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    Posted May 14, 2013 by
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Girls + Education: Your message

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    Author Spotlight: Ayanna Gouch

    Ayanna Gouch, a native Detroiter, health educator, massage therapist, biomedical engineer and soon to be medical student, has recently self-published her first novel titled, ‘Dusty Foot Philosophers,’ through her publishing company, Roots of Sapphire Press. Roots of Sapphire Press is dedicated to the distribution of conscious books for youth and young adults that promote love, respect, nutrition, peace, and the inter-connectedness of all things. Roots of Sapphire Press contributes to a holistic health dialogue within communities of color. It is important that health is addressed from a cultural perspective in order to create sustainable community development. The health of each individual is imperative to community healing and members of communities must help one another to reach optimal emotional, spiritual and physical well-being. With violence, drug abuse, depression, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, heart disease and cancer being among the highest causes of death in communities of color – all of which are preventable – we must begin to create healing rituals, spaces, conversations, and systems. And since youth are generally the healthiest among us and our hope for the future, they should be at the epicenter of such a movement. The novel, ‘Dusty Foot Philosophers,’ is a story of healing, reconciliation and love. It takes you
    down a memory lane shared by many young, native Detroiters. Junior High is an exciting time for Sasha Gordon, Nawiri Simmons and Devontae Harris. Brought together by misfortune, they begin to carve out a path of healing the wounds of their childhoods by finding ways to express themselves and ignoring socioeconomic barriers that have kept the adults around them divided. With near death experiences and life-altering challenges knocking at their doorstep, they find that there is nothing they can’t handle when they know somebody else has got their back. More about Ayanna and her novel here:

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