Today we’d like to introduce you to Akua Gray.
Akua, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up with a sick mother who had both a heart and kidney condition that took her life at the age of fifty. I also lost a brother in the prime of his life at the young age of thirty years old to the same diseases that claimed our mother. These two traumatic loses were the reason I vowed to myself as a young mother, that I would do everything that I could to take care of myself so that my sons would not have to go through my tragedies.
As a career educator for many years in the public school system and a health advocate trained in naturopathy, herbology, energy medicine, colon therapy, iridology and metaphysics, I found myself teaching my students, friends, family and colleagues the wonderful things I learned about being healthy. I also realized that most times when I sought to expand my wellness modalities, I would have to travel outside of my home town because there were no consistent institutions that taught health and wellness in the Houston area. I even had to be licensed as a Doctor of Naturopathy in Washington, DC after receiving my naturopathic training. Also, other urban communities that I knew people in had the same issues, limited or nonexistent education resources. This void in the community created A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute in 2006, as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing consistent holistic health and wellness education to as many communities as we can reach until there is a healer in every home.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Fortunately, the world was ready for what we had to offer. When my husband Dr. Chenu and I started A Life Of Peace, it took off like wild fire and we have been going strong for more than eleven years. We started the institute with one class, the Natural Health and Wellness Consultant Certification to teach individuals and families how to empower themselves and take responsibility for their own health. This class was taught on a rotating schedule in fifteen major US cities for the first five years including, Houston, Dallas, Jackson, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Miami, New York, Buffalo, Detroit, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. Soon after, international request for the classes carried us to Toronto, Nassau, London and Accra, Ghana. When we took the classes to the online instruction platform we received student from as far away as Antigua, Qatar and the Philippines.
Along the way we added more classes and instructors for the expanding curriculum which included Naturopathic Reiki Certifications, Naturopathic Herbalist Training, Naturopathic Iridology, Detox Therapist Training, Holistic Doula Training, Vegan Chef Certifications, and more.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Each year the board at A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute puts together twelve months filled with hands on and online wellness education opportunities for seekers who are looking to expand their personal and/or professional knowledge in holistic health modalities. From the inception of the institute, our intention has always been to make the classes, certifications and retreats affordable, fun and life changing.
Over the past decade we have trained and certified thousands of students who have made the shift to a holistic way of life and some have committed themselves to being vehicles of change in their families and communities. It is also a pleasure to know that many of the wellness professionals in the urban centers where we have consistently made classes available have made professional careers and established wellness businesses that are changing lives in their communities.
What sets us apart is that from the very beginning we have dedicated our services to those in low to moderate income communities and we also offer scholarships and free classes every year to those who need this knowledge but may have limits on their abilities to finance their desires for wellness education.
What were you like growing up?
As a beautiful little bright eyed girl growing up in the Fifth Ward community of Houston, my life was typical for any urban area in America. I had two working parents, went to public school with teachers that were both inspiring and dedicated to their craft that helped to nurture me into an ambitious young woman who loved to read and hang around the elders of my community that taught me the life lessons that I couldn’t learn in school.
I was quiet, curious and boldly unafraid of anything. I would often walk miles to my aunt’s house near what was then in the 1970’s E O Smith Middle School to sit and talk with my favorite aunt and then walk back home before dark well before the age the often. I grew up attending community enrichment programs at The Julia C Hester House community center and spending many hours at the local libraries reading the latest revolutionary poets at the time like Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Langston Hughes, Amira Baraka and great story tellers to with my favorite being James Baldwin. These types of indoctrination well before the age of twelve helped me to understand that a life serving people in need was an honorable thing to do. Therefore, my choosing education, communications, law and health were nurtured personal education choices going into adulthood.
- Website: www.alifeofpeace.org