Meet Linda Ragsdale, President of The Peace Dragon

head shotLinda Ragsdale Biography

Author, illustrator and international speaker/teacher Linda Ragsdale shares how the powerful skills of View, Voice and Choice can lead people through the more challenging parts of their lives with a peaceful and productive outcome. As a survivor of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, her physically devastating wound validates her message of empathy and compassion over retaliation or resentment. Her work in peace education has led her around the world, empowering over 30,000 students to see and speak with a new voice, and an expanded capability of choice. These same tenets of peace offered her a safe journey through breast cancer, finding treasures within the moments of darkness. Whether the terrorist comes from outside or within, Ragsdale believes peace offers a balanced journey through every challenging event.

Currently, The Peace Dragon is her vehicle to bring peace to the world, though it isn’t her first entrepreneurial adventure. As a designer, her first design company won her three awards for her novelty in design and manufacturing from the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute. With a kick of her foot, Ragsdale turned a moment of anger into a patented pop-up display design. Expanding her view from design and production, her second venture, a marketing and manufacturing firm, created the first video retail sweepstakes kits with scratch and win cards and awardable prizes. Her third company took triple-layer cardboard out of the food industry and into home décor products. Her fun and funky designs caught the eye of publishers, giving her vision a voice.

She penned how-to articles in a variety of craft and home décor magazines and her first book, Creative Cardboard: Making Fabulous Furniture, Amazing Accessories and Other Spectacular Stuff (Lark Books, 2002). This led to demonstrating art techniques on cable craft television shows. Her decorating techniques challenge people to look beyond standards to break the barriers of thought and design to create. Ragsdale proves office supplies; kitchen utensils and toys are viable options as brushes and tools. She encourages people of all ages to own the artistry of their lives, redefining mistakes as explorations of the path to learning. In her five book drawing series, The Amazing Step-by-Step Art Card Studio (Lark Books, 2007-8) she uses the familiar strokes of letters, punctuation and numbers allowing everyone to feel the power of their art and creation through their own signature style.

Every path of her career supports her current work, which has bloomed in her first picture books, Words and Not Opposites (Both Flowerpot Press, 2016) for her Peace Dragon Series. The books present the first two powers of teaching peace, View and Voice. Words expands the idea of teaching basic words to include understanding the power of their intention, and their ability to encourage, inspire and comfort not only the people around them, but themselves. Not Opposites breaks the polar mindset of teaching opposites by presenting a view and understanding that supports and promotes diversity, allowing a child to find their place and accept others. Each story is part of a living curriculum where conflict management skills can be applied whenever an issue arises.

                                                     words    not opposites   

      Ragsdale can be found speaking in in local and international schools, colleges, rotary clubs, women’s groups, FBI meetings, and online in her TEDx talk, Picturing Peace and clips of her international keynote speeches. She delivers a powerful message with laughs, tears, and the challenge to find and keep personal peace. As a local volunteer, she is on the community boards of NPT and SouthernWord, and organizes community events around the International Day of Peace and social issues. Most recently, Linda was asked to be the first traveling speaker for My 2nd Act, a stage performance of cancer survivor's sharing their stories and how they are thriving after a diagnosis of cancer.

2nd act poster

Occasionally, she’s been overheard sharing her peace of mind at coffee shops and drive through windows, hand delivering paper dragons and peace wishes. At other times, you can find her and her husband curled up with their pets at home, or visiting with her three children.

What’s next for Ragsdale? Only time will tell.