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Shelly Tygielski

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Shelly Tygielski is a fierce justice warrior and social activist. She combines the pragmatic business skills she learned in the corporate world with the tenets of mediation and mindfulness to make the world a better place. Shelly is deeply involved in offering trauma-informed healing practices to communities affected by gun violence and mass shootings and has led fully funded retreats for survivors and victims’ families representing Parkland, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Aurora, Columbine and more. She was featured on the cover of Mindful Magazine in June 2019 for her work in this space. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, once again Shelly rose to the occasion. On March 14th, 2020, at the dawn of the crisis, she posted two simple Google forms online. One read “Get Help” the other “Give Help”. The next morning, she was shocked to find hundreds of requests from both sides of the equation. She began directly matching those in need with patrons willing to help them meet their needs and the Pandemic of Love movement was born. Those few hundred requests grew to thousands; which grew to over 600,000 people matched within six months. To date, Pandemic of Love boasts nearly 4000 volunteers worldwide and has directly exchanged nearly $100 million in donations and has connected over 3 million people. It has been featured on over 100 media outlets, including CNN, BBC and The Kelly Clarkson Show. It has enjoyed incredible support from influencers such as Debra Messing, Chelsea Handler, Maria Shriver, Busy Phillips and Kristen Bell. Pandemic of Love continues to match those in need during this crisis directly with patrons who can help through their grassroots mutual aid platform. This work will continue well beyond the pandemic and Shelly is committed to formalizing mutual aid in communities across the world. She works to support organizations such as March For Our Lives, Black Lives Matter, indigenous tribes such as the Navajo and Hopi, and other groups committed to social justice and driving real change. In doing so, she’s also seen the toll that activism can take on people. The exhaustion. The let downs. Shelly shares her methods of self-care in her book published in 2021 (New World Library) titled Sit Down To Rise Up: How Radical Self-Care Can Change the World which was honored as a Gold winner of the Nautilus Book Award and a finalist for the Fall 2021 Big Idea Book Club. Her upcoming book, How We Ended Racism: Realizing a New Possibility in One Generation, co-authored by Justin Michael Williams, is due out in October of 2023 from Sounds True.

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