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Ella Livingston

Ella Livingston

Founder, Cocoa Asante

Entrepreneur and former educator Ella Livingston feels exhausted and overwhelmed with the outsized work and expenses women face when managing career and family. She doesn’t believe it has to be this hard to just survive. A better life is possible for all of us.

Q: Why is now the time, and what do we “double-down” on to leverage this moment to take strides for long-lasting change?

Now is the time because people in all walks of life are tired of struggling alone. Social media has allowed certain barriers to be broken down as information becomes even more widespread. Many of us have come to the realization that we are better together and that we should value people, our mental and physical health, and caring for the earth. A better life is possible for us. One filled with love, togetherness, and community. It’s going to require a radical shift, but it can be done

Q: For real systems change to happen, how must perspectives, and how we approach the economy and education, shift to meet the needs of an inclusive, equitable economy?

The last few years have revealed how damaged some of our systems are.

The last few years have revealed how damaged some of our systems are. And when I say systems, I am referring to our justice, economic, education, healthcare, and so much more. Some of us recognized this early on as we were forced to deal with the reality of these flawed systems, others are just now seeing the truth, and then there are some who refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong.

We are a nation that for so long has prioritized profits and individual freedom above the collective good of the people and our future, and it shows. This is by no means a complete solution, but for real systematic change to occur, our mindset must radically shift to be one that desires the progress of all people, regardless of our differences. We must, as a collective nation, do some self-reflection and identify the root of our problems. Once the issues have been identified, wrongs must be made right, and systems must be restructured to fit the needs of the nation as a whole in the context of the times that we are in and the future that we desire. 

Inspiration curation: Share who or what you look to for inspiration.

While I admire many individuals, the person who has inspired me is my husband, Larue Livingston. Despite growing up dealing with childhood trauma and adverse events, he has developed into a kind, supportive, and loving human being. Through the most difficult seasons of life, he has continued to show compassion and care for those around him.

After the birth of our daughter, I dealt with severe postpartum depression. Although he couldn’t fully understand what I was going through, he did all he could to lessen my work, helped with our newborn, and provided safe spaces for me, all while dealing with his own issues. He has shown me how beautiful marriage can be when each person selflessly cares for the other. It almost guarantees that everyone’s needs will inevitably be met. I will forever be grateful for him and the continued inspiration he provides.

He inspires me to keep pushing until I achieve my goals. He inspires me to enjoy each day. He inspires me to be a better human. He inspires me to truly live. 

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