Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes
Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes is a mother, wife, daughter, educator, event producer, spoken word artist, and community servant. Rooted in the cultural soil of New Orleans and watered by the writings of her literary idols, Asali has grown to bask in the sun of her literary heritage—from the sages who transformed Pharaoh to God in Ancient Kemet, to the spy boys who chant the way clear for the big chiefs on Mardi Gras day. She has presented her brand of “activist poetry” on stages and in classrooms across the country, and is a highly sought speaker on community development issues. In addition to authoring the Essence Empowerment Seminars, she coordinates the Congo Square African Marketplace, has taught spoken word, social justice, and service learning at Tulane University, and co-founded the Akoben Words-In-Action Festival and is Executive Producer of the Tremé 200 Festival, which celebrates the nation’s oldest African-American neighborhood. Her examination of post-Katrina roles in transforming the lives of women in the Gulf Coast is included in Swimming Upstream, the play she co-authored with a distinguished group of NOLA writers. She is creating her definitive work, To Each His Own, a collection of short stories exploring life and culture in Faubourg Tremé. Asali seeks opportunities to forward her mission of societal change through art and her vision of social justice for all humanity.