Mental Liberation for African Americans: Author and Activist Doreszell Cohen
Featured work: “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations”
Doreszell Cohen is a social activist, educator and author who founded the nonprofit, Link-Up 2 Lift-Up, Inc., which has an “underlying ideology of mental liberation and total independence for African Americans.” It provides services and community in many realms, including cultural, personal and professional. Cohen is writing a wokebook series, “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations.” Read on to hear her perspectives on education, George Floyd’s murder, the craft of writing, and more.
5 Questions for the Artist:
1. What is writing to you?
Writing is patience: Patience that enables authors to connect to our inner-selves and maintain stamina in those delicate spaces within our minds, bodies and spirits.
Writing is our cognitive abilities: Cognitive abilities enable authors to retrieve information — from our memories, intellectual thoughts, declarative knowledge, inspiration and lexicon — to effectively construct and craft meaning.
Writing is the result of introspections, reflections and creative expressions of our human experiences. These psychological processes enable authors’ cognition and innermost expressions to flow efficiently and proficiently.
Therefore, writing — to me — is an aggregate of knowledge, skills, cognitive abilities and other psychological processes that manifest meaning for the author, and others, about the world in which we live.
2. What did you make in the past, and why?
With the loss of George Floyd’s life, a new American movement was born. The killer’s lack of regard for another human being shocked our senses; our collective sense of hearing the context of a man begging for his life, and our collective sense of sight seeing this tragic scene — real-time images of his trapped living body change into a lifeless body — was sorrowful.
After years of suppressing my intellect and voice, the woke movement caused my dormancy to end. I expressed myself about police brutality and institutional racism, going live on Facebook for the very first time. Soon, I realized that I had too much to say surrounding the topic of institutional racism.
Therefore, I challenged myself with a 30-day writing campaign to contain my thoughts. My goal was to share my ideas about institutional racism to my children, so that when they are all grown-up and are wise enough to understand life, they could have solutions to deal with it.
“Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations,” engages readers in philosophical questions and ideas that embrace divergent thinking, intellectual curiosity and creativity, as we continue to address everyday problems that result from institutional racism.
3. What are you making now, and why?
My next wokebook is called, “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Real Leadership for Our Future Generations.” To whet readers’ appetite, I will briefly say that I share some interesting research on leadership from my Africentric ideology and emic perspectives. I also share my personal life experiences when I ran for public office as a filed candidate for the Office of Mayor in the City of Jacksonville from November 2016 through August 2018.
The purpose of this, “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Real Leadership for Our Future Generations,” series is to engage readers in the constructs of leadership and institutional racism. The central message is to educe more awareness of the traits and behaviors of real leadership styles, so that we may increase our support for those individuals and groups with effective leadership skills, and decrease our support for those individuals and groups with poor leadership skills.
4. What are your hopes for the future?
Regarding the, “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up,” wokebook series, I hope to continue using my writing as guides that readers can refer to when they work towards their goals and dreams for our future generations.
Regarding my company, Link-Up 2 Lift-Up, Inc., I hope to build a strong team so that we can continue operating this helping institution that bring forth positive outcomes of equality, dignity and integrity for Africentric Americans.
I hope that all socio-ethnic groups in the United States are included and considered as co-workers in the kingdom of American culture. Our universal unity will compound and trickle down for many generations of Americans to come.
5. What else would you like to say?
The ideology of Link-Up 2 Lift-Up attracts humanitarians of all backgrounds. As a result, Link-Up 2 Lift-Up transcends the physical borders of any nation and is a framework in which we can collectively, intentionally and literally unite on common goals that bring universal goodness to humanity’s future generations.
Artist supplied bio:
Doreszell Cohen began her career in December, 2002, as a highly-qualified educator in Duval County Public Schools. She conducted an empirical study, “Reducing Non-academic Distractions to Increase Student Achievement,” whereby, she encountered and stood against institutional racism as an employee in the educational system. As a victorious and liberated professional educator, Doreszell founded an Africentric blended-learning homeschool tutoring service, Mammah D Academy, in October, 2005.
By December 2011, Doreszell realized how lack of knowledge was part cause of disenfranchisement, marginalization and other effects of discrimination between the powerful and the powerless, so she founded Link-Up 2 Lift-Up, Inc. as a helping institution , which has an underlying ideology of mental liberation and total independence for African Americans. Specifically, Link-Up 2 Lift-Up, Inc. assists individuals who may need cultural awareness and/or camaraderie, professional development, personal-or-career coaching and other related human services , to realize their potential and navigate a path toward their goals and dreams.
Doreszell is committed to working toward abolishing institutional racism (AIR) using her knowledge, skills and other abilities as an educator, organizational consultant, advocate and author of her new wokebook series, “Link-Up 2 Lift-Up: Sorting through Our Culture Kingdom for Our Future Generations.”