C. Marie Long
Poorly coping with body image negation and emotional malnutrition, I turned to plant-based foods as a way to heal and seek a spiritual awakening. Using this inspiration I explored a love of cooking that travels back through 3 generations of my family and opened the first raw food restaurant in Daytona Beach, Florida with the help of my husband and 5 children
Classical Hatha Yoga helped me to channel and direct the energies that were accumulating in my body because of the diet I chose. Following Hatha, I was attracted to the stillness and quiet power of Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Qigong. Milam (Dream Yoga) enhanced my creativity and visualization skills.
Seeking further on the road of self-knowledge, I traveled to over 17 countries and lived in Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, and China – incorporating methodologies that I learned from teachers and practitioners there as well. Utilizing my M.Ed degree with a focus on Instructional Design, I created a curriculum and began doing introductory workshops for groups and that evolved into me teaching these tools in private sessions.
In my experience, teaching is a reciprocal relationship. To aid with my instruction, I authored the book Healing Fear and Trauma with Pranayama and Qigong. My goal is to offer my talents for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefit of others – and in turn use these special encounters to further my continuous growth on the path.
Wadley ‘Seymour’ Gaconnet
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and known by most as Seymour. Seymour is a play on words as in “see more”. I want to see more wealth, see more love, see more worlds. As long as I can remember I have had a passion for building and real estate. I desire to use my hands to build these worlds that my mind creates. I’m also consumed by wanderlust and have an insatiable desire for knowledge. It’s this insatiable desire that led me into a passion for meditation. Dealing with fear, paranoia and doubt kept me from becoming who I truly wanted to become. “Nothing outside of you is greater than what’s within”. With that being my favorite quote I started using meditation as a tool to solve my problems and also bring them to light. My journey has also inspired me to become a teacher and aide anyone else on their path of healing.
Educator, Raw and Living Foods Chef, Culturally Conscious Art Curation.
Clarice K. Abdul-Bey is a native Arkansan who has been a licensed wholistic healing artist in the area of Therapeutic Massage since 2010. Her roots are in the area of performing arts, dance, choreography and she also loves theatre and acting. Her passion is to be a bridge, connecting the healing arts and the performing arts.
Currently, in partnership with her husband Kwami, Clarice is the co-director of the Washitaw Foothills Youth Media Arts and Literacy Collective. A community-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Pulaski County, Arkansas, that aims to challenge established thinking through hands-on, multimedia-based, experiential learning (www.WFYMALC.org). As such, together they were the founding management of KWCP 98.9 LPFM Student-oriented Community Radio, as well as the co-hosts of “Jadestone Vintage Soul” on KABF 88.3 FM Community Radio.
Clarice has acted and/or danced in theatrical productions, including the local productions For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf (Gaslight Theatre Company), The Garden of Africa (Performing Arts Troupe), Sankofa Performing Arts Dance Theater, and film series Makeda’ s Nido.
Clarice participated in the famed Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute founded by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. As a result, she defines herself to be, as Urban Bush Women affectionately call themselves, a “Movement Maker,” which requires her to merge her performing artistry with social, community, and political activism to create a movement.
Duafe Forum was birthed out of her time learning from the Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institutes; where she attended for two summers (2009-2010) on the Tulane University Campus. A (former) community advocacy group formed with the purpose of promoting holistic living, with a commitment to education and empowering our community to make healthier lifestyle choices by bringing awareness of natural alternatives versus the use of chemicals in food preparation and hair care, makeup and other life skills and resources.
Her passion and focus are on issues surrounding social justice, youth empowerment facilitation, wellness, and mindfulness practices and instruction.
Chardilane Rebecca Whitlock
Chardilaine Whitlock (aka Char, or Chardi) is a nurse currently working in Northern California. She lived in Arkansas for 2.5 years after graduating from nursing school and fell in love with the Natural State. She is working on her masters in nursing education and will finish in May of 2019. Her interests include educating underserved communities about health and wellness. She is interested in understanding the root cause of health disparities among communities of color and creating holistic models of wellness that address these issues. For the Nature Center for Meditation, her work includes helping to write papers that use evidence-based practice to obtain grants to fund this project.
Alice Aida Ayers
Alice Aida Ayers is a performance artist (living history, acting, directing), and currently the author and director of the one-woman show and workshop, “It’s Me I’m Running From” Her skills in teacher training, motivational speaking, visualization coaching, and art therapy, were the foundation of opening Creative Solutions Zanzibar, and co-founding Creative Solutions Mexico. Her career has involved performing and facilitating in America, Germany, Mexico, and several countries in Africa, serving as a resident artist in theatre, visual art, poetry, and an adjunct professor. She has contracted out as an artist in education since 1990 and conducted residencies in over 150 schools, colleges, community centers and libraries for audiences and students. As an arts activist, she has been at the forefront of implementing arts programming in multiple communities.
Dr. Asabi Yakini
Dr. Yakini is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and adults. Her areas of clinical experience include career counseling, parenting skills, post-abortion counseling, and life coaching. She has prior experience as a Chair and Assistant Professor of Social Work at several universities. Additionally, her professional areas of interaction have focused on in-patient and out patient hospitalized children, children in family groups, domestic violence, medical sexual assault advocacy, foster care work, post-partum depression, pregnancy counseling and individual youth and adult counseling.
Asabi utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) with clients and participates with individuals in a healing partnership as they focus on their mental, spiritual, physical and emotional concerns to experience positive and healthy outcomes.
Dr. Yakini received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago, Chicago, IL, her MSW in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, and her BA in Sociology from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.
Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, Fitness Enthusiast