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Money & Abundance Workshop Group

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Sebastian Ross
Sebastian Ross

Miss Alli Modell ((TOP))

3. The color wheel of today and the foreseeable future is still stuck in the Lost Tomb of Sid and Marty Krofft. Every artificial flavor in the Dirty Sherbet freezer: anemic raspberry, radiator Kool-Aid, bleach-stain canary, Milk of Pepto-Bismol. There were, however, a couple of lighter brown tones I hadn't seen before, which I took to calling Triscuit and Gerber Veal, since it looked like it came from a baby food jar.

Miss Alli Modell


The people sitting next to me agreed: The clothing was made to appeal to women 17 or 70. That's just too permissive; there is something that feels slightly disingenuous in artistry that is too easily liked by too many.

Verrier's designs were very safe, very 1940s Winter Fantasy Barbie, with fur and rhinestone details. Of course, there was Verrier's obligatory rethink of the classic Chanel bouclé suit, onto which she stuck metallic silver ruffles. (This "redesign the classic" stunt is the equivalent of the omelette at a sushi restaurant; the litmus test for certain people that tells them who you are. Or so I have read.)

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I love the artistry, excellence and relentless determination Petra Johnson brings to the art of dance. A finalist at the 2019 Spotlight Awards (an award also given to Misty Copeland in 1997), a participant in the 2021 Prix de Lausanne and now a member of the San Francisco Ballet, she is also an accomplished pianist and has played in Carnegie Hall in 2018. Of Korean heritage, Petra Johnson is on a mission to become a world-class ballerina, choreographer and concert pianist.

An activist, a mentor and the founder of nonprofit Power Circle, Eugene Thomas started his work in the very same neighborhood of Frankford where he grew up. To his family and the kids he helps, his name is "Buddha." Mixed with Korean and African American, Eugene knows all too well the importance of Black and Asian solidarity, especially now. Both the African American and Asian American communities have a history of clashing, but also have a shared experience of being profiled because of their race. It's something he uses to be a living and walking example of how two communities can work together. He's been actively calling attention to AAPI hate and working with Asian American leaders in the city to spotlight the issues happening in the community. At a time when gun violence is rampant in Philadelphia, he uses Power Circle to help teens stay out of the streets, including Blasian biracial teens by helping them get access to resources, get involved in programming and gain confidence about being Asian.

Rick Ramos is an AAPI everyday hero! The Filipino American and martial arts instructor has devoted himself to combatting the rising tide of attacks on the Bay Area's Asian American community. Ramos has spearheaded an effort marshalling fellow martial artists to teach self-defense classes for free. They hold workshops throughout the Bay Area, with a special emphasis on empowering the elderly. For those who cannot attend in person, they've created videos teaching simple self-defense techniques and awareness. In addition, Ramos and friends also train the volunteers who have signed up through the United Peace Collaborative to patrol Chinatown, to help keep the community safe. They also raise funds so that the volunteers have drinks and snacks during their shifts.

I admire Rosalyn Patamakanthin Vasquez for being a powerful voice for marginalized communities, particularly the AAPI immigrant population in the United States. She's fluent in Thai and has been one of the leading voices in Thai Town Los Angeles, home to the biggest Thai population outside of Bangkok. I met Rosalyn in law school. She wanted to become an attorney because she saw firsthand how her own immigrant parents struggled for representation and support as small business owners. Now, for more than 20 years, Rosalyn has been helping Thai business owners and immigrants with a range of legal issues, often where language has been a barrier toward receiving justice and fair treatment. Most recently, Rosalyn was recognized by the Thai Consulate General for her help with a Thai immigrant woman who had been the subject of slave trafficking and abuse. Rosalyn rallied the Thai CDC and other resources to help local officials rescue this woman, who is now being reunited with her family after several years in captivity. Rosalyn did all this pro bono, just like in her many community roles -- she's head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, president of the Thai New Year/Songkran Festival and former president of the Thai Association of Southern California. After her work in 2005, when she traveled to Thailand as a children's crusader to save Thai orphans after the tsunami, the king of Thailand appointed Rosalyn to his prestigious Siam Council. She returned to the U.S. to continue her work as an attorney advocating for children's rights, representing the State of California in the California Department of Social Services and later with the California State Board of Equalization. She's continuing her work as a community advocate and has been on the frontlines of #StopAsianHate campaigns in L.A. She has a heart of gold and has dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of all people.

Asha Magrati and Deepak Rauniyar are filmmakers with a mission, highlighting untold stories from of Nepali communities as well as teaching and mentoring aspiring filmmakers in the United States and in Nepal. The duo co-founded Aadi Productions to produce innovative, socially-conscious movies that raise difficult ethical questions. Their second feature film, White Sun, directed by Deepak with Asha as one of the lead actors and the casting director, tells the story of the country in transition by focusing on one family going through funeral preparations after the patriarch dies. Set in the hills of Nepal, the film has resonated with audiences worldwide and has won numerous international awards. Their upcoming short film captures the struggles of Nepali immigrants in New York, and the next feature film in development is focused on racial injustice in Nepal. Asha and Deepak immigrated to the U.S. in pursuit of their dreams and are now investing in the next generation of filmmakers. With their personal experience of navigating structural barriers raised by caste, class, ethnicity, they are committed to creating opportunities for storytellers from historically marginalized communities.

Christina Luna is a Filipina American entrepreneur, author, recreation commissioner and global Asian music advocate. As founder of The Luna Company -- which is composed of Zion Agency US, Asian American Music Conference (AAMC), and Traverse Music Group (TMG), she has fostered and managed creatives for over 20 years in the music business. Zion manages global music artists and individuals, as well as consults and invests into creative projects. She has nurtured and mentored many talents as well as bridge the gap to rediscover and reignite AAPI trailblazers from the past. I am honored to be a part of the extraordinary Zion family. I have seen firsthand how the AAMC event has focused on ecosystem building and cultivated networks within the Asian American music industry. During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month, it is important to reflect on past successes and challenges specifically within the international music space. As such, she continually archives and acknowledges the ongoing strides that Asian American innovators have paved throughout the years. Numerous artists she has managed have gone on to create meaningful art that has promoted and elevated the complexities within our AAPI community. She continues to spearhead projects that elevate and empower through mutual partnerships that have inspired me in the pursuit of my own dreams and endeavors. I am proud to work alongside Christina, see her vision evolve, and wish abundant success in her ongoing journey.

Tony Chen is one of the rare few who has managed to reach such a high level of business success while reinventing his view of commerce, people, companies and culture. He has evolved, transformed and found a new calling to utilize the unique talents and skills set that he has honed to curate and create a more conscious and thoughtful advertising technology company. His strength is rooted in his always smiling and happy-go-lucky attitude to embrace challenges and turn them into creative opportunities -- not only via the generosity displayed through his company culture, but just random acts of kindness that resonate through communities. Tony went to Rice University on a full-ride for his musical talent, but decided to go a different path when he decided to bet on an idea that would help film studios drive online traffic and viewership on their YouTube trailers and advertising. He was never shy to tackle a challenge, and he was able to skyrocket performance from a small $5,000 investment into over $2 million of revenue within 12 months at the age of 20. Tony impresses me because he constantly seeks growth and improvement, showcasing his consistent work ethic and doing-what-it-takes attitude. The majority of the Fortune 100 now uses his proprietary technology platform to display their advertising needs. Upon spending more time with Tony, I understood that he wanted a deeper purpose than just making money via the advertising technology business. In his words, "I feel the sense of urgency to help when hateful and inappropriate digital content is spread to hurt communities or people, and I must do something about it. It starts with a spark of an idea like a commitment to ethical, moral, and fundamental truths to create a movement of positivity. We try to do what we can and be that spark to our customers and clients." We are at the precipice of a very peculiar time in our history. Living in an externally wealthy time but rife with internal and mental poverty is a true crisis. I see Tony and his life mission as a catalyst to help the latter. We are constantly distracted and shown what we should look like, what we should have, and what is liked or disliked that dramatically impacts our mental health and overall happiness. There must be a way to improve the types of advertising and content to uplift rather than drag down. His platform and team has grown nearly 20 times and is an official YouTube partner, but I see his real value in how he curates and creates a culture of impact, values and family. Life coaching, consistently checking in with his team to ensure they are doing OK through the past 18 months, has been something that cannot be taken for granted. When someone like Tony shows me that they have even loftier aspirations aside from the monetary gain, I listen with all my attention. Instead, making the digital video space a safer and more responsible place harnesses the power of diversity and inclusivity equals a home run. Being able to tackle an unspoken industry issue is something I admire in the face of rising mental health issues in this country. In tandem, he has sharpened his focus to launch a nonprofit organization, whose focus is to combat global challenges such as socioeconomic disparities, marginalized group oppression and systemic racism. They are building a task force of global minds and organizations who will concentrate their efforts to launch campaigns designed to inspire positive change, and educate existing businesses and consumers on how to live their most valuable, socially responsible lives. The recent Anti-Asian American attacks have accelerated his efforts both via resources and donation. He's a friend with big dreams of a planet filled with love and unity.


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