Category Archives: Update

ACT WITHOUT EXPECTATION

We live in a society where the cultural norm is to give with the expectation of receiving.

I call it the “what’s in it for me?” syndrome.

Although this doesn’t change my mind about moving there, as much as I love California, that attitude was one that I noticed to be most prominent of many during my visits. I know that it’s not just Cali but worldwide. Especially in America, unfortunately.

In these situations I  can’t help but to wonder what happen to “giving to give”? Whether it be information, referrals, advice or monetary support.

I often meet people that respond to my candidness of sharing information as unbelievable and even questioning my “expertise”, as if to think there’s no way I can have knowledge in so many different areas (thankfully I live outside the box). Going deeper, when I volunteer my time to help children and those less fortunate that I, I’m simply helping just to help. I can care less about what looks good on my resume, or capturing images of me volunteering… I just want to make a difference in the lives of others.

When I launched a campaign for Keep a Child Alive, I did just that. Despite the fact that my initial introduction to the organization was a result of my research for Alicia Keys contact information in order to interview her about her “No-Makeup Movement“, I saw the significance and wanted to be involved.

I said all that to say, please consider giving to my campaign without the expectation of getting something in return. Knowing that you’re helping to make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by HIV is life transforming for those on the receiving end.

So I ask that, for a moment, we maneuver out of our bubbles and give to those in need. I hope that you will join me in successfully funding my campaign for Keep a Child Alive and other organizations you feel most passionate about. Please show your support (with a little as $5) here. My campaign ends approximately at 11:59pm on World AIDS Day, Thursday December 1, 2016.

Thank you,
Alyscia Cunningham

MISSED THE MOST RECENT VIDEOS? CLICK BELOW TO VIEW

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MoCo Grantee Awards

Last week I attended Montgomery County’s 15th Annual County Executive Awards for Excellence for the Arts & Humanities (#ExecAwards2016). This event recognizes the individual artist, art organizations and art projects awarded grants for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

It includes the grant I was awarded to cover production cost of I Am More Than My Hair. Seeing my name on the screen at the ceremony, as an individual artist grantee award recipient, was confirmation that I’m headed in the right direction.

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In that moment, I felt an immense amount of gratification as I thought back to all of the hard work and time I’ve invested, and continue to invest, into my art. Not only has it opened a new door and path for me but also also proven that passion and dedication makes dreams come true.

I’m feeling thankful!

Keeping it Simple: Keep a Child Alive Week #3

I’m moving into week 3 of my campaign to raise funds for Keep a Child Alive (KCA). In order to help keep things simple I’ve pointed out the highlights of my campaign.

1. What is a campaign? Work in an organized and active way toward a particular goal.
2. 100% of the proceeds from my campaign fund the youth-led peer support groups (the support groups simply help build confidence and empower the youth of KCA)
2. I DO NOT make $ from this. I’m volunteering.
3. Your donation will make a huge difference and positive impact for the children of KCA, who are all affected by HIV/AIDS.
4. The videos ARE MY CAMPAIGN. The individuals in the videos volunteer their time to say a message of encouragement for the youth of KCA.
5. Only $5 from multiple individuals is enough to successfully fund my campaign. Please make your $5 donation here.

I hope this helps to simplify my mission and gives you sufficient information to support the youth of Keep a Child Alive. I appreciate you!

My Campaign for Keep a Child Alive is Live!

As of today, my campaign for Keep a Child Alive (KCA) is live! I’ve been busy planning, scheduling and filming individual session and editing away. If it were for the generous time of people who’ve volunteered to send a message, the idea for my campaign would not be possible. I can’t thank these folks enough for your support.

Here’s the intro video to my campaign.

Here are the first round of videos. Please donate to my campaign here.

Remember, $1,000 covers a year’s worth of programming for a youth peer support group. With that in mind, I decided to launch a campaign that focuses on positive message for the youth in the youth-led support groups. My goal is to raise $3,000, which will cover programming for about 3 youth groups.

Here’s how you can help make this campaign a success…

  • Donate to the campaign. Instead of charging a fee to be filmed and edited, I ask that you please help fund the campaign and make it a success. No amount is too little.
  • Share, share, share! The more you can share on your social media platforms, email and word-of-mouth the more it will gain more attention and go viral (that’s the goal).

I truly appreciate your support!

My KCA Campaign Launches in 1 Week!

My KCA Campaign Launches in 1 Week!

Next Wednesday October 12, 2016 at I will launch my campaign for Keep a Child Alive (KCA). Here’s a recap of my first newsletter and goal…

$1,000 covers a year’s worth of programming for a youth peer support group. With that in mind, I decided to launch a campaign that focuses on positive message for the youth in the youth-led support groups. My goal is to raise $3,000, which will cover programming for about 3 youth groups.

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I will film 30-60 second videos of individuals voicing their message of encouragement for the children. Something similar to the recent video I filmed about beauty.

Here’s how you can help make this campaign a success…

  • I need 20 individuals willing to volunteer a short amount of time (literally 5 minutes) to be filmed for the videos. Family members and friends…I really need you here. If anyone else is interested in participating please contact me to schedule a time to film. The children in KCA peer youth support groups will have access to the videos. I have no doubt that your words of wisdom will be appreciated.
  • Donate to the campaign once I launch it. Instead of charging a fee to be filmed and edited, I ask that you please help fund the campaign and make it a success.
  • Share, share, share! The more you can share on your platforms, the most it will gain more attention and go viral (that’s the goal).

It’s that simple!

KCA’s Black Ball will take place on Wednesday October 19, 2016, a week after my campaign launch. If happen to live or plan on visiting the New York City area, please considering purchasing a ticket for KCA’s Black Ball.

My campaign will end on World Aids Day, December 1, 2016 at approximately 11:59pm. No amount is too small and anything you can give is appreciated. Please keep in mind that the children in KCA peer youth support groups will have access to the videos. I know your words of wisdom will be appreciated.

Please be on the lookout for my newsletter about my campaign going live. I sincerely appreciate your support!

May Their Souls Rest In Peace

This week I received news that I wasn’t expecting. Ms. Yvonne Johnson, a participant in my first book, Feminine Transitions, passed away. On the same day, I received an email for a link to a blog post about the passing of Debbie Osarere, a participant in my upcoming book, I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me.

Images from Feminine Transitions
Sunrise February 10, 1941 – Sunset April 5, 2016
I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me
Sunrise August 1, 1984 – Sunset April 1, 2016

The culprit? Cancer.

For privacy purposes I won’t get into the details of their diagnosis, but I will say Cancer is an epidemic and it is taking the lives of too many of our loved ones.

We Can Stop the Cancer Epidemic, by educating ourselves, our families and knowing what to avoid. Although it’s hard to completely avoid all chemicals such as chem trails sprayed in the air by our government and pesticides in our foods, we can reduce our rate of cancer diagnosis by eating healthy (try growing your own food), exercising daily and doing your best to have a piece of mind (no stress).

I’m not a doctor, neither is this a diagnosis. Just like everyone else I’m fed  up of the epidemic taking the lives of family and friends.

I ask to please keep Ms. Yvonne Johnson and Debbie Osarere’s family, any of your loved ones that have passed or holding on for dear life and those that are alive and well, in your thoughts and prayers. May these two beautiful souls continue to rest in peace.

~Be well… Alyscia

 

I’m Featured In The Huffington Post!

Last week I received an email from an editor at HuffPost Women. She asked if I would be open for an interview about Feminine Transitions photo series. I thought to myself, “But of course!” After the Huffington Post article “Unretouched Portraits Illustrate 19 Bare, Bold And Beautiful Women” went live, I received a handful of emails and phone calls from other media outlets requesting an interview for their website. I am so grateful for this unexpected opportunity!

I would love to share a few of the articles with you. You can read Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, and even IASK, a Chinese news source. You can also read the interviews on the media page of my website.  Feel free to leave a comment in the response section after you’ve read it.

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Continue reading I’m Featured In The Huffington Post!

Awarded Young Mother of the Year!

I am honored to have been awarded the 2015 Young Mother of the Year with American Mothers, Inc. Anyone who knows me personally understands that I am very passionate about my role as a mother, as any other dedicated mom. Although my children recognize that they are most important in my life, I’ve recently discovered that taking care of me first helps not only makes me be the best mother I can possibly be but also the best caretaker for myself.

You know how we women have that women’s disease? We tend to everyone else’s needs first then us whatever energy we have left to take care of ourselves. Yeah that disease! I learned to shift my priorities…for me.

This doesn’t mean that I still don’t tend to my families needs (it’s in my genes:). I just had to incorporate changes that gave me self-fulfillment. That sense of joy in doing what makes me happy. And I must admit…making them happy gives me joy as well.

I’m looking forward to meeting other like-minded moms at the convention on April 23-25, 2015 (two weeks from now) and giving my story behind why being a mom is important to me and why I do what I do as an individual, mother, wife, artist, author, activist…and my journey continues.

Want to join me? Register here.
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Friendly Reminder…

My fundraiser for my upcoming project, I Am More Than My Hair, has 42 days left to reach my goal of $15,000. Please make a donation – no amount is too small – and SHARE with family, friends and social media platforms.  Donate HERE!

Thank you!

Feminine Transitions Goes To California

San Diego skyline

I am truly excited to be given the opportunity to travel to San Diego, California and engage in discussion about my book, Feminine Transitions. Not only am I in a position to spark necessary conversation about social change but I am passionate about creating positive images that facilitate self acceptance. Wait until you hear about my upcoming project. I am so looking forward to the new journey.

For those of you that may not know me personally, for the past five years I’ve wanted to go to California for two reasons, other than simply visiting this beauty. First, Cali was the first state (I seriously prayed about it) I planned on holding a book signing/discussion before Feminine Transitions was a physical book. Second, I wanted to celebrate my birthday and have arranged it over the years (hotel and everything) but had no choice but to cancel due to financial hardships.

There is no doubt that my prayers have not been answered and I take this moment as a blessing.

Not only was I chosen as presenter for the Aging Society of America’s (ASA) Aging In America Conference 2014 (#AIA14) but it also takes place during my birthday; March 17th. How powerful is that!

The topic of my presentation at the AIA conference is, of course, ‘Feminine Transitions: Embracing Our Natural Beauty As We Age’. I’m looking forward to dialoguing with the audience.

I am also scheduled for a book reading, signing, and discussion with the Women’s Resource Center on March 13th and Women’s Museum of California on March 15th.

If you or someone you know is in the San Diego area, come out and join me for great conversation and purchase a copy(ies) of Feminine Transitions.

Don’t forget I am still holding a crowd funding campaign which helps cover the expense for my trip to California. Your support, big or small, is appreciated. Contribute here.

RSVP here for event at Women’s Resource Center
RSVP here for event at Women’s Museum of California
Read more about AIA Conference 2014 here (can purchase ticket as well)

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Feminine Transitions Book Launch…Success!

I am truly excited and humbled by the pouring of love for my book launch party this past Sunday, October 27, 2013 at Busboys and Poets. Many people came in support of me and my message of embracing our natural beauty. It actually hit home not only for women but for men as well.

We had great dialogue, genuine connections and an amazing night overall. Most of the audience I didn’t know personally but definitely made new friends by the end of the night.

Enjoy the pictures from my event! If your interested in purchasing copies of Feminine Transitions, you can place an order on Amazon (hardcover or ebook).

I must give a shout out to all of my sponsors. Presentation SponsorThe Umbrella Syndicate for taking photos and capturing my event and Partner SponsorUprising Builders. Thank you to our Samples Sponsors for blessing the guest bags with your wonderful products – Anu Essentials, Smarty Pants Vitamins, Shea Radiance, N Natural Hair Studio, Miss Jessie’s and Nature’s Gate.

Also, thanks to photographer Jeff Brooks for capturing my event as well.

I appreciate you tremendously!

Alyscia Cunningham talking about Feminine Transitions
Alyscia Cunningham talking about Feminine Transitions
Audience for Alyscia Cunningham's book release of Feminine Transitions. Took place at busboys and poets.
Audience for Alyscia Cunningham’s book release of Feminine Transitions. Took place at busboys and poets.

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© Jeff Brooks Photography / J Gregory Media Group, LLC
© Jeff Brooks Photography / J Gregory Media Group, LLC

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Alyscia Cunningham's book launch party for Feminine Transitions. Held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD Alyscia Cunningham's book launch party for Feminine Transitions. Held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD Alyscia Cunningham's book launch party for Feminine Transitions. Held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD

Alyscia Cunningham's book launch party for Feminine Transitions. Held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD

Alyscia Cunningham's book launch party for Feminine Transitions. Held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD

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Ken Rochon, our Presentation Sponsor and founder of The Umbrella Syndicate
Ken Rochon, our Presentation Sponsor and founder of The Umbrella Syndicate

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