Hello, I’m Quis Colion, an African born and raised in America who is unapologetically Black and proud. AND WITH YOUR HELP, I WILL BE ABLE TO GO TO GHANA! I'm asking for 100 people to donate $35. Most of you may know me through social media and others know me from my music and poetry. Performing my song "Hello" at venues like Black Xpressions, I have grown as an artist and it is evident from the support and love I receive on stage. ￼ I’m a father to two fierce, intelligent, courageous and beautiful daughters. They are the unconditional reason for why I chose this journey to better not just their lives, but as many as we collectively can. I am grateful to be blessed to offer my God given gifts, life lessons, and experiences to encourage, educate and empower Black families, men, women and especially Black children. I plan to do that with knowledge because it can be given away yet retained, making it such a uniquely special gift. And journeying to Ghana will allow me to gain that knowledge to bring back home.￼ So why Ghana? Sankofa. This is a word from the Twi language of Ghana's Asante region that means “to go back and get it.” Sankofa is often associated with the proverb, “ Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates: “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” My question is "what all have my people forgotten?" Our ancestors were taken from their homelands. Thousands of years of traditions, culture, teachings and connections severed. So here I am, ready to journey back to where I have originated. Back to our homelands, back to my roots. As an artist, I would love to share my music and poetry with some distant relatives. I plan to build the foundation to lasting relationships with local artists in hopes of bridging the gap between those that never left home and us, the diaspora. I will be documenting everything via multimedia so that I can preserve these memories and pass them on. It is my hopes to do a collaboration while in Mama Africa. I will be working to develop a partnership with African fabric manufacturers so that my products will be as B.L.A.C.K. as possible. My brand is more than a logo. It is Afrofuturism through apparel. I want to build ownership both in America and Ghana. As a scholar, I want to learn as much as possible from my people as I can. After watching Black Panther, I realized that we must build our own "Wakanda", where our people thrive and are empowered. How we see ourselves plays such a role in how we will be seen in the future. I want to experience the real life Wakanda in Ghana. I will be visiting these places while in Ghana: Accra, Capital of Ghana Assin Manso Elmina Castle Cape Coast Castle South Labadi Beach National Mueseum of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum Independence Arch Osu Castle I need your help raising the revenue to make this dream become a reality. Contrary to popular belief, I am not related to King T’Challa. I’m just an ambitious artist with enthusiastic short and long term goals to better Black lives. Each donation will bring me closer to fulfilling this journey, and is greatly appreciated. Any and all donations are accepted, even $1, because we all have a dollar and a dream. The money will be used for airfare, Visas, vaccinations and transportation to historical sites and performances within the country. I am set to take my journey in Spring of 2018. What is B.L.A.C.K.? I am an entrepreneur and so elated to be the founder of B.L.A.C.K., which stands for Bettering Lives with African Consciousness & Knowledge. Our motto is simple, “We B.L.A.C.K. We got this.” I believe we as a people all want better. Better education. Better opportunities. Better justice. Better lives. That’s why it is important to emphasize how we will get “better.” The term “Bettering” is a powerful verb. Of course we want better, but in order to be better, we must be in the act of doing something. We must be purposely pursuing every opportunity to better the Lives of those we love. I believe we can begin to achieve this with African Consciousness, or embracing who we are, where we come from and knowing that we have always been extraordinary. And when we intentionally pass on the “soul of our DNA,” or the Knowledge of our true history through self love, Afrocentric education and ancestral guidance, we will better lives for Black families, men, women, and children for generations to come. We are descendants of African greatness and we must remember that and apply that mindset to everything we do. We’re bettering lives with African consciousness and knowledge. That’s why we got this! Here's a brief glimpse into who I am. Don’t let the long hair fool you. I’m a proud veteran of the USAF. I had the opportunity to serve my country and to see certain parts of the world. I say certain because unfortunately I could not go to places where I see my face in the faces that look back at me. I decided to follow my dreams and I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Audio Production from the Art Institute of California-San Diego in September 2015. It was the love for my people that made me realize I had to use my voice for more than entertainment. ￼ The feelings I still feel from the deaths of so many unarmed young Black lives are real. It was the shooting death of Alfred Olango that was the catalyst for the change within myself. I became revolutionary, less reactionary. I had newfound courage and purpose. Due to my actions, I was chosen to be the leader of Olango Village, the group formed by the activists protesting Alfred’s untimely death. I spoke at City Council meetings and began to learn about policies. I started working with organizations such as Alliance San Diego with community engagement and organizing in the city of El Cajon where our efforts have been rewarded with lasting policy change. I also worked with P.O.P. People Over Profits and others while speaking publicly at rallies and leading marches. Last March, I was a panelist for the “Report Card on San Diego Journalists” as the only one representing for my Black people. I’m honored to serve my community as a member of the Black Panther Party San Diego Chapter because we still want freedom to control our own destiny. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! Collectively we can create an opportunity that will be a real life inspiration us all. Thank you so much for being a part of my journey for Bettering Lives with African Consciousness & Knowledge. Asé.