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A Letter From Our Director & Founder

To our members, friends, and community partners,

Although it’s been a while since we have reached out, we at ASCENDtials are excited to be back! We are here and ready to connect with all of you through our quarterly newsletter. To subscribe, click here. ASCENDtials is also expanding: we are looking for board members. Email us if you are interested in joining the team. We also would like to announce we are now available on these social media platforms: FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube. Follow us on these platforms for updates and more information.  

HIRING: We’d like to share with you our new addition to the team, Lauren Cazell, the new Social Media Marketing Intern! Lauren is a rising junior currently pursuing a BFA in Art with a concentration in Graphic Design at Pace University. She is from a small town in North Carolina but now loves living in New York City. She has been passionate about making art ever since she was little and could hold a pencil. Another hobby she enjoyed was performing in theater throughout middle and high school. Along with this, her time was spent as editor of the yearbook, Historian of the National Honor Society, and Ambassador for her former high school. Outside of school, Lauren completed a graphic design internship at the agency Full Metal Chicken and worked as a social media specialist at C & C Trading Co. Most of her time is spent editing and creating digital collages for her Instagram account dedicated to her artwork. Lauren is very excited to join the ASCENDtials team and learn from this experience.

We are still adding to the team! If you are interested in the positions for Community Manager, Grant Researcher/Writer, Instructional Designer, Operations/Program Coordinator, Social or Media Assistant, fill out this form to apply

JUNETEENTH: As the world continues to grapple with the realities of a pandemic, opioid epidemic, illness, poverty, a depleted healthcare system, burned-out doctors, patient demise, Isms of all sorts, and technology taking over the lives of our young ones, it’s always time to reevaluate how we got here and where do we want to go. Time has come to get in touch with the essence of you to save yourself, as no one else can or will. As we are re-opening back up again, another black historical movement is underway. Juneteenth has often been a holiday that is overlooked, but it is crucial to understanding this country’s history. Also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, and Liberation Day, the nineteenth of June is a reminder of how far we have come and also how far we still have to go. Even though this was first introduced over a century ago in 1865, the aftershocks of systematic racism from slavery still survive today. We should rejoice, but also continue in our fight for equality.

The words of Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation declared enslaved people “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” However, this only applied to Confederate states, not slave-holding border states. It was not until two years later Texas was freed and people organized the first-ever “Jubilee Day.” Commemorations would include activities such as barbecuing, playing music, and prayer services. As these people migrated out of Texas, the tradition of Juneteenth spread with them.

To gain a better understanding of the reasons for the continued forms of enslavement today requires more than thinking critically, it requires a total reevaluation of self. Oppression is reinforced not only through holidays but also through the media and caste systems, that is sustained daily by everyone affected by them. Black bodies have always initiated revolutionary movements and/or demands for freedom, gaining small strides. Yet, what is needed is the study of black bodies and that inherent energy source and power, that has been systematically suppressed, now used in the current form of technology.

Today’s technology has everyone spellbound and captivated. But it’s ever apparent that without a knowledge of self, or of how the universe operates on energy, (i.e. why melanated bodies are admired for their movement and known for their revolutionary movements), we all suffer because change is hard but due. Until such time, we all shall remain in this current state and that is clearly acceptable for many. But how long will it take before you are ready to change? A change in which you use your unique energy and love in the world around you. Those bodies with the highest concentration of (black condensed sunlight energy) melanin, absorb the most, but ironically are treated the worst and have been diminished for their historical relevance. They are reduced to fighting a continual struggle for freedom from the inhumane acts of others. What is needed is a culture that reinforces critical problem-solving skills, not one that relies heavily on technology to do the thinking for us. If you’d like to be a member and join sessions, events and receive our newsletter, please join here.

HEALING SESSIONS: Here at ASCENDtials, we want to encourage you to celebrate the true nature of you and invite you to join us in thinking critically about the true essence of Black bodies in our universe. Surely, the richness in our melanin is great for entertainment, but it was designed for the purpose of creating, developing, and inventing everything needed for survival and wellbeing. Our healing sessions have been pivotal in leading tough discussions regarding how we got here, and how to move forward by employing Design thinking and other tools as a means to solve societal problems. With the implementation of our curriculum Designing from Whiteness to Oneness™, we can utilize powerful problem-solving skills to arrive at actionable change solutions suitable for all involved. Please check out previous healing sessions and reach out if you’d like to participate in hosting your own session here.

KOS-MELANIN-OLOGY LUNCH SERIES: We will be hosting a lunchtime series starting in July, to share in our community any initiatives you’ve been working on since we last met. It’s also an opportunity to collaborate while building community awareness. The lunch series will host various presenters on topics that will share insight on knowing thyself. Sessions will be held during lunch, from 12 to 1 PM PST, thirty minutes to present, and thirty minutes for discussion. We believe it’s critical to discover new ways to bring awareness to melanated people in order to increase problem-solving skills to transform our race problems. We’d like them to share and contribute to this subject or any initiative they’ve been working on in this space. Please check our Events page for more details. If you’d like to present, please reach out to us here.

WORKSHOPS and TRAININGS: We’ve also been planning the launch of our workshops and training offerings using our “oneness” curriculum. The focus of the trainings is to develop critical skills using our five senses and development of the 6th sense to help us thrive, maintain balance, and transform the current system structures that prevent us from true liberation. We believe the importance lies in liberating black bodies from the dependency and reliance on the current form of technology and dismantling the structures that support them. If you have an interest in using our curriculum for your organization, for small groups, or for individualized trainings, please reach out to a member of our team so that we may customize training for you. This current form of technology has been so damaging to all of us, and yet we aren’t aware of how this captivation keeps us locked in a cycle of socialization until it’s very late. We must be more preventative and less reactive. Change starts within us and must begin here. If you’d like to learn more about our training opportunities and if you’d like to partner using our oneness curriculum for your team, please complete our Workshop Inquiry Form so that we can customize training for your needs. If you’d like to get involved, be added to our mailing list, newsletter or events, please complete the Get Involved Form.

ONLINE SHOP: Soon we’ll be launching our online shop with the latest gear. Part of our campaign to raise money is to support infrastructure for our expanding team and goals. The gear serves as reinforcing content in support of developing the problem-solving skills of melanated people so that culture is protected and preserved. Here, we are aware of what is at stake and want to inspire open-minded conversations that support Truth, balance, health, and humanity, not divisiveness, illness, conflict, and conquering. We must embrace technology that supports the liberation of minds so that we re-embrace and develop our problem-solving skills lest we will never be equipped to think in a way that changes the status quo.

Juneteenth is a wonderful day to recognize America’s progress and mobilize meaningful movements toward this liberation, but we must not use it as an excuse to ignore lasting issues prevalent in 2021, that we can’t seem to kick. Energy is everywhere, and it is meant to transform, not oppress and colonize. That’s just not how it operates in nature. If you like the work we are doing at ASCENDtials, and you’d like to support us for continued programming, please donate here. A big thank you to our partners, members, and this community. We wish you a happy Juneteenth and self-discovery of the essence of life on a higher frequency!


The ASCENDtials Team