Veronica Agard (she/her) is a writer, community educator, and connector at the intersections of Black identity, wellness, representation, and culture. She experiments with creative healing modalities and puts theories learned into practice. She curated the Who Heals the Healer series and the conference of the same name and facilitates the Ancestors in Training educational project. Described as living in the future - Veronica is guided by the past, and carries out her dreams in the present.
Tell us: what excites you about your work right now?
As we continue into season five of Ancestors in Training, what excites me is how much potential for growth there is with this project. It's honestly like what I imagine birthing to be like; as creatives tend to view their work(s) as an extension of themselves. This work feels boundless, only waiting for my ancestors and my intitution to steer the work to where it feels most aligned.
What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?
The possibility for collaboration and being in dialouge with others who understand that "grief and gratitude can co-exist '' (Trauma Aware Care) and bring their whole selves to their calling. It also feels vital to continue to affirm the multiple forms of grief that are being surface throughout and even for the world.
Who do you dedicate your work to?
The constellation of honorable ancestors that brought me here, and especially my paternal grandmother and uncle. Without them becoming ancestors the way they did, I wouldn't be writing this. My families, communities, and loves - blood and chosen. The personifications of nature that protect me.
Who inspires you, who are you learning from, what books are you reading? We are really excited to learn this about you!
"We are the ancestors of the future and what we do now will have an impact," by Yeye Luisah Teish, an author among so many profound expressions. Her text "Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals" was one of the first books on ancestral veneration that I read.
Dori Midnight, specifically her essay "More Healing, More of the Time," as it soothed me when I dug deeper into this work.
"The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationships" by Sobonfu Somé is also a classic text for me.
I could keep going on - this is why I have the Ancestors in Training Syllabus!
How can people reading this support the work you are doing?
Be in dialogue and engage with me! Technology helps us bend space and time and I want to continue to build multiple pathways to connect. Right now, social media (IG, Substack, Website) are the primary means. If this work really resonates with you, find a way to bring AIT to you, your community, or affiliated spaces by reaching out to me. Let's travel the universe together.
What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?
I would tell younger me that finding a practice and a community with integrity matters so, so, much. Particularly as the line between what is shown versus what is kept offline for safe keeping blurs; I am grateful for redirections and divine timing that led me to the right place, and have rooted myself in ensuring that myself and whoever I am in community with have good character and shared values.
What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?
Whether that is via movement (dancing, walking, etc with my people), or tapping into my inner landscape regularly with my therapist - I view self care and community care as two vital and equal parts of maintaining my joy. I strive for this balance by tending to my rituals and magic, and have been writing (love) poems. Ancestors in Training is rooted in the magic of spelling as a spell, so the answers to prompts actively shape the future. With that in mind, I write (for) my life.
The Transistance Network
Black Inmate Commissary Fund
Indigenous Karuk and Yaruk Ceremonial Leader
Sovereign Spirit Death Care
Cofounder, CEO of BE-IMAGINATIVE
Freedom Community Clinic
Somatic Experience Practitioner
Founder, The Honey Block
Cofounder, The Grinding Stone Collective
Nature Center for Meditation
Co Executive Director, NuLegacy
Founder, Compton Girls Club
Black Men Speak, Inc.
Peer Support Space
Black Boys Om Inc
Gender Expansive Liberationist Medicine Person
Founder, Indigenous Women Hike
Founder, Rising Hearts
Assistant Professor of Linguistic and Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Anishinaabe Cultural Specialist, Anishaable Agriculture
Founder, Black Mermaids
Founder, Activation Residency
Cofounder, Toj + Tijax
The Dream Experiment
I Am Yoga CLT
Founder, Pink Opal Magic
Founder, Financial Liberation Movement
TouchBot Pleasure Tech
Founder, Queer Kanaka
Black Creative Healing
Founder and CEO, Civil Bikes
End of Life Doula
Founder, EARTHseed Farm
Founder, Latinx Grief
Founder, Postpartum Healing Lodge
Founder, Atabey Outdoors
Founder, Zepp Wellness
Transgenerational counselor, Acupuncturist and Reiki practitioner
Founder, BLK Beetles
Founder, Keep It Cute
Executive Director, Semillas y Raices
Founder, Tristan Katz Creative
Founder, Ancestors in Training
Founder, Xude Yoga
Rest In Power Yoga + Reiki