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SOCIAL STUDIES : Sonny, Kristen, + Tera - Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA

What do you think of when you envision supporting a cause you believe in? How can I help?  How far do you go?  Sometimes standing for something you believe in takes more than just a donation ( which is also very excellent ! ).  It takes huge action and dedication to the cause to create big change.  Sexy Beast has done exactly that for Planned Parenthood.  They are part of the very important support systems our society has created to care for an organization that has brought on huge aid to our people.  Health care at an affordable and even at times free means. An organization that is some how under attack by our government.  I believe the word community means to care and support everyone who is part of it.  Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA believes that we should ALL have affordable, clean, loving, and caring health care. To me that is community and  I stand with that!  Sexy Beast puts their money where their mouths are - since 2014, they have raised over 1MILLION dollars to support Planned Parenthood. And continue to do so with incredible artist collaborations such as their current T - Shirt with iconic artist Jenny Holzer and Virgil Abloh  ( Jenny happens to be one of my top artist crushes ). I  was lucky enough to be asked to wear one of these shirts during the launch of them.  Sexy Beast is run by a collective of incredible women that I needed to know more about.  Sonny, Kristen, and Tera are a trifecta of power, creativity, and serious action - my three personal turn on's.  Stay tuned for more happenings going down with Sexy Beast in support of PP - such as their upcoming GALA. 
Who are you?
Sonny Ruscha Granade: My name is Sonny Ruscha Granade and I am a development consultant and a co-Program Director of Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood LA. I have always seen myself as a facilitator and a do-er: someone who comes up with ideas and come hell or high water, makes them happen. I’m not afraid to go out on a limb for the things I believe in and enlist anyone I can think of to help. 
Kristen Stegemoeller: I'm Kristen Stegemoeller, and I'm a creative director, writer and co-program director for Sexy Beast! I've worked for my entire career in Los Angeles, where the more traditional boundaries between the art, design, curatorial and commercial worlds are constantly being breached and blurred. Maybe it's the ADD, maybe it's my millennial status but I thrive in this professional in-between space – it's where the really interesting stuff happens.
Tera Uhlinger: Hey, my name is Tera Uhlinger and I am the strategist and co-Program Director for Sexy Beast. Ive worked in LA and NYC over the last 13 years in events and music and have always thought of myself as someone who creates a bridge between business strategy and creative. Over the last year I have added nonprofit and philanthropic work into the mix to tie all three together. I suppose that is the work I do, and I strive to do it all in service of the greater good. 

Why do you make your work?
K: I take a lot of joy in my work with brands, but it's my work with Sexy Beast for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles that gets me up in the morning.  We are passionate about activism and creativity in all forms, and we strive to build a platform where everyone from fine artists, to chefs, to designers, dancers, actors – you-name-it – can use their talents to contribute to the the greater good.

What do you believe in?
T: I think Sexy Beast as a collective believes in making ourselves of service. We believe that if we are coming from a place of service to the community, to Planned Parenthood, and to the people around us, that is where we'll see real societal change. If we are coming from a place of ‘how can I help? How can I be of service today?’ that will always yield amazing things. 

Name one thing you say yes to? 
T: Yes, always to puppies. 
And one thing you say no to?
T: No to anything that doesn’t feel right in my gut. 

What change would you like to see?
S: I’m pregnant with a little girl (due in May of this year) so, needless to say, change has been on my mind. I would love for her to grow up in a world where equality and the right to choose what’s best for one’s own future is a given, and not something we're constantly fighting for.
K: More empathy, and a greater sense of personal responsibility from beneficiaries of wealth and privilege would be great!
T: Kindness. I think there is a lack of daily simple acts of kindness. Making change doesn’t need to be this big thing, it can be a simple shift in the small community around you. Your neighbor, the person you always see walking on your street. Take a moment to be kind and this can effect a small, but meaningful shift.  

Name one thing that makes you happy?
S: Making a direct and positive impact in other people’s lives makes me happy and brings me fulfillment. 

How would you describe your personal routine ?
T: Oh my goodness. Ummm, obsessive? Methodical? Haha. I am a very ‘type A’ / Libra, I like things to be organized and I LOVE a good routine. With Sexy Beast, we have the amazing privilege to work from our homes / remotely and I freelance on the side, so having a good routine when you don’t have one imposed on you by a ‘normal’ job is so important for me. 

What did you want to be as a child?
S: As a young girl, I always thought I wanted to be an OBGYN (until I understood the realities of medical school and being a doctor were just not for me). I guess it makes sense that I’m now working towards protecting every woman’s right and access to safe, affordable healthcare.  

Can you remember one solid piece of advice you've gotten for the growth of your business / work ?
S: My mentor has always encouraged me to be gently, but relentlessly, persistent. She also constantly reminds me to know my worth and to never be afraid to negotiate or speak up if I’m being treated unfairly, especially from a financial standpoint. This has served me especially well since I tend to be overly generous with my time and ideas. 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
K: Rihanna. Always Rihanna. 

Who is one person in culture/ media / etc. that you feel is making positive and inspiring change ?
K: Tarana Burke, the civil rights activist who founded #MeToo all the way back in 2006, and spent her entire career creating resources for survivors of sexual harassment and assault. She spoke the words that created a global movement and she deserves acknowledgment, credit and respect. 


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