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The racial wealth gap is staggering. A new Kansas City program aims to close it

Craig Moore II is the founder of Black Excellence Inc. and the Ascend Cohort Program. Applications for the program are open until January 31.
Craig Moore II is the founder of Black Excellence Inc. and the Ascend Cohort Program. Applications for the program are open until January 31.

The Ascend Cohort Program aims to generate a 30% increase of income for Black professionals and entrepreneurs over three years through a series of professional development seminars.

In 2022, the average wealth of a Black family was only 15% of that of a white family, according to the Federal Reserve. It's a gap that Craig Moore II wants to close.

That's why he founded the Ascend Cohort Program, a program presented by his nonprofit Black Excellence Inc. The program will provide resources and training to help lift up middle-class Black professionals and entrepreneurs, with the goal of increasing a person's income by 30% over three years.

The program's curriculum will differ for entrepreneurs and professionals, but both tracks will incorporate resources for healing from racial trauma — something that isn't often addressed in similar programs.

"There isn't another program that is actually even talking about racial healing as a part of professional development. And it absolutely should," said Dr. Aishah Augusta, the director of programs and racial healing counselor for the Ascend Cohort Program. "A part of my passion, and my professional goals, is to help individuals heal from that, because it's so crippling to every aspect of our well being."

Applications are open until January 31. To learn more, visit the Ascend Cohort's website.

  • Dr. Aishah Augusta, director of programs and racial healing counselor, Ascend Cohort Program
  • Craig Moore II, founder, Ascend Cohort Program and Black Excellence Inc.
Corrected: January 23, 2024 at 3:30 PM CST
During this episode, Up To Date failed to note that guest Dr. Aishah Augusta has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and did not refer to her by her correct title. We apologize for this oversight, and in the future, we will include the title of Dr. for Up To Date guests with Ph.Ds.
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