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Newsletter April 2022

We are here and ready to connect with all of you through our quarterly newsletter. To subscribe, click here. We are also available on the following social media platforms: FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube. Follow us on these platforms for updates, program announcements, and more information.  

A Letter From our Director & Founder

To our members, friends, and community partners,

Thank you for supporting us as we continue to impact BIPOC communities through establishing educational programs that develop our higher-level problem-solving skills that we might be in alignment with "As above, so below". It is evident that we've been on the wrong path for so long, that we don't recognize our own faults in contributing to the destruction of the Earth and humanity. This has been an unprecedented time and we've all had to adapt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other epidemics gripping this planet. Yet faced with those challenges, we’ve witnessed our community’s ability to keep it moving by being innovative and embracing new ways to empower BIPOC communities as we seek to overcome the inequities that have historically marginalized everyone from thriving. Much has been revealed to us about our own lack of connection to our Self and the care it requires to prosper. Uncertain of what the future holds, we must continue to have necessary conversations about how we can dismantle our own minds and the oppressive constructs needed to save our planet and our own lives.

We’ve witnessed countless times leadership from the Black Community had pioneered the fight against most civil rights and social justice issues, that other communities appropriate and reap the benefits of. We can see how we’ve all been victim to a system that lauds an inequitable distribution of resources and top-down leadership that we all seem to secretly adore and sustain. And to top it off, the climate has been raging with fires, floods, and extreme weather simultaneously erupting and causing havoc, to self-correct, and then there’s the pandemic and the abuse of mandates without considering the individual since we have all but surrendered our self-knowledge regarding our own health to those we don't even know or who don't share our same biochemical make-up. There was never a one-size-fits all solution, if our planet and humans all must keep balanced with right and left, yin and yang, masculine and feminine, and so forth.

Thankfully, this pandemic has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. It has allowed some people to slow down, self reflect, by quitting jobs that do not invigorate them while focusing more on “self-care”, before attempting to re-enter the workforce into a job sector that benefits their specific lifestyles. Moreover, we’ve been learning more about the needs of the hardest-hit Black Communities and the need to realign with nature as we are participating in our own anti-blackness and suffering immense health issues as a result. We’ve forged so many social justice efforts, and witnessed such divisiveness and destruction of our own people needlessly, that we seem to stay in “battle mode” and this takes a toll on the body, weakening its defenses and leaving us highly fatigued and with an injured heart.  

What’s next for us? Join us in thinking more critically and cosmically about this topic. The moment you remove yourself from nature and adapt to a mindset that I call "whiteness" you relinquish all your connection to what is natural, and flood your mind with all the gadgets and technology to keep you busy and distracted from your original purpose for being on this planet. In our healing sessions with our experts, we’ve addressed topics concerning health in general, mental health and environmental racism, survival tips in corporate America as a Black, the clear pipeline from school to prison, and we've even discussed embracing principles that are in alignment with natural laws, as this is one of the main reasons we stay off track, using our curriculum on 'Designing From Whiteness to Oneness™'. We’ve asked, “how might we move from this system that is oppressive in nature, and without balance, uniformly practiced and reinforced worldwide, to one that allows us to adjust to align cosmically, with nature "as above, so below", so we can exist in balance harmoniously?” If we don’t embrace this change, we will continue to experience these same events repeatedly until we run out of resources and humans. We must look inward, to change, in order to combat the oppressive social structures that leave a destructive impact on our communities and in our minds and hearts. We can only do this by listening to our voice and dismantling our own thinking that contributes to unnatural behavior to motivate us to aspire to oneness. 

Ascendtials’ mission is to keep developing leaders who will chip away at the structures impeding progress for a humanity that is principled, protective of the Earth and its inhabitants equally. We are looking forward to collaborating with more partners in the coming year to celebrate innovative Black leaders who continue to shine a light on all inequities to align with Oneness. This is how we truly serve. 

As this quarter ends, we want to thank our members, vendors, the business community, and residents for all the support and adjustments they have made this year. A special thanks to our expert speakers and facilitators who are an amazing source of inspiration, support, and encouragement.

In the words of Kwame Nkrumah, “Forward Ever, Backward Never”. I am pleased to continue serving to provide essential services to help us rise to the occasion to protect and preserve what is right. Click the link here to learn more about our current efforts and projects


Director & Founder

Mika Marzette 

New Team members:

We are excited to announce that our team is continuing to grow and evolve.

Meet our Program Manager!

Welcome Symone Farmer, our new Program Manager. Symone is originally from the Chicago suburbs but currently lives in Seattle, Washington. She has worked in health care for the last three years and is excited to transition to the nonprofit world. She is passionate about promoting resiliency, accessibility to education, and helping others find their voice. In her free time, Symone enjoys traveling and going to concerts. Her time with ASCENDtials will be spent developing and growing our programming.

Meet our Grant Researcher/Writer!

Vera Martinoska has over 10 years of experience in the NGO sector, working on refugees’ rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, BIPOC rights. She holds an LLB in Law, and her professional interests are international law and human rights. She will focus on researching and writing grants for ASCENDtials’ projects.

In her spare time, Vera likes to cook, spend time with family, practice yoga, and write.

Meet our Web Developers!

Jada Alexander has been teaching herself to develop websites for three years now and hopes to become a software developer after graduating from college next year. Her main motivation is her 3-year-old daughter who is her world! Most importantly, Jada looks forward to meeting everyone and working together.

Meghana Moodagopadi is a double master’s graduate in Computer Science. Her passion for full-stack development has motivated her to volunteer for ASCENDtials as a Web Developer. During her last semester, she developed a job portal web application and many apps. At ASCENDtials, she plans to build a software development career by developing new web applications/technologies for us.

Meet our newest Board Members

MAAT Equity & Inclusion Board Member

Dr. Keisha Clark is a native of New Orleans, La, and was evacuated to California in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Clark’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Psychology, a graduate degree in Criminal Justice, and a doctorate degree in Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. She leads the Office of Equity in San Diego County. Her priorities are supporting the organization’s efforts to become an antiracist system; tackling racial bias, disproportionality, disparities, inequities, and diversity and inclusion issues involving African American and Immigrant/Refugee families as well as gender and sexual minorities (GSM) affected by mental health and justice systems.

Creative Director 

Jill Minard is a Houston native and a former 10-year tenure Theatre Arts and Speech Communications teacher who made a choice of one passion over the other. Jill Minard a true participant of the arts discovered yoga at a much-needed time in her life. She has been teaching for over 10 years and will share her ARSTYA Style with us!

Interested in joining the team?

We are seeking volunteers for the following positions: Events Coordinator & Social Media Lead, yoga instructors, and researchers. Additionally, our board is looking to fill volunteer positions of Advocacy & Community Director and a Development & Fundraising Director. If you are interested in any of these positions, please click here to learn more about the roles and how to apply.


Earth Day is every day

I realize it’s an adjustment to even consider that the Earth is honored only one day a year, and am even more perplexed when I think about whoever came up with the naming of holidays in this way. I’ve always had great reverence and respect for the gift of life on Earth. I’m also aware that many don’t feel exactly the same. There are many who are weary, tired, disillusioned and discouraged by what lies ahead, and rightfully so when you lack the proper tools to move forward in an oppressive construct. It saddens me to think the Earth, is but a side note to what is really going on here, and, that is, the accepted dismissal of planet Earth and humankind, as a thing to exploit for personal gain. If you just step back a moment and consider the abuse of both, man and Earth, i.e. (sex trafficking is one of the most thriving economies in San Diego County) one begins to understand why the Earth is recognized on a certain day, and regardless of recognition, the business of exploiting, is business. Why on Earth would we participate in the destruction of either, you ask? Take a look at the Cycle of Socialization. It describes a scenario where we are socialized the moment we are birthed. And that means oppression reigns supreme simply because it is the system at play, and it’s reinforced more than a “be good, do good” system that promotes the honoring of principles for the desired behavior. Yet, we are in the practice instead of honoring idols and objects rather than recognizing and preserving the god within, unfortunately. That being said, we need a system that actively promotes principles like balance, harmony, reciprocity, order, and unity, and imposes boundaries, like our ancestors created in ancient Africa, before the colonization took place. And, in this ancient culture, we may have used objects in nature as our guide to recalling the qualities of those objects, which would then deepen our understanding of our responsibility and connection to them, and of their meaning. Fast forward to today's culture and harmful, oppressiveness, and these harmful structures aren’t being abandoned but reinforced with dogma daily. How can we ever get to the bottom of it all?

I say, build inspiration amongst those with the highest concentration of melanin, that they might shine bright and lead the way, as we’ve been the first to participate in our own anti-blackness. And what I’ve learned about melanin, suggests, that life cannot exist without this biochemical found in all things. So, at a minimum, let’s not forget the wisdom the past, and the biochemical “black” offers. At ASCENDtials, our programming supports the development of higher-level problem-solving tools, instead of the reliance on technology to do the work. This inability to develop our higher faculties proves dangerous since it is you that needs to be in alignment with Earth-Nature, your nature, for this to work. The fact that we are operating without developing our higher faculties is threatening and destructive.

At ASCENDtials, our tools offer participants those opportunities to engage with cosmic consciousness, so that you can make that change, by practicing what you preach. We are “going to church” but more of a wellness church that benefits all aspects of your being, that you apply to get the benefits. We show you how to build conscious awareness about how your actions affect all in a good way, as intended and representative of a productive 'being of nature'. This insight is built into our curriculum, From Whiteness to Oneness™, and is covered in our KOSMelaninology™ teachings. These sessions aren't just one-off lessons, these are practices you must apply to your life rather than mark it off the list of to-dos. This is you committing wholeheartedly to a way of life that consciously considers the Earth and all that lives in it aligned “As above, so below”. 

The task at hand is no small feat. You have to think cosmically and critically and, in some cases, do the opposite of the masses, to be a true believer. And unfortunately for us, we might not be in a position to make any changes at all to our current circumstances, and many of us most definitely can’t factor in 'Earth love' in our current packed schedules. You have to beg people to care for themselves, and some die early as a result of never doing so. Things are bad. However, the power to transform is always there, and essential in all things, so there’s always hope. We offer participants the time to practice being in alignment, and change behavior, and that’s where our tools make the most impact. Build with like minds who want to see good things but also understand that it happens with the unity of Black people, the development of black minds, to do what we were designed to do, reflect the power of the creator at all times, by following principles that protect, preserve and incorporate all laws of nature.

So, to save the Earth, be about the Earth every day, protect the soil, nurture the earth, give it good things and develop those on the Earth to do the same, and we are good and aligned. The Earth will thank us for this harmonious relationship, because those who shine, see.

In honor of Earth Day, ASCENDtials is committing to bringing awareness to the work of building Self Knowledge, and this is key to having a real relationship with the Earth, and if you don’t currently have it, work on it. The Earth will thank you for it! Support our efforts to promote these opportunities for this relationship! Nothing else matters. Join us by partnering with us to build these opportunities to ASCEND.

To show our continued love for Mother Earth, we will launch our 'Be good, do good' initiative under our nature programming. This program promotes exposure to the benefits of the outdoors while protecting and preserving the land. Some might exploit this as eco-tourism, but it’s just the right thing to do. Join us for evening Kemetic Yoga flows and stargazing, while learning about the moon cycles and stars, to build our connection with the Earth. We will participate in an activity that nurtures the Earth while being good. These experiences as our true selves bring about great transformations, So join us!!!


Plant with Purpose through our online fundraiser

Spring is the perfect time for gardening and we have a great idea of how you can plant with purpose this season. ASCENDtials is partnering with Give & Garden, a 30-year, long-standing flower bulb company in the industry, where you can choose from a beautiful array of plants, flowers, and seeds ideal for your garden or your pots. The great thing about it is that each order will be shipped directly to you or the address of your choice, and 50% of your purchase goes to supporting ASCENDtials and our ongoing Kemetic Yoga program. Please start browsing here:!/Products/seller_id:338/q:/category:/page:1

There are other ways to support us and the work that we’ve done so far in our sessions and workshops. Kindly consider offering ASCENDtials a financial gift to support our work. Gifts of any size are welcome and your support is critical to our mission. When you donate, you will receive a free ASCENDtials tote bag as a special thanks for your generosity.

Online Shop

Don’t forget to check out our online shop where you can purchase t-shirts, caps, and tote bags. Check out the shop here.


Join ASCENDtials today to make sure you’re the first to know about our upcoming events and programs. As we are a growing community, we ask that you please share the word of our organization and membership to your networks. We want to empower as many BIPOC community members as possible and need your help to reach them. Established in 2014, ASCENDtials seeks to impact BIPOC communities through programs that encourage BIPOC participants to act as signifiers of change in education and work settings that are not inclusive of BIPOC people. The true intent is to bring about self-awareness and create technologies that are good and humane while sustaining constant collaboration with community businesses and leaders to strengthen, secure, and transform these ties. Join our membership today to start engaging in this important conversation.

6-month membership: $25

1-year membership: $40

2-year membership: $75


Benefits of Membership include:

  • Access to quarterly newsletters

  • Free Kemetic yoga sessions

  • ASCENDtials tote bag or t-shirt

  • Access to Women’s Resource Hub

  • Access to scholarships for programming

  • Opportunities for networking

Current Programming


We organized and enjoyed a 9-day meditation program based on KOS-Melanin-ology™.

We went into explaining the concept of KOS-Melanin-ology as the cosmic and conscious study of black bodies to solve all problems. We discussed exploring this cosmic consciousness, our interconnectedness with soil and soil health, living and abiding by natural laws and principles our ancient Blacks knew long before the Greeks that studied amongst them and ultimately gained recognition for this wisdom. We continued with learning Kemetic yoga and its principles, and the role it plays in following the principle of harmony that is vital to our existence. Click here to learn more about this program.

Healing Sessions

In these times of critical conversations about civic and social justice, equity, and inclusion, ASCENDtials is sponsoring a series of Unveiling Collective Consciousness by Dismantling Anti-Blackness Structures. Our current focus is on anti-Blackness and the structures that keep us on this Cycle of Socialization. It’s time to step off and move in a direction that moves our people forward. Our goal is to empower black communities through the discovery and deep discussion of how things came to be, in terms of Anti-Black structures in place, that sustains the oppressor and oppressed status quo. The purpose of this curriculum is to instill participants with an urgency to affect change in their own communities by following our framework and tools. Please click here to learn more.

Garden Club Project

Our garden is located in sunny Bonita, inside the Sweetwater Summit Regional Park. Join us for this wonderful new gardening project. We will work together and harvest together. The garden comprises two 20×20 plots for all food staples. The garden will be sectioned off into fruits, vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms. Click here to learn more.

Weekly Kemetic Yoga

We are happy to go out in the open air and enjoy our Kemetic yoga sessions at Cafe X and the WorldBeat Cultural Center, in San Diego, led by our amazing instructors, Onyeka Tefari and Jill Minard. We are also joined by Nigel Zuniga on drums, for a holistic meditation in movement experience on the lawn. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for membership and join our Sunday Kemetic yoga sessions at WorldBeat Cultural Center for free. If you are not a member yet, get your tickets here for this spectacular experience, and check out our other offers, too.

Divine Femininity Retreat- April 2022

There is still time to sign up for the April 29th-May 1st retreat to Scottsdale, AZ. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for meditation & rejuvenation. Learn more here.

Coming Soon: 

Make sure to follow us on social media and be on the lookout for our upcoming summer retreats, as well as our summer fun sessions starting in June and running weekly. We will be meeting with Maxx Moses, the graffiti artist, and LaWana Richmond for her Afrofuturism Lounge for summer days filled with music, dancing, graffiti art, practicing yoga, all as a part of knowing thyself. 

Women’s Resource Hub - Coming May 2022

The mission of the Resource Hub is to offer a holistic approach to our wellness and quality of life in these challenging times through tools and resources for physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellness. 

Available to members only.

Book Club Launch - June 2022

We are pleased to announce we are launching a book club and our first book is "Melanin: What Makes Black People Black", by Llaila O. Afrika. We will share insight into a topic not much discussed, Melanin. Although there is much rigorous research and study being conducted presently on the topic, most people aren’t as versed in the biochemical that is so essential to life itself, our universe and exists in almost everything. Why is that? “Does not this Melanin research reveal that humanity is a Black Africoid derived population who ranges in external skin color from Purple Black to White but who are all Black in the inside?” -King

Our goal is to have casual conversations about this subject so that we might have a better understanding of its role in our universe. These sessions will provide participants with dialogue and tools that enhance thinking, communication, and self-reflection. We hope to address and work through these issues in real-time through engagement that enhances empathy and ethical responsibility. Join us in June for an understanding that may alter your life. 

Divine Feminity Retreats - August 2022

We are taking our next Divine Femininity Retreat to Merida, Mexico! Join us for a weekend of wellness, luxury, and black girl magic. Details coming soon.