Social Impact Authors: How & Why Christina Ray Stanton of Loving All Nations Is Helping To Change Our World

An Interview With Edward Sylvan


I have a two-fold approach to my writing. I like to tell stories that speak to the human condition, and I direct my writing proceeds towards the non-profit organization my husband and I founded, called Loving All Nations.

We started Loving All Nations to help the poor and vulnerable of the world, and any funds raised go directly to those in need. All administrative work is volunteer-driven, so no portion of the donations pays for overhead. I made the decision to combine my writing skills and interest in social justice causes because for me, they are intertwined.

As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Ray Stanton.

Christina Ray Stanton is a Florida native who has lived in New York City for almost 30 years. Christina is a licensed NYC tour guide who has led thousands of people on tours since 1995. In 2017, she founded a nonprofit called Loving All Nations, which helps the world’s poor and vulnerable. Christina has written two books and over twenty articles that have won awards and have been featured on TV channels and in top publications all over the world. She is a sought-after speaker on the subject of 9/11.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, an idyllic community. My mother was/is a piano teacher, and my father was a lobbyist before passing away when I was 21. Faith was important to my parents, and it remains important to me. Tallahassee is a refugee resettlement community, and my mother was active in projects helping refugees when I was growing up. She involved me in her service endeavors, which left a lasting impression. I was a foreign exchange student in France when I was 15, which changed me by expanding my mind and piquing my interest in other cultures. After graduating with a degree in English in 1992, I moved to New York City in 1993 at age 23 to start a grand adventure in the city.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

Books that inspired and made an impression on me in my younger years focused on poverty and injustice of any kind. Alice Walker’s A Color Purple, Richard Wright’s Black Boy and Native Son, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle…..I remember noting that the main characters faced challenges that were far from my experience. It all seemed unfair that life had dealt them cards that were almost insurmountable, while I had been born into an upper-middle-class family that shielded me from any discomfort. It made me ask the questions, “Why them and not me? How would I react under their circumstances? Can I help people who are suffering? What do I have to offer others?”

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When I was writing my first book, I kept thinking I was “through” when I definitely wasn’t, and I kept trying to pitch it to publishers when it still had a long way to go. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know about a finished product as opposed to a work-in-progress. That’s why it’s important to have an editor or writing mentor or be a part of a writing group who will be honest about your work.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

I have a two-fold approach to my writing. I like to tell stories that speak to the human condition, and I direct my writing proceeds towards the non-profit organization my husband and I founded, called Loving All Nations.

We started Loving All Nations to help the poor and vulnerable of the world, and any funds raised go directly to those in need. All administrative work is volunteer-driven, so no portion of the donations pays for overhead. I made the decision to combine my writing skills and interest in social justice causes because for me, they are intertwined.

There is a lot of power in the written word, and every individual has a lot of power to make a difference in the world. I’m trying to harness that power potential and use it for good.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

My book addresses our experience of living six blocks from the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks. We had to evacuate our home after the second plane flew over our heads while we stood on our 24th-floor terrace. When the buildings came down, we were covered with dust and debris and spent hours outrunning smoke that threatened to asphyxiate us in Battery Park. We were carried off the island of Manhattan by boat in the largest boat evacuation in history and were homeless for almost two weeks before we could get back into our apartment. We struggled with PTSD, unemployment, and health issues in the aftermath. My book about Covid-19 is related to 9/11, in the sense that the toxins from the 9/11 dust compromised my health and likely led to a near-fatal case of the virus. I was hospitalized twice and told I had a 50% chance of survival.

I’ve been given a gift that no one would want — the chance to speak from inside two of the most shattering events to hit our country in the past century. But both calamities taught me that we have an enormous capacity to speak into each other’s lives, and both large and small acts of kindness can alter someone’s future. I want to inspire others by telling stories that include examples of how we can lift each other up.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I thought my close friends and family were well-versed in what happened to my husband and I during 9/11, so when my niece asked me if I knew “anyone that had been affected by 9/11” that she could interview for a school project, I was shocked. It caused me to want to write down our experiences in order to leave an account for the family. But the more I wrote, my scope enlarged. I realized I had a wonderful opportunity to inform through my words, so my book morphed into depicting the ripple effects of the attacks, told from a Financial District resident’s perspective. The positive reception my 9/11 book received motivated me to write about my Covid-19 experience. I thought I could help individuals cope with Covid like I’d helped others understand the 9/11 attacks more fully.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I visited the same orphanage in South Africa for several years starting in 2009, and am still in touch with many of the kids. Those children are now young adults, with few resources to help them make the transition out of the orphanage into society. I help by placing these young adults into job training and college course which will prepare them for careers that will sustain them. Last week, one young woman graduated with a Business Management certificate from a private college. I’m so proud of her. She is a single mom who had to navigate caring for her child while studying. She took classes online through the pandemic, dealt with spotty internet service, and overcame other various roadblocks in order to succeed. Last year, Loving All Nations also paid for multiple food parcels that went to families living in extreme poverty in South Africa and Madagascar. I was super proud of that, as the pandemic hit those countries especially hard, causing so many in their poor communities to slide even further into poverty.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

I’m trying to address the basic needs of some of the poorest communities in the world. If anyone is interested in donating to any of the countries/communities LAN has a relationship within the giving drop-down, funds would go to help lift people out of poverty as well as pay for job training so families can self-sustain and thrive.

As a 9/11 historian during an anniversary year, I feel a real calling to speak about our 9/11 experience in schools and to groups of any type. I would be happy to come speak to your group before this year’s 20th anniversary, or after.

Proceeds from my two books go to Loving All Nations. Feel free to buy from Amazon or another online retailer.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership starts with a vision. The leader needs to believe heart and soul in that vision, be able to recruit and encourage others to share in that vision, and be able to make a game plan that will bring the vision into fruition. Leadership is best displayed when a bought-in group of people form a community to accomplish a goal that leads to a greater good. I so enjoyed assembling groups to work on service projects together, such as international humanitarian trips or helping recent refugee families assimilate. Everything is multiplied many times over when things are accomplished as a team!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

When it comes to writing, I wish someone would have told me what an impactful, satisfying, and creatively stimulating medium it is in which one can express oneself. I would have begun writing earlier!

When I first started writing, I was unaware how important an editor was to the final product. Find someone who understands your voice, can mentor you, who is a seasoned professional, and who understands what the industry wants and expects. I went through maybe four different editors before I found the one whom I consider my “writing soul mate.”

Communication with your readers is important: Create newsletters, have a separate social media page to keep others abreast of your writing endeavors, develop a good book website. Update and engage as much as possible. You have a voice and a message- let others hear it!

Become an “expert” at what social impact you’re trying to create/enact. In general, it’s important to have as much knowledge about the subject you are focusing on as possible.

There are tons of publications out there. Do much research and cast a wide net to be as versed as possible on the avenues available for your writing. It’s a wide world out there, and you never know what might be the most effective “home” for your message.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

All of the below quotes are empowering calls to action that are meant to remind us that even one individual can make a huge impact and difference.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK, Jr

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” Nelson Mandela

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” Jacob Marley from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

The following list is a disparate group where I have specific questions for each individual, such as their inspiration to engage and change the world, what drives them, and why they have chosen to make certain public statements and stances, including some I heavily disagree with. Joyce Meyer, Randy Rainbow, Kamala Harris, Franklin Graham. I feel I must mention the fact that just because I listed them does not mean I admire them or support their platforms or organizations. I am just saying I’d like to talk with them.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

“Loving All Nations” Facebook page, “Christina Ray Stanton books” Facebook page, website, website

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

About The Interviewer: Growing up in Canada, Edward Sylvan was an unlikely candidate to make a mark on the high-powered film industry based in Hollywood. But as CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc, (SEGI) Sylvan is among a select group of less than ten Black executives who have founded, own and control a publicly traded company. Now, deeply involved in the movie business, he is providing opportunities for people of color.

In 2020, he was appointed president of the Monaco International Film Festival, and was encouraged to take the festival in a new digital direction.

Raised in Toronto, he attended York University where he studied Economics and Political Science, then went to work in finance on Bay Street, (the city’s equivalent of Wall Street). After years of handling equities trading, film tax credits, options trading and mergers and acquisitions for the film, mining and technology industries, in 2008 he decided to reorient his career fully towards the entertainment business.

With the aim of helping Los Angeles filmmakers of color who were struggling to understand how to raise capital, Sylvan wanted to provide them with ways to finance their creative endeavors.

At Sycamore Entertainment he specializes in print and advertising financing, marketing, acquisition and worldwide distribution of quality feature-length motion pictures, and is concerned with acquiring, producing and promoting films about equality, diversity and other thought provoking subject matter which will also include nonviolent storytelling.

Also in 2020, Sylvan launched SEGI TV, a free OTT streaming network built on the pillars of equality, sustainability and community which is scheduled to reach 100 million U.S household televisions and 200 million mobile devices across Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV and others.

As Executive Producer he currently has several projects in production including The Trials of Eroy Brown, a story about the prison system and how it operated in Texas, based on the best-selling book, as well as a documentary called The Making of Roll Bounce, about the 2005 coming of age film which starred rapper Bow Wow and portrays roller skating culture in 1970’s Chicago.

He sits on the Board of Directors of Uplay Canada, (United Public Leadership Academy for Youth), which prepares youth to be citizen leaders and provides opportunities for Canadian high school basketball players to advance to Division 1 schools as well as the NBA.

A former competitive go kart racer with Checkered Flag Racing Ltd, he also enjoys traveling to exotic locales. Sylvan resides in Vancouver and has two adult daughters.

Sylvan has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and has been seen on Fox Business News, CBS and NBC. Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc is headquartered in Seattle, with offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver.



Edward Sylvan CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group
Authority Magazine

Edward Sylvan is the Founder and CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. He is committed to telling stories that speak to equity, diversity, and inclusion.