About Me

“As a personal transformation expert, empowering women to step into and embrace their discomfort zone is a major component of my work. I believe embracing the energy of discomfort can be a catalyst for personal transformation. I also believe that personal transformation has the potential to activate much needed business, and social change.” – Anita D. Russell


Anita is passionate about personal transformation and doing BIG things—building community, inspiring
change, and giving back. She is dedicated to empowering people she encounters in everyday life through coaching, speaking, writing, leading, and networking—women business owners, professionals, experts, and creatives in particular. Her career and life experiences span multiple disciplines, including pharmaceutical R&D, learning and development, instructional design, Equity Diversity Inclusion, consulting, and nonprofit leadership

She is the Founder/CEO of The Place to SOAR LLC, a social enterprise dedicated to cultivating change through daily growth, personal transformation, and accountability for the purpose of unveiling human potential. Components of the SOAR Coaching System include individual and group coaching, personal and social impact masterminds; an Activism Through Coaching model; and InflexionPoint Podcast, a space for courage, conversation, relationship, and accountability in the journey towards antiracism activation. Most recently, she joined the On Call Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership.

Anita coaches individuals to become the person they aspire to be by examining who they are and designing a path forward through the gap in between. Using an appreciative coaching and strength based approach, she empowers people to develop a deeper understanding of how to manage their gift of life stamped with critical self-reflection, personal accountability, and responsibility. She is a Global Business Connector for Women Speakers Association, inspiring women entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers to be seen and heard.

She is strong in her commitment to social transformation and plays a leadership role in multiple nonprofit organizations:

  • VP US Coalition of Black Women Businesses, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading its message of social, health, and economic equity
  • Board member OMA Pittsburgh Mind Body Spirit Center, dedicated to holistic education for the well-being of self, family, and community
  • VP of Media Relations for the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch of ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History).


Anita resides in Pittsburgh PA.


Voices of the 21st Century: Women Transforming the World (coming February 2023), featuring her chapter, “The Hidden Secret of True Allyship”

Cultivating Change from the Inside Out: The Power of Being Human (2021), a self-help guide to dismantling racism and cultivating change from the inside out using personal development, sustainable relationships, and transformational living.

Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference (2021)featuring her short story, “Musings of a COVID-19 Baby.” (International Bestseller)

Voices of the 21st Century: Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Women Who Make a Difference (2019), featuring her short story, “Pangs of Guilt.” (International Bestseller)

I Wanna See Laney’s House: A Sibling Story (2019), Anita’s first independent writing project chronicling a deliverance journey from broken to whole.

Contact ANITA

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