We had the good fortune of connecting with Sakeena Trice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sakeena, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
They say the storm comes right before the blessings. So, although things may get crazy and you may want to give up, it is important to keep going. If you have a passion for something and it is truly something you want to do, you never give up. But once you lose passion, interest, and confidence in something, it may be time to pivot and reevaluate things.
What should our readers know about your business?
ASKLupus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading Lupus Awareness and providing supportive services to those affected by Lupus. My two sisters, my mother and I each battle with some form of Lupus, and knew it was crucial to create our organization to help others dealing with this disease as well. When we started, there were very few organizations that really in the community doing this work. Since 2017, we have hosted support groups reaching hundreds of people, Lupus mixers, yoga and meditation events, and various fundraising events, such as basketball tournaments, etc. to provide an outlet for those battling. Lupus primarily affects African American women, so it is important for us to advocate for our community and to make sure Lupus gets the attention that others diseases and illnesses receive. We also have a business component, where we sell ASKLupus merchandise such as tshirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and pants to further push our awareness efforts.
It has been a tough journey for our organization to get where it is today because many people do not know what Lupus is. So, it is hard for people to support something that have no knowledge about. Why would someone buy a shirt that says ASKLupus, if they have no clue what that means or why it is important. We learned along the way that we had to add an educational piece to our model. Once we did that, we started to see growth.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend were visiting Philly for the weekend, I would first take them to South Street. South Street has a cool variety of dining (can get a cheesesteak from Ishkabibbles), clothing and jewelry shops, and bars.
I would then take them to the Rocky Statue and The Rocky Steps. Very touristy, but people love it and it is a cool experience.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give credit to my Me-Mom (grandmother) Valerie Denise Phillips. She was the first in our family to be diagnosed with Lupus, and her strength inspired me to always keep going, to keep laughing and loving even when it got tough. She was the epitome of perseverance. She passed away from CoVid19/lupus related complications, but her ability to keep moving forward is embedded in me.