Cultivating Healing Leaders for a Hurting World
Ashley is the founder, chief experiential learning designer, and a facilitator at Rise and Thrive LLC. She is joined by the following individuals: her mother, Silvia Emery, a leader in patient care with more than 30 years experience; her sister, Lydia Blanco, a journalist, speaker, and host; Edlin Galvez, a family partnership strategist; Monica Espinoza, a school counselor; and Michelle Williams, an early childhood educator with more than 30 years experience serving children and families.
Rise and Thrive LLC ‘s commitment to Black Liberation includes creating call-in environments for Black people and people to heal and innovate collectively. The call-in environment is a sacred space that is Christ- and Afrocentric in its approach to integrating spiritual, social, and emotional concepts that support the 5 Pillars of Well-Being. Clients can expect to build courage, cultivate confidence, and practice vulnerability while sharpening interpersonal skills.
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Rise and Thrive LLC was birthed out of the work of the Love Campaign. Read where Rise and Thrive LLC began to gain a sense of where it is going.
What is the Love Campaign (LC)?
The Love Campaign is the beginning of organizing my life work. It’s a ministry strategy for undermining our conditional value of people with the release of God’s unfathomable love. The strategies include deeper learning of God and one another through God so that we improve the way we walk, talk, and work with another.
Sometimes we think we have it together so well that we see perversely. We see the plank in others’ eyes and think our issues are only specks.
Our improvement of the way we walk, talk, and work with another will create, sustain, and regenerate spiritually and emotionally safe spaces for Kingdom-minded individuals to work together. These strategies are responsive to the varying degrees of trauma we experience in our lives. The deeper learning will help us be more collaborative and better partners in reaching common good goals.
What does the Love Campaign look like in action?
Our conversations are more critical, more insightful, and more kind. We don’t shy away from topics regarding race, access, equity, and the effect of industries on people because Christ didn’t. We see ourselves as change agents and see others in the same beauty of that light. We’re helping people to participate in their lives differently and mobilize faith in their communities. In the process, we strengthen God’s network of visionaries, dreamers, doers, and collaborators. We build relationships that teach us, humble us, and accelerate us as a community.
Can other faith groups get involved?
Sure. Nevertheless, change starts at home with the believers of Christ. As we get better, the world will get better. You can sort of say this is part of the inside job so we can be more effective in partnering with other faith groups. The time we are in definitely calls for it. This campaign is inclusive to extent that people can learn about God in Christ if they are interested. Whoever has ears to hear, let him or her hear. There will be no theological debates.
How will the LC help people with making real heart change?
We will confront our sin, confess it, repent of it (James 5:16) – really take an investigative look at ourselves (Matthew 7:5) – so we can truly develop community at the heart level of individuals. Everyone is not ready to change. So no one will be forced. If they want to look at themselves, they can participate. If they don’t, they are welcome to go elsewhere. We will also pray, seek, and celebrate God together (Jeremiah 29:13). The goal is not to control or abuse anybody. I don’t want that for anyone, let alone myself. I want to be see people developed and re-developed by God alone. HE IS SO AWESOME AND GENEROUS IN DOING THAT! I want to see people lifted up and supported in wherever He carries them.
Where did the LC come from?
It also came from two places. The first was realizing what I didn’t have when I first published. The second was wanting to provide that to others. I am gaining support from places I didn’t expect as God heals me immensely. Nevertheless, I had to experience the pain of being disregarded and making sense of the role I played in not believing in what God gave me.
So what will this campaign specifically provide that you realized you didn’t have when you published?
It will provide opportunities for collaborating and creatively working towards common goals. If a person is passionate about serving others and making positive changes, the format through which the passion is conveyed (i.e. books, music, films, etc.) should not obstruct understanding, collaboration, and partnership. But I’m learning that’s not something that comes natural to us as humans. Jealousy and envy are insidious. So we need God to help us. The LC as a ministry strategy provides this deeper learning of one another through the Spirit. It also provides a creative work space for reaching common goals. One person’s success won’t threaten another’s if there is an understanding that reaching goals can be mutually beneficial.
Where is the Love Campaign now?
The Love Campaign has expanded into Rise and Thrive LLC. The first place was Rise and Thrive Women, formerly known as Loved from the Beginning, a change agent community for women. Rise and Thrive, is another healing-centered, faith-drive collaborative setting for men and women. Ashley continues to share excerpts of her book, Liberated through the Love of Christ, across the city of San Francisco to draw people into shifting their perspectives through expressions of God.
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