Love + eMotion originally appeared as the flagship blog on Kids These Days!, Alaska’s independently-funded, award-winning radio program. Kids These Days! won the Alaska Professional Communicator’s “Best Talk Radio Show” and “Best Website” for a non-profit and the Alaska Press Club’s “Best Public Affairs Program.”
“Doting Grandparents Wanted” won Alaska Professional Communicator’s “Writing for the Web, column or commentaries” award.
Leslie was raised by parents who taught her how to photograph, hike, spelunk, whitewater raft, and horseback through nearly all the national parks in the United States and Canada. She and her husband continue to share this love for travel, outdoor adventures and experiencing other cultures with their four kids although they’re all about having the right gear and being creative with the young ones. For example, when their son was two and their eldest was five, they outfitted both of them with crampons and hiked a glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. That year, they also snowboarded, snowmachined, fished for salmon, and ran with Iditarod dogs, all fantastic experiences that appear in Love+eMotion.
Her work has been named among the distinguished stories of the year by Best American Essays. Her writing and photography has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Magazine, Alpinist, Backpacker Magazine, First Alaskans Magazine, Fourth Genre, Panorama Journal, Parenting Magazine, Rosebud Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Under the Sun, Washington Post On Parenting, Washington Post Travel.
Losing her mother and brother to hepatitis B at the age of twenty-one inspired her to found the Hepatitis B Initiative in 1997, which she later expanded to the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. Today, this award-winning nonprofit continues to operate in several states mobilizing communities to prevent liver diseases caused by hepatitis B and C among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, African Americans and other high-risk groups. Earning a MFA and master’s in public health from Harvard, she is the recipient of the Rasmuson Individual Artist Award, the first Julius B. Richmond Young Leader in Public Health Award, the first National Award for Excellence in Public Health Leadership, the Sun Memorial Award for exemplifying a commitment to improving the health and well-being of people in underserved populations, and the Schweitzer Award for reverence for life. This year, she was named White House Champions of Change for AAPI Storytelling and Art.