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ABOUT RRI

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RRI is a People-of-Culture led, community-centered organization manifesting new health and education systems grounded in the cultural wealth, humanity, and leadership of communities of color. 

 

We are on a mission To Heal a People who have been impacted physically, mentally, and spiritually by generations of cultural erasure, oppression, and violence.  Our approach is grounded in principles of healthy mind, body, and spirit that come from afro-indigenous culture, spirituality, and practice. RRI offers community-centered, culturally relevant health and wellness programming at low or no cost that guides individuals to reconnect with themselves, their indigenous culture, and their highest selves.

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Our Theory of Change:
A Healing Methodology

We believe that community healing and systems change starts at the level of the individual. We work with individuals to realize they have the power and self-determination to create the life that they want for themselves, their families, and their communities. As more individuals stand in their power, we can band together to build new systems that better serve our community.

 

RRI's approach to transformation leverages the Four-Rings© framework, which is a four staged process of self-reflection, processing, and healing. Within each phase, we reconnect people back with ancestral wisdom, cultural practices, and spiritual teachings that long guided and grounded people-of-culture.

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Ring 1: Self

Healing is an “inside-out” job, and requires individuals to explore their full range of thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns. In Ring One, we introduce a range of mindfulness and meditation practices and reflective exercises that ground and support individuals in their healing journeys.

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Ring 2: Relationships

Relationships at their core are mirrors that reflect our own thoughts, emotions, and behavior patterns back to us. Therefore, we develop subconscious patterns or habits based on our trauma, fears, and negative past experience. In Ring Two, we introduce tools to help center and strengthen our relationships, and simultaneously heal ourselves.

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Ring 3: Purpose

The ancient Japanese philosophy of Ikigai translates to “reason for being”. Ring Three is designed to help identify one’s purpose by identifying what the world needs and what each person loves doing, is naturally good at, and can derive resources from.

Ring 4: Community

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The Zulu concept of Ubuntu, translates to “I am because we are.”  Ubuntu teaches that we can only be healed, loved and cared for as individuals when the rest of our community is healed, loved, and cared for. Through Ring Four we explore how to weave together our collective gifts and collaborate on areas of shared purpose.

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Community & Culture Drives Our Work 

RRI was born from a desire to stop fixing current systems, and start building the new systems for education and healthcare systems that are representative of the communities they serve. We believe that community-based systems for support and care must be designed in ways that are communal, engaging, and of the culture. 

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STRATEGIC FOCUS

RRI's priorities are shaped by exercises in listening, holding space, and communing with people of color and other marginalized groups.

 

In 2022, we held a community forum with over 120 community leaders from the Black community in Denver, and engaged with another 200+ Black individuals throughout Colorado, to identify the resources needed for healing and wellness for themselves, their families, and their communities.

 

This forum identified six key areas needed to create healthier minds, bodies, and spirits, which have become RRI's strategic focuses.

 

As we share our learnings, leaders in other communities across the country now ask that we support them in meeting these same or similar needs that they see for their own community.

Swipe to learn more about each strategic focus.

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What is

Righteous Rage?

Born to a family of community organizers, RRI's founder Hasira Soul Ashemu watched and learned how to stay networked and connected to a community of people.  The name Hasira means "Righteous Rage," a meaning that is deeply symbolic to the organization. 

Righteous Rage is call for People-of-Culture to transform the energy derived from rage into creating the life and the world that we want through the power of self-determination. We must find productive ways to release the pent up rage that has been invoked from our 500+ year history of pain, loss, and racism. We are a righteous people, born bold and called to be forceful leaders, with historical legacies enacting pathways of action and freedom.

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About the term

People of Culture

We use the terminology “People-of-Culture” because it’s the term that we believe is most accurately describing the world we are seeking to manifest. There is no biological reality of ‘race’, rather. Race is a historical social construct designed to divide and conquer other human beings. The illusory idea of “whiteness” ultimately seeks to erase, obfuscate, or demonize indigenous cultures that seek to uplift, grow, and unite. People-of-Culture is a term that reminds us that we all come from a cultured people (Irish, African, Italian, Danish, Jewish, etc.) and can choose to identify with their pre-racist roots by educating ourselves in their ancestral practices. 

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OUR TEAM

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HASIRA SOUL ASHEMU

Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

Hasira “Soul” Ashemu is the founder and chief visionary officer for Righteous Rage Institute. Hasira “Soul” Ashemu born and raised in Northeast Denver, CO an East Angel graduate, attended Howard University “The Mecca” and later traveled the world spending a decade living in Africa raising his family in Ghana. Hasira is a prolific writer, speaker, facilitator, communications professional who has been using his talents, experience and skills to create and support stimulating, engaging and innovative community initiatives that usher in social change. Haisra is a Community Organizer dedicated to the pursuit for social, equity, education and healing justice for society’s most vulnerable children; Black, Brown, Indigenous, Special Needs and those living in poverty.

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ALLISON BROWN

Chief of Transformation

Allison helped launch the Righteous Rage Institute for Healing and Social Justice. She has supported the design and implementation of our early flagship programs, from Ally to Abolitionist Trainings, Family Freedom Schools, and Healing Justice Retreats. As Chief of Transformation, Allison provides strategic guidance on organizational strategy, and works to build partnerships and funding sources to power new initiatives within our operating areas of health equity, education justice, and entrepreneurship.

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CASSANDRA JOHNSON

Chief Heart Strategist and Operations Officer

Cassandra P Craft is the Chief Heart Strategist and Operations Officer for the Righteous Rage Institute for Healing and Social Justice, bringing magical elements to the core of the institute's non-profit community-based offerings and services. Cassandra works closely with community partners to implement RRI’s healing and social justice initiatives and programming on the ground, across the nation and abroad. In her role she also ensures day to day operations flow seamlessly. With over 25 years in the nonprofit sector, Cassandra possesses a wealth of experience and expertise steeped in public policy, administration, human resources, capacity building, diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural consciousness, awareness campaigns, early childhood leadership, community and family engagement.

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DAWNYLE ASHEMU

Director of Education Justice

As the Director of education justice, Dawnyle’s focus has been reimagining education and creating sustainable systems by unlearning the systematic oppressive foundations of education and stepping into real transformation change. 

Dawnyle holds a Master of Arts in Integrated Arts from Lesley University and is a Minorities in Leadership, Blacks in STEM, Black Girls Teach, and Mocha Moms member. Residing in Denver, Colorado, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, four children, family, and friends.

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STEPHANIE NGAN

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Stephanie left a marketing career in the corporate world to share her gifts with organizations dedicated to creating heart-centered change.  Her passion for enabling others to live wholly and expressively drives her work consulting with non-profit, B-corp and social change organizations in the wellness and mental health spaces.  

Based out of Toronto, Canada, Stephanie enjoys inspiring others to move, as a professional artist, performer and movement facilitator.

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MAAJA ASHEMU-FREED

Chief Networking Officer

Ashemu-Freed is highly skilled with a Master's degree in Social Work, specializing in Clinical Social Work, emphasizing culturally competent mental healthcare for Black and Brown people. TLeveraging her clinical social work expertise, Maaja contributes to developing and implementing culturally sensitive and effective interventions that promote overall well-being within diverse communities. Maaja is committed to addressing health disparities and striving for equitable outcomes through evidence-based practices, community engagement, and interdisciplinary collaboration.

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JAHSASAMUT APUATU

Chief Elder

Jahsasamut has worked as an healthcare administrator, nurse educator, and team leader for the chronic and persistent mentally ill. She is a priestess, teacher, and spiritual counselor in the Ausar Auset Society. She is an honored elder in the Righteous Rage Institute providing healing practices and spiritual guidance. She provides individual spiritual counseling, as well as classes and workshops on Meditation, Health & Longevity, Stress Management, QiGong, and the IChing Oracle System.

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SASA CASTLEBERRY

Community Catalyst

Sasa is an outdoor enthusiast and natural world explorer, serving as a Program Leader of the "Pathways to Inner Peaks" program. This program is unique and transformative, designed to lead participants on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Colorado, while simultaneously embarking on a journey of self-discovery.

Sasa is also a dedicated sobriety coach. She extends her support to individuals wrestling with substance dependency, empowering them to live vibrant, fulfilling lives free from addiction.

OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS

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Sherri Williams

Advisor

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Melissa Haile

Healer Network

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Euda K Best

Healer Network

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Kareem Ahmenatu

Healer Network

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Morgynne Tora

Healer Network

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Ronny Qi

Healer Network

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Cory Brown

Healer Network

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Ajay Kyle

Digital Media

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OUR FOUNDER

Hasira Soul Ashemu is the Founder of Righteous Rage Institute for Healing Justice (RRI), RRI Consulting, and author of the book To Heal a People, which is a manifesto, memoir, and manual for reconnecting with afro-indigenous healing practices. 

Hasira has traveled the world spending a decade in Africa raising his family in Ghana and connecting deeply with Afro-Indigenous wisdom, practices, and spirituality. He is on a mission To Heal a People, and is a prolific writer, speaker, coach, facilitator, media and  communications professional and now, author, with the release of his widely anticipate book.

Hasira is a living legacy from a bloodline of Community Organizers; historically leading movements to now mentoring and coaching an intergeneration of leaders using a theory of change that transformational social change begins with individual transformation of mind, body, and spirit.

After his second dance with cancer, Hasira started an institute for afro-indigenous healing and justice, based on his life’s journey and desire to share the healing practices that he learned along the way with his people. Hasira has been using his talents, experience and skills to create and support initiatives that build new systems for health, education, and economic wellness grounded in equity and Afro-Indigenous cultural wealth.

 

He established RRI to provide this knowledge and healing experiences to Black and Brown people free of cost, as part of a commitment of returning this ancestral knowledge back to the people it truly belongs to. 

The name Hasira translates to Righteous Rage. In his book, Hasira explains the story of how he came into the world as a result of his pregnant mother being violently beaten by the police. RIGHTEOUS is defined as concerned with principles of right and wrong and elevating to standards of behavior and character based those principles. RAGE is defined as uncontrollable anger, which often is bred from the overwhelming anger and indignation of the unfair, dehumanizing, and debilitating treatment of people of color in this country and around the world. 

The name Righteous Rage reminds us to heed and honor our ancestors’ voices, recognizing that we are a righteous people, born bold and called to be purpose-driven leaders and creators of our own lives and of the world, with historical legacies enacting pathways of action and freedom.

 

By pairing Righteousness with the rage that we feel towards the oppressive systems, we are calling for Afro-indigenous People of Color to transform the energy derived from RAGE that has been invoked from our 500-year history of pain, loss and colonization and transmute it to energy needed to self-determine and create the reality we want to see.

 To book Hasira for a speaking engagement or as an executive coach, contact us below. For information on services available through RRI Consulting & Publishing, visit RRIconsulting.org

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