AC • Cannabis Cultivation Associate and 3D Freelance Designer

AC moved to Denver from Dallas, Texas four years ago to learn about the cannabis industry and to start his own business. Today he’s the lead cultivation associate for one of the largest cannabis companies in Denver and is looking forward to learning and growing in his career. He is also a 3D freelance designer and is working to bring STEM to under-resourced youth and people of color.

I was introduced to AC during a Black Pop-Up Market at Mayu Sanctuary last summer where he served as a board member. It was an ideal space to meet because AC is also an avid meditator.

AC was first introduced to meditation in high school where a teacher had him and his classmates meditate for five minutes every day. It wasn’t until six years later that he realized a seed had been planted, and today AC incorporates mindfulness into his daily life. He shared that the practice of meditation is not only a very calming experience for him but that he’s gained useful skills including, how to observe his thoughts and not allow his emotions to control him.

In Denver, AC is alone. This, he expressed, has created space for him to embark on an intentional journey to self. He shared that being here has made it possible for him to become grounded in his spirituality and connect with and embrace who he truly is. During our conversation, we discussed how each of us has a story, that everyone is part of a bigger picture and we are all walking each other home. When I asked him to describe Denver in one word, he replied, “melding.” Here’s what it means to be him, here.

Who are you?

I know myself to be a silent Black leader, on a spiritual quest, to enlighten the people I surround myself with. I’m looking to make a positive impact on the world and somehow leave a legacy.

What does it mean to be you?

It means to be loyal. It means to find people to walk this journey with. I’m trying to lead the people around me to higher consciousness, and that requires me to take steps to be the best version of myself. It also means to have a moral burden to go further than my parents, in regards to accomplishments.

Why is finding out who you are so important?

Our identity was stripped and not knowing where you’re from is partially not knowing who you are. So, even if we can’t find necessarily the individual tribe or the country, finding that rebirth within ourselves, from the situation that we were placed in – that’s important.

So tell me about being here and who you’ve become since you’ve been in Denver.

I definitely believe that I’ve become a silent leader, in a sense that a lot of people who I’ve met out here look to me for life advice. That’s just been something that’s happened throughout my life, and I’m just embracing that role and walking on my spiritual journey. I used to go by my first name when I first came out here, and then I switched over to going to “AC” as part of my spiritual journey. One of the big milestones of a meditation journey is taking on a new name. I didn’t want to take on an actual different name, but AC is my middle name, so it’s like a rebirth within myself.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

It is very difficult – that’s all I’ll say. It’s similar to waking up on a desert island. You don’t know how to get off, but you know there is a way out. When you have the microaggressions coming at you from all different sides, it’s difficult. Being here forces me to be resilient.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

It’s possible to experience all aspects of city life but it only takes two hours to get to a base of a mountain.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

Living in Denver has given me space to fully embrace my spiritual journey. I’m forced to look inward on a daily basis to find my happiness.

Why is it important to find home within?

Because if we don’t, we’ll lose our way, and the progress that was made for us, that was paved for us, will be lost. The only way to truly push forward is to find that home within and build that foundation individually so that everyone knows what it’s like to feel home. Then we can push forward together.

What have you found within?

I have found happiness – like for real. Because like I said, I used to be a very angry person and I didn’t know why I was angry. I was able to figure out that with the institutional racism in America that’s always going to be a part of why I’m angry. But I was letting it control me. So coming out here and being on my spiritual journey, I found happiness.