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  • Money May: Financial Literacy as the pathway to Generational Wealth!

    Well what do we have here? We blinked and it’s already May. Luckily, they do say April showers bring May flowers. And when we tell you how ready we are for these greener pastures and flourishing fields - We are rea-dy! Speaking of greener pastures and flourishment, another shock to our systems is how we just survived the ultimate money season - taxes! There is something about tax season that leaves us questioning our life choices and financial portfolio. It leaves us wanting to do a financial check-in and dust off those "new year, new me" goals from January and see how we’re holding up as we inch closer to that mid-year mark. As the month of May brings us to the cusp of new growth and blossoms, we’ll be talking about just that - net growth and a blossoming portfolio! But where does one begin? In these days of leveling up, entrepreneurship, investments, bitcoin, side hustles, and real estate; the hype and methods of success are plenty. But what’s the best approach? Are we doing it right? How do you balance what you’ve already started planning and stay on top of the next best thing? Or do we just stay the course? These are questions we've most likely have on more than one occasion. And for our community in particular, you can’t talk money management without talking about generational wealth. Generational wealth refers to any kind of asset that families pass down to their children or grandchildren, whether in the form of cash, investment funds, stocks and bonds, properties or even entire companies. The best way we’ve been able to answer these questions for ourselves is to increase our financial literacy. Best believe those with generational wealth have a have a sound understanding of financial literacy and and a thoughtful relationship with money. Financial literacy is the understanding of financial spending, saving, and budgeting. Financial literacy is that super essential class we should have had in grade school but will forever be bitter about learning algebra instead. I mean, we don’t remember the last time we used a variable to pay rent, but it sure would have been nice to get early skills on how to best utilize our regularly earned income to make our dollar stretch past payday. If you are able to understand and skillfully manage your budget and investments you folks are financially literate. The reality is that finances are getting even more complex these days and we all want to get rich quicker than the previous generation. And so, financial literacy simply gets you to the playing field still wondering which gameplay leads you to generational wealth? Should your focus be on budgeting, borrowing, building an emergency fund, investing, homeownership or entrepreneurship? How do we get from point broke to point happily retired after? It soon becomes apparent that after some basic financial literacy skills, we may need to consider outsourcing the skills to allow us to make informed decisions about our finances at every step of our lifetime. Someone like a financial advisor can help provide you with personalized advice about your finances. And like any professional, they’re not all the same so we recommend shopping around for someone who understands your current and future goals and the various needs you will have. And no, you don’t need to be a millionaire to consult someone on your finances or implement smart financial skills. You spend much of your days and lifetime working hard to earn an income and how you allocate this income determines a significant portion of your wellbeing from housing, food, clothing, childcare, travel and leisure among other areas. So, whether it’s $150 or $15,000 in that account, you’re already making choices around your finances, why not make the choice that will give you confidence in your financial future! Like we said, the money game is complex and luckily you have a diverse team of experts in your corner such as: Rich Her is a Lifestyle Financial Coach helping black female professionals create solid money systems so they can invest with peace of mind. You can book a one-on-one financial facelift with this expert coach who’s been in the game from time. Orlando Lopez is an Investment Advisor & Financial Planner advisor committed to bringing knowledge and experience to his client’s wealth journey, to help guide them in making sound financial and investment decisions. The Kean Real Estate Group is a Black-owned, women-led company in Toronto specializing in property investment. Their business is all about building generational wealth for their families, clients and partners. Find these and other experts on our directory and get your money working for you! Have a go-to financial wiz that's been doing wondering in you life? We'd love to hear about them and build on our collective expert community! -Your ASC Connect #SupportBlackOwned #TellAFriendToTellAFriend

  • Spring Forward with Ceecee: A Pandemic-Friendly Style Guide.

    We’re not quite sure if it’s ever safe to say winter is behind us because it keeps coming back. Right now though, spring is surely ahead and that's what matters and in that spirit, we can’t help but look forward to long days of sunshine, BBQs, patios and of course, fashion! Speaking of fashion, we are fortunate to have none other than expert stylist Ceecee Chilanga from Dapper Style Mint (DSM) lend her skills and expert eye to get us spring ready for the coming bloom. If you’re looking for receipts, DSM is a Styling Agency founded by Chanda ‘Ceecee Styles’ Chilanga back in 2014 - sis has been here from time! DSM aims to make personal styling accessible while striving to inspire conscious fashion consumption. Their mission is to ignite confidence in their clients and this is the energy we can get behind! Ceecee was recently on The Marilyn Denis Show talking all things outdoor style and has shared her top tips with us. She shares styles that hopefully inspire you to, "explore the outdoors beyond grocery shopping and maybe transition from sweats to giving your other clothes the time of day." Ceecee shares #DSMStyleTips that are mindful of our Canadian spring that is unpredictable at best with a bright sun that can be deceiving. Her first tip, be wary of the erratic weather and to give consideration by easing into the outdoor life that may still be on the chillier side. She shares that the secret to keeping ahead of the fickle weather this spring is Layers! Ceecee shares that, "layers are key and preparation for the occasional rain or drop in temperature is a priority." She goes on to share three areas of outdoor life that can be made stylish with comfort in mind. 1. Outdoor Workout "The Outdoor Workout is an occasion (or an excuse) to look good whilst benefiting from the positive impact of 30 minutes of daily movement." says Ceecee, "The key to comfort here is balancing warmth while avoiding overheating." The solution being, you guessed it, layering! And in the spirit of multi-functionality, Ceecee suggests pieces that can work for outdoor movement and are stylish enough to incorporate into every day wear. For this look, we took note of pieces that were water repellent, machine washable, breathable, and comfortable! But wait, there is more. Ceecee reminded us that even in activity, one must not forget to accessorize. Smart accessorizing includes all things sun protection- sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, and crossbody bag for all your compact, yet practical, needs. All this activity has us parched and Ceecee has you sitting and sipping pretty in the next set of hot tips that will have you park date ready 2. Park Date The park date has become the brunch date of the pandemic life. It is the official pandemic-friendly bubble where you can safely meet with friends and get some fresh air. The practical style advice continues here as, “creating a great look means ensuring it works for the activity it’s centered around. On a park date, you are probably going to be outdoors for a while. You will want to think about sun protection (as mentioned before), a possible drop in temperature, and of course, balancing all this while looking chic” shares Ceecee. When dressing up, the key is to keep it loose-fitting for sitting on the grass or bench. And extra points if you incorporate the spring colors of mint, yellow, or rust. To add even more personality to our activities, you best believe we will be accessorizing here. Ceecee shares tips to elevate your look with subtle jewelry, chic sunglasses, and leveling up with some hydrating lipstick. The luxury of the great outdoors is that you have plenty of room to distance and show off that statement lip. We can’t forget about the snacks and nibbles which can be carried in a durable yet chic backpack. Finishing the look with a large scarf that is multifunctional as a wrap-around for warmth and can double as a picnic blanket- keeping you prepared in any situation. With all this park lounging, Ceecee shares that the shoes are all about finesse here with encouragement to be creative with fun shoes to show off and show out! 3. Date Night With the return of patios and longer days, dates are making a comeback! As it’s been a while since we’ve ventured out, easing into the date night style seems to be the best bet. Ceecee encourages play with fabrics while keeping the theme of comfort and chic at the center. She uses denim and leather to add personality to a buttercream monochromatic look with, you guessed it, layers being the ongoing spring theme. Date night could end with a midnight stroll so extra layers are key for that breezy drop in temp. Ceecee shares that denim and trench are your best bet to keep your extra warmth on-trend. And, of course, the multifunctional scarf is a must for this look as well. To finish off the look, Ceecee gives us a needed break here by sharing that “easing back to heels after being home pretty much all year and living in house slippers is going to be hard” and recommends a classic fashion sneaker that can accommodate all of your spring looks. It's truly the comfort for us, so perhaps not all trends have left us from the pandemic life. These tips were just what our fairy godmother ordered to spring forward our cinder looks complete with Ceecee's Black-owned brand picks to achieve these looks Want to catch this style segment or one of the many appearances on shows like CTV’s Your Morning and CHCH Morning Live? Catch Ceecee and the DSM team here. We don’t know about ya’ll but this advice left us wanting more. Luckily, DSM has a range of services that begin with a complimentary style consultation. With a commitment to their clients, DSM offers a variety of services including 360 Full Style Makeover, Wardrobe Refresh, Special Event Styling, Creative Styling, Professional Closet Organizing, and Style on Speed Dial. After a full year of pandemic fashion (if sweats count), we can’t wait to take advantage of the 360 Full Style - what about you? Share your favorite spring style tip or DSM service you're signing up with on our socials with hashtag #DapperStyleMint and see you on the outside! -Your ASC Connect #SupportBlackOwned #TellAFriendToTellAFriend

  • ASC Turns Three. Find out all the ways we've been keeping busy!

    Once upon a time, 6 friends recognized the need for a platform to connect people who look like them, a platform that reflected good vibes and the power of community. And just like that, we are celebrating 3 years of amplifying Black voices. How fitting our anniversary will forever follow the conclusion of Black History Month. An ongoing reminder (like we really needed it) to celebrate us and our supportive community well beyond a month! As we rewind the months to this time last year, things looked just a tad different. Sure, Rona was just becoming a household name, but enough about her, we’re talking about us! So incase you’ve missed it, we’ve also had a busy year. In fact, we’ve been so busy celebrating that we’re coming to you mid-Month (and we’re sticking to that story). Here are some highlights of the new and the improved over our last year with you: About Afro Social Centric Have you checked out our new ‘About’ page? Whether you’re getting to know us or getting re-acquainted, check out our inception story, our why, our vision and our mission. It's really nothing without you. It's a platform from you, for you, for us all! Land Acknowledgement We know many outside of our community were ‘listening and learning’ in the past year. And we were too. We reflected on where we were on the privilege spectrum and in what ways we were contributing to and perpetuating oppression. The Land Acknowledgement page is new for us. And we recognize that this is simply one step. It is a reminder for us (and we hope for you) that many more steps are ahead towards Reconciliation, and we want to be participants in that change. Blog Remember that part about amplifying Black voices? Well we’ve been sharing our thoughts, consulting experts within our community and giving YOU space to share your truth through our blog. Have something you want to say? Well who are we to stop greatness? Share your thoughts, creativity and wisdom with the ASC community - connect ( with us today! Newsletter Have you subscribed to our Monthly Newsletter? It’s always hot off the press and coming to an email near you. It includes the latest blog posts, highlights the Blackest businesses and shares happening events in the city. Subscribe today to stay in the know! Business Directory Who needed a dermatologist? Or was it a lawyer? Ohhh a mechanic - well, we gotchu! Our directory went through a major makeover in 2020 and oh my doesn't she look pretty. Our directory now includes over 250 businesses in 103 different categories. So when we say ‘we gotchu’, then you best believe we got you! Events Yes, these are still a thing- but make them virtual! Thank you for your continued submissions to our events page. We love sharing your creative ways of hosting events for networking, developing, and socializing. Keep those submissions coming and we’d be glad to keep promoting them for FREE! Social Media Can we talk about growth or can we talk about growth! We are so excited to see ya’ll joining, engage-with, sharing and keeping-up with us on the socials. This is really where the last year went down and boy did we make it count. Whole movements were made and lives were changed forever through your awareness building engagement! And our favorite highlight of the past year has been YOU! Thank you for continuing to rock with us three years later and for making ASC what it is today. It truly shows that no amount of physical distancing can keep our community distanced! (we’re not crying, you are) Now it’s time to go back to popping those celebratory bottles cuz fam, it’s our Champagne Birthday every year! #CheersToYou #CheersToUs -Your ASC Connect #SupportBlackOwned#TellAFriendToTellAFriend -Your ASC Connect #SupportBlackOwned#TellAFriendToTellAFriend

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