift From the Sea.” And Joan Chittister’s “Called to Question.”

I’ve always been intrigued by people’s stories—their struggles and their triumphs. I’ve loved learning about the lives of women like Betty Ford and Mother Teresa because their stories humanized them for me. These are women who admitted to struggling with issues of faith, purpose, addiction, and loneliness. Yet they pushed on, nonetheless.
My mother always made sure to talk to me about her own influences. Her No. 1 was Mother Mary, followed by her own mother. She was also influenced by Mother Teresa, as well as the mothers of children with special needs, who she met out on the frontlines of humanity.
She made sure I knew about all of these women and, when possible, she introduced me to them. She took me to soup kitchens, convents, and social justice rallies. My mother was adamant that I see myself as someone who could, and should, step into the arena. That’s why she spoke to me about those who did.

I share this so you know that whether you are a mother, a teacher, a business owner, or otherwise, you have the power to inspire and influence those who are younger than you.
It’s important for young women to learn the stories of those who came before them. It’s important for them to understand that life is filled with ups and downs. Joys and struggles. Purpose and self-doubt. Connection and loneliness. Knowing this to be true has been important to me as I’ve navigated my own life. It has inspired me to know there are many who have faced life and loss and still carried on. I stand on their shoulders, and so do you.

Tomorrow night, I will speak at a memorial service in honor of one of my real-life heroines, Mary Oliver. When she and I became friends, I told Mary that her poem “The Journey” changed my life.
Mary herself didn’t live a conventional life. She lived her “one wild and precious life.” That, to me, is humbling and captivating. I’m thrilled that so many women who stand on her shoulders will get to celebrate her life and work for generations to come.
That brings me back to the other women whose shoulders I stand on. I know I wouldn’t have the career I do, had it not been for so many women before me. I know I wouldn’t have the right to vote, had their not been women who fought for that right. I know I wouldn’t have been the kind of First Lady of California I was, had there not been others before me who paved the way.
When I speak tomorrow night at Mary’s memorial, I will thank her for paving the way for my own journey. This week when I’m working at the TODAY show in New York, I’ll also think about the legacy of Barbara Walters and what I owe to her. This fall as I continue fighting against Alzheimer’s, I’ll think of my mother and thank her for her hard work fighting for causes she believed in.

This week, I’m going to make a point of saying thank you—be it in person or in my heart—to all the women whose shoulders I stand on. After all, Cokie’s untimely death reminds me again that life is precious. It is fragile. That’s why there is no time like the present to thank those who have paved the way for us to do what we do, and be who we are.

Opportunities don’t just happen to us. They happen because someone pushed before us so that we could have that opportunity in the first place. They happen because someone else fought, persisted, and persevered.

This week, thank those whose shoulders you stand on. Honor those who came before you. Be grateful for those who paved the way for the life you have now. And, if you don’t know their stories, then ask them. Or look them up. Read about their lives or watch a documentary, like my daughter did. One of the best ways to honor someone’s legacy is to learn about it, and then carry their story forward in your life and in others.




Dear God (and Dear Mary, since I often pray to you, too), thank you for all that you do for me. May you both help me remember to thank those who have paved the way for me and many others. Please help me persevere as I also work to pave the way for others. Help me stay the course. Amen.

Views Above the Noise


1. Why Ending Gun Violence for Actress Julianne Moore Is Personal



2. Sr. Helen Prejean on the Life-Altering Event that Helped Her Find Faith and Set Her Soul on Fire



3. Financial Housekeeping: Expert Jean Chatzky Shares What You Should Do to Plan for the Future



4. Style Guru Jill Martin on Finding Love in Her 40s… and Living Happily Ever After Her Own Way



5. Can Celery Juice Really Change Your Life? The Man Behind the Wellness Craze Explains 



6. How To Navigate Life as a Highly Sensitive Person
From Our Partners at 1440 Multiversity

What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person (HSP)? Clinical and research psychologist Elaine Aron, PhD, a pioneer in the field of high sensitivity talks with our friends at 1440 Multiversity about life for those of us with finely tuned nervous systems. READ MORE

Explore ways to enhance living as a highly sensitive person in a week-long immersion at 1440. Learn more here!


News Above the Noise

Around the World, Young People Protest Climate Change

Millions of young people poured into the streets on every continent on Friday for a day of global climate protests. Organizers estimated the turnout to be around four million in thousands of cities and towns worldwide. READ MORE

A New Wave of Caregivers: Men

When you hear the word “caregiver,” what image comes to mind? Most likely it’s a woman in her 40s. But did you know that of the 40 million family caregivers in America, nearly half of them are men? READ MORE

The Reason You’re Still Tired Even After Sleeping

Experts say most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health and energy. So, why are you still sleepy the next day? The reason could be a number of different factors, from what you drink to how you move. READ MORE

Feeling Anxious? You Shouldn’t Try to Calm Down

Have we been handling anxiety all wrong? Researchers at Harvard Business School say trying to bring our heart rates down in moments of stress is actually counter-productive and could backfire. READ MORE

Our Yippee! Moment of the Week

My daughter sent me Brad Pitt’s new GQ cover photo shoot and I have to say it was definitely a “yippee!” moment for me this week. You’re welcome. READ & SEE MORE


Join The Sunday Paper Dinner Club
Gather • Share • Find Common Ground



The Sunday Paper Reflection

Your Weekly Dose of Wisdom & Wonder


‘My Sunday To-Do List’ with Comedian Heather McMahan


Love Sundays as much as we do? Email us us your ‘Sunday To-Do List’ and look out for new featured lists every week in The Sunday Paper. (And be sure to check out Heather McMahan on Instagram. She’s hilarious!)


5 Days to a More Calm & Simple Life

If you’re ready to take the pressure out of life and find your calm, it’s time to enroll in Angie Johnston’s 5 Day Tidy Your Life Masterclass. Over the next 5 Days, this online course will help you mentally and emotionally declutter, destress, and set healthy boundaries. Use promo code “SUNDAYPAPER” and receive 30% off for being a loyal Sunday Paper reader. Click HERE to enroll today!




Join Me at Move for Minds!

The countdown to Move for Minds is on! Sign up to join me and The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement for a half-day of fun fitness and information to transform your mind, body, and spirit! Bring your mom, your sister, your daughter — as we help raise money for critical women’s-based Alzheimer’s research on November 2 in Los Angeles. Hope to see you there!

Love, Maria


Love Our Newsletter?


If you love what we’re doing, we hope you’ll consider supporting The Sunday Paper – for just the cost of a cup of coffee. While we deliver the newsletter free to your inbox each week, we hope you’ll consider making a one-time gift of $3, or a monthly offering of that same amount, if you love our work and want to help us create more inspiring content that Moves Humanity Forward.


And Finally…
The Sunday Paper Recommend


An Extraordinary New Film

Critics are raving about this heart-warming story of a young man with Down syndrome who finds adventure and wisdom in an unlikely friend. Check out the trailer HERE!

P.S. Have a book, movie, podcast, or person you’d like to recommend? Email us!


If you are local…
The Power of Investing in the Future
To build better, more caring and sustainable communities

Investing In The Future-Changemakers
4th Global Empowerment Summit 2019

You are invited to attend The Fourth Annual Global Empowerment Summit 2019 “Investing in the Future- Change makers”. This free, public event at UC San Diego’s Beyster Auditorium in the Rady Business School will include several prominent local speakers (The mayor and the DA are each making an appearance!) and global presenters as well as survivors of trauma who have risen above their adversity. The speakers will share their knowledge of social issues with global impact, and explore topics such as the power of collaboration, mentorship, and transformational leadership to solve societal problems.

And register at:

There will be a vendor fair and international food catered by refugees, immigrants and survivors from different countries who now call San Diego home.

The most significant impact of the three previous Global Empowerment Summits has been the large-scale mobilization of local and global change makers. We believe dedicated people working together on issues of common concern can find pathways to change and build better, more caring and sustainable communities. This creates a compassionate foundation from which we can build a better world. When we collaborate, we build bridges. The day’s events will encourage cross-cultural understanding, instill a strong sense of dignity and acceptance, promote problem solving, open doors to economic opportunity, and foster healthy growth within for all those involved.
Please join us! Together we can change the world!

Registration is free at:
Date: Saturday October 19th, 2019
Time: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: UCSD,  Beyster  Auditorium, Rady School of Business

Warm Regards,
Feroza Ardeshir

Naila Chowdhury
Director, Social Impact and Innovation
UCSD Extension
University of California, San Diego
mobile:+1 858 525 5609

The 2019 New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center Soiree
Friday Oct 18th 2019 @ Liberty Station

I would love and appreciate your support for our upcoming fundraiser at our beloved New Americans Museum & Immigrant Learning Center — help us grow our micro enterprise training program in creative sectors for immigrant,  refugees and asylees as they work towards increasing self-sufficiency and success in our country.  Our Museum and Learning center’s work is devoted to welcoming our newest Americans, telling their stories and another key way is by  investing in their success through skills building including as potential entrepreneurs through our MICRO-NAM initiative.

Please join me Friday Oct 18, and consider sponsoring or underwriting a table ($2,500 or $5,000 donation)and we can also help you fill it with fabulous new Americans; then come feast with the most amazing and unforgettable multi course dinner lovingly prepared  by local immigrant chefs! Happy to hear your voice. You all have my cell so please call or text me directly (619)602-7932 🙏
Un abrazo (a big hug) Adelante!

Above: last year’s Featured Soiree Chefs: Denise Roa, Flor Franco, Sindy Lazo, Evan Cruz, Jason Knibb and Michel Malecot.

2019 New Americans Museum Soiree

Discover America Through Food: Honoring the Journeys of New American Chefs

Get your tickets today


Thanks this week go to NPR/KPBS, Jill Mc, Maria S, Linda CS,  Feroza A and Naila C.
Please pay it forward!

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“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” ~ Steve Jobs

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