VISTAS Magazine Dec 23/Jan 24

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After the last several challenging years, this holiday season is all about reflection and giving thanks. relaxing, spending time with family and friends, sharing good food, entertaining, visiting, and maybe even giving and receiving some gifts from our holiday gift guide. The Ettiquette Doctor provides a refresh, to help ensure seamless social interactions that don’t ruin the party. This issue also features healthy Kwanzaa recipes by Chef Cynthia Anderson and essays from various contributors on how celebrating Kwanzaa may provide valuable opportunities for reflection and self-actualization. We are thrilled to toast Theodora Lee (aka Theo) as she celebrates two decades as founder and owner of Theopolis Vineyards. From litigator to winemaker, and from the crisp notes of the Symphony grape, to the dark unfiltered fruit of her signature Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir, it is impossible to put Theo in a box. She crisscrosses the globe as a law firm partner, synchronizing her schedule whenever possible to share her award-winning wine with the world. She is a walking, breathing example of “leaving it all out on the field.” Finally, if you find yourself in Los Angeles this holiday season, we are celebrating the launch of VISTAS magazine by hosting the inaugural Kwanzaa Extravaganza, a seven-course wine pairing dinner on December 28 and 29, 2023, at 1010 Wine and Events. To learn more about this and other events, visit As 2023 draws to a close we wish you great health and wealth now and in the New Year. Happy Holidays!





SUBSCRIBE TO VISTAS TODAY! Sign u p t o receive the printed vers i o n o f VISTAS magazine every two m o n t h s! An abridged digital vers i o n w ill be available to mailing l i s t m e m b ers.






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Excerpts and short essays from thought-leaders on modern interpretations and adaptations of the seven principles of Kwanzaa


SIP SAVOR & RSVP Holiday etiquette tips and pointers to prepare you for a festive season filled with peace and joy



Chef Cynthia Anderson serves up culture and flavor through creative recipes sure to inspire a delicious curated Kwanzaa dinner.



Theo is her name and Petite Syrah is her game. We chatted with winemaker Theodora Lee as she celebrates 20 years as a vintner.



From self-care must-haves to warm coffee blends, we’ve collected all of our favorite holiday buys from BIPOC makers! VISTAS MAGAZINE






Welcome to the second issue of VISTAS magazine, where we feature stories on food, wine, and living well! Wine enthusiasts will enjoy upcoming "vino-soaked" issues that include culinary, travel, and lifestyle guides. VISTAS magazine was launched to cater to the interests of Soul of Sonoma clients and event attendees through our affiliation with thought-leaders, local businesses, exclusive events, and premium service providers. We can't wait to explore these exciting vistas with you!

PUBLISHER Patrice Davenport CREATIVE MANAGER Khayla Biscoe COPY EDITOR George Hall FEATURE WRITER Michelle Morgan



CONTRIBUTORS Toya Corbett Ph.D. Cynthia Anderson KWANZAA FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS Vikisha Fripp M.D. Lisa G. McCurdy, Esq. Christopher Cathcart Irvin J. Hunt Arthelle Porter Burns Michael Walrond KWANZAA FEATURE ILLUSTRATOR Candice Haughton

Chef Patty Titcombe

Chef Seth Brundle

Chef Raina Pore

SOULOFSONOMA.COM/EVENTS Each tasting course is inspired by one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Guests will network and enjoy opulent tablescapes while participating in several exciting new and old Kwanzaa traditions throughout the evening.

VISTAS MAGAZINE 2021 L Street NW Suite 161 Washington, DC 20036 (877) 550-3003 Please email advertising inquiries, press releases, and editorial proposals to






W I L D .

PENNE ALLA VODKA Sauté Tomato Tempranillo Garlic Mousse in olive oil. Stir in splash of vokda & heavy cream. Mix in cooked pasta.

WILD MUSRHOOM TART Whisk 5 eggs, shredded Gruyère, & Mushroom Madeira Garlic Mousse. Pour into pie crust, add sautéed mushrooms & bake.

PESTO MASHED POTATOES Mash boiled potatos with Pesto Prosecco Garlic Mousse, heavy cream, and butter.

SAVORY PESTO RICE Toast basmati rice. Boil in broth & Pesto Prosecco Garlic Mousse until done.

MARGHERITA PIZZA Top parbaked pizza dough with Tomato Tempranillo Garlic Mousse, basil, mozzarella & cherry tomatoes & bake.

MUSHROOM RISOTTO Cook toasted risotto in Mushroom Madeira Garlic Mousse & broth. Stir in heavy cream, sautéed mushrooms, & parmesan.

MUSRHOOM BISQUE Heat heavy cream, broth of choice, & blend with Mushroom Madeira Garlic Mousse.

MUSHROOM BASIL PASTA Sauté cremini mushrooms, stir in heavy cream & Pesto Prosecco Garlic Mousse. Serve over linguine & garnish with basil.

TOMATO BISQUE Heat heavy cream, broth of choice, & blend with Mushroom Tempranillo Garlic Mousse.





We hired a digital creator to design A.I. scenarios of what would happen if we blended Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid al-Fitr, Wakanda, and, Zamunda together. The algorithm spit out “Kwanzaa.” This scenario is tongue-and-cheek of course (but we did hire a digital creator), and the idyllic illustrations don’t lie. Perhaps the often overlooked holiday holds the key to a core set of principles amongst the multifceted prism of the African diaspora. Though it was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga to counter the devastating impact of the Watts Riots in 1966, Kwanzaa is one of the few African American holidays, observed outside of the thematic frames of slavery, civil rights, or Black martyrdom. The week-long celebration may offer a unique and unexpected roadmap for personal selfactualization and collective action, for people of color. Through customs designed to unite and empower observers, Kwanzaa incorporates themes of “first fruit” or harvest from the xxxxxxxx

Ashanti and Zulu. Each day focuses on a different principle commencing on December 26th with Umoja (Unity), punctuated by Karamu (African Feast) a communal meal on December 31st, and culminating on New Year’s Day with Imani (Faith). The remaining principles are interspersed between these days, and focus on themes such as purpose, creativity, and collective economics. Kwanzaa can be practiced with spouses, family, children, friends, and neighbors. The annual celebration provides a meaningful cultural addition or an alternative to the controversial historical origins and flagrant commercialism that pervades the American year-end holiday season. The timing of Kwanzaa provides an opportunity to check in with extended family and friends and come up with thoughtful ways to express gratitude, and make mindful plans for the year to come. Post-pandemic and in the wake of the the Black Lives Matter protests, the traditions xxxxxx

of Kwanzaa provide a refreshing guidepost for individuals, friends, and family to strengthen bonds and create intentional goals. The following collection of essays and excerpts, encourage readers to reimagine Kwanzaa and consider its full potential as an unprecedented opportunity to assess and reflect upon our individual and collective potential. We hope to inspire creative adaptations of the holiday, and establish new and affirming traditions that incorporate the wonderful spirit of Kwanzaa!

“... an alternative to the controversial historical origins and flagrant commercialism that pervades the American year-end holiday season.”




UMOJA | EXCERPT BY DR. MAULANA KARENGA Long before the concept and call of environmentalism emerged, the brilliant scientist and chemurgist, Dr. George Washington Carver, was an environmentalist concerned about both social justice and the well-being of the world. He taught that we should respect ourselves and others and he asked us to “neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.” Rather we are to aid “the little and lowly people” in their struggles to overcome poverty and oppression and live lives of dignity and decency. Moreover, he taught us to love nature, listen to its speech, and learn its language and lessons for the good of humans and the world. And he asks us not to hoard, monopolize or be greedy in relation to the good of the world, but to be those “who take (their) share of the world and let other people have theirs.” The concept and practice of saving and sustaining the world is unavoidably linked to x

humans equitably sharing the world and doing what ensures the well-being of the world. And the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, offers us a clear foundation and way forward for this. And thus, we are urged to relate rightfully, act justly and walk gently and humbly on the earth. The principle and practice of Umoja (Unity), teaches an everexpanding sense of self through our sense of oneness with others and the world. With others we are fellow human beings (watu) with obligations of mutual respect, reciprocal solidarity and cooperation for common good. And in our relationship with the world, we are world beings (walimwengu), deeply embedded in the natural as well as social world, interrelated, interdependent and unavoidably responsible for the health, wholeness and well-being of both. Thus, we understand that damage to the world is damage to us and ecocide is a form of genocide, the end of all.

Article excerpt from: Practicing Kwanzaa and the Seven Princples: Ensuring the Well-being of the World (2021). Dr. Maulana Karega, is Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, California State University Long Beach; Executive Director, African American Cultural Center; Creator of Kwanzaa; and author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture.



During the holiday season, we find ourselves both celebrating and reflecting. While wonderful blessings have been bestowed upon us, these blessings can be met with the angst of financial uncertainty, increasing violence, and global turmoil. With every click of the remote we hear and see images that fill our minds with doubt and increase our unease. These images are coupled with the bombardment of suggestions on social media attempting to define us through a single lens; numerous ads influencing our definition of beauty, and flooding our feed with influencers displaying filtered and distorted versions of happiness. We are unavoidably shaped by these external forces but there is joy to be had. Times of upheaval and uncertainty bring the unique opportunity to pause, pivot and grow. Those images don’t have to be our truth.

Dr. Vikisha Fripp, MD, FACS, is an author and boardcertified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. A respected leader in her field, she has a passion for empowering others to find personal success and happiness beyond achievement. Dr. Fripp is actively involved in various organizations that promote children's welfare, literacy, and health. She is the author of The Other Side of Happy: How I Found Personal Success and Happiness When Hard Work Wasn’t Enough (2023). Learn more at

The seven principles of Kwanza act as our guide for finding our truth. The principle, Self Determination (Kujichagulia) is focused on how we define, name, and create ourselves, as well as how we speak for and show up for ourselves. By harnessing the wonderful gift of self- determination we are in a better position to take steps toward self-actualization, or the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities. We determine who we are in the world. The work of self-reflection requires answering Kujichagulia’s questions: What name will I answer to? What will I focus on? What creations will I endeavor to learn and display as a reflection of self? What is important to the advancement of self and community? Most importantly, what will I allow in my mind and heart? Remember to set boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries are with self, such as taking steps to intentially limit time spent detached from the present, idly watching television, and or browsing social media. Most phones can gauge social media usage so hacks such as using the ‘hide’ features on social media to filter posts and ads will help retain those that make you smile, laugh, wonder, or reflect. My themes include exercise, food, performing arts, travel, and cooking. My common theme is clearly food. Intentionally turn the television off. Your subconscious mind is always listening and absorbing the content of this background noise so be mindful. Don’t allow it to be the song of your life. Be intentional with your words and actions. Negative thoughts make bad situations worse. Find the one positive thing on your job, in your home, in your world and focus on multiplying that thing and practicing gratitude. Allow positivity to guide your planning. RSVP to events that are new, different, engaging and supportive. Be present. This is one change that is easiest to make. While everyone likes to record the highlights of life, put your phone away and allow your eyes to capture x

the moment. Recall the details with an elaborate expression of words. Instead of snapping photos and taking videos, try journaling. You will immediately expand your vocabulary and excite your mind. Extend yourself grace. Alexander Pope said, “To err is human.” There will be times when you will be wrong! Express mea culpa, assess the fallout, apologize if unintended harm was caused to others and identify opportunities for change. You may repeat this cycle several times in the course of your lifetime and that’s ok. Celebrate your victories. Don’t be afraid to laud your accomplishments regardless of the size. If you don’t point out the wins, who will? It’s not bragging when it’s true. Speak positivity into your life and get comfortable reaping the rewards. Your real friends will toast you or the occasion with delicious food, night’s out, and champagne. Practice being kind to yourself and to others. I give myself compliments during the day, saying “I like your lipstick”, or “Ok, hair!” I also freely give compliments to others. It is remarkable how quickly someone’s mood is elevated when you tell them you like their shoes, earrings, scarf, nose, eyebrows. We aren’t a monolithic society. Your body contours, hair texture, and skin hue is perfectly yours. As a plastic surgeon, I support personal decisions to make modifications that increase selfesteem. Showing up as the best version of ourselves is the goal. Explore the need of others. Community is augmented by its members. Seek the council of family and friends to strengthen your village. Speak openly about your needs and listen to the needs of others. Finding common passions builds trust and allows for cooperative work. Be comfortable living your truth in a fake world. You don’t have to wait until Kwanzaa to practice Self Determination or Kujichagulia. Start now and create a plan for how you will practice this pricniple in 2024.




Without question, one of the greatest obstacles to increased volunteerism is the misconception that this vital work is reserved for some special breed of person; that it’s somehow the exclusive realm of the rich, powerful, uniquely gifted, spiritually anointed, or hopelessly bighearted. Nothing could be further from the truth. I cannot accurately count the number of times I’ve heard comments like “that’s so you” or “you’re perfect for that type of thing” when speaking to friends and family about my community service work. For some, this thinking provides a convenient excuse for inaction, particularly if you believe you are not one of the chosen few. It becomes a simple, unspoken, often subconscious decision to leave the work of making a difference to the so-called experts, stripping precious man- or womanxxxxxxx



power from the already-slim volunteer ranks. In all fairness, however, if you consider the way society rightfully glorifies the superstars of public service, it’s not hard to understand how we fall prey to this mindset. In fact, I completely understand and support praising folks, famous and otherwise, who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others. How can we not recognize and honor the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and countless other heroes who selflessly dedicated their lives to public service? Nonetheless, if we allow our respect and admiration for these distinguished folk to solely manifest itself in the form of inactive awe, then we’ve lost sight of their greatest lesson to us—that their lives serve to inspire us to take up the fight in our own way.

Far too often, we indulge in empty idol worship, finding satisfaction in simply naming our institutions, children, and boulevards after them. I seriously doubt that these titans of public service, particularly those who died on the front lines, sacrificed as they did (and still do) so that they might one day have a park or monument dedicated in their honor. I’m compelled to believe they felt a higher calling, one based on the value of human life and the nobility of service. As Dr. King said: “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” It makes no difference whether your role is to lead millions or to teach one child to read a single book; there is a place uniquely reserved for you to take up that fight. Book excerpt from: The Lost Art Of Giving Back: A Helpful Guide to Making a Difference (2006) by Christopher D Cathcart.


Irvin J. Hunt is an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He is the author of Dreaming the Present: Time, Aesthetics, and the Black Cooperative Movement (2022).

Ujamaa, is on the fourth night of Kwanzaa, and stands for Cooperative Economics. The practice of pooling and protecting resources clearly resonated with Kwanzaa’s founder, Maulanu Karenga. Dr. Karenga, defined Cooperative Economics in his book “The African American Holiday of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community & Culture” as the imperative “to build our own businesses, control the economics of our own community, and share in all its work and wealth.”

In 1968, civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer planted the seeds for a farm in Ruleville, Mississippi, reportedly with little more than about fifty pigs. They called it the “Pig Bank,” in which families would take a few pigs to breed some for their household then return a few for others. The Bank provided livestock to more than 860 families. And it supported Hamer’s edict that "all we need to prosper are some pigs and some gardens: our own food, our own land. “

Karenga used the term Cooperative Economics to refer to a practice he observed in continental Africa and in the diaspora at large. Think of Esusus in Nigeria, Njangis in Cameroon, and Pawdnas in Jamaica--all savings and credit associations for the community’s benefit. The principle of Ujamaa cannot be upheld without supporting Black capital. It is also true that you cannot support Black capital without a comprehensive understanding of our wealth--not only of what we have, but who we are.

On the success of the food sharing program, lovingly dubbed the “Oink-Oink Project,” Hamer received a federal loan to buy 680 acres for what she called her Freedom Farm Cooperative. Butterbeans, soybeans, cucumbers, kale—these were among the many kinds of produce that Hamer encouraged farmers to grow. She asked them to give back through some form of service, like tilling or weeding the land, but if they couldn’t, to take what they needed.

In the United States, the “secret” and “benevolent societies,” as they were known in the 1780's, were the first Black community institutions (after the church), founded to support widows and children. They covered burial and medical expenses, and assisted Blacks in acquiring business acumen, leadership skills, and loans. It wasn’t until the end of the nineteenth century that these mutual aid organizations took on a similar form of present-day cooperatives. From their inception, Black cooperatives often differentiated themselves from mainstream financial institutions. Making a profit was entwined with an ethical imperative to seek social justice, respect, and protection. Their altruistic missions extended to themes such as providing for our children and future generations, and to love ourselve and each other. One such example was the Freedom Farm Cooperative.

The farm included a daycare center, an African garment store and sewing factory, a farmer’s market run by children, a primary school, a fund for college scholarships, and housing. What Hamer called her “little coop,” what we might call her “garden,” Freedom Farm was in the full meaning of the phrase “for us, by us.” It was a sprawling space where Blacks could gather and their children could play and attend school at some distance from racial violence. Women could work and be fairly paid and co-op members experienced the wealth of solidarity. By 1976 the cooperative Farm closed its doors due to ecological and financial setbacks. But its spirit lives on every time we give money to help our loved ones bury their loved ones, tithe at church for a social justice cause, organize child care, start a discussion group on building Black wealth, open an account at a Black owned bank, nurse and feed our sick, and, of course, buy Black.



Ujamaa most literally translates from Swahili as “familyhood.” Cultivating the space and spirit of family is essentially what it means to share the wealth of who we are, in addition to what we have. Ujamaa is the fierce assertion that together we actually have so much to offer for ourselves, our communities, and our families. When I light the fourth candle on December 29th, I’ll be celebrating Ujamaa with my four year-old son and my mom, among others. They have a ritual when they see each other that I’ll riff on that night. My mom likes to ask him, “How much does grandma love you?” They then open their arms wide as tree limbs and say, “this much!” I can’t think of a better way of beginning to teach my son the meaning of Ujamaa. How much can we be for each other? Together, who are we? This much!


Values serve as a standard of behavior. Based on my nearly three decades of experience counseling high net-worth and ultra-high net-worth estate planning clients, I believe we all want to engage at a level, across the generations, such that our values, guiding principles, and wisdom are reflected in our legacy. When we are challenged to trace our most important values back to the source, a family member, faith, tradition, a positive or negative experience, gaining clarity on why those values are most important in our view, is what sets the framework for the most meaningful types of legacy plans. And I am sure you would agree that people are positively impacted in every aspect of their lives when they take actions that will benefit others rather than themselves. Successful families have made this an integral part of family life. In the spirit of giving that which you have in service to others, let’s admit that it all starts with our “why!” So often the discussion on generational wealth is misguided, focusing exclusively on money--saving it and investing it. The missing link is preserving wealth! Through intentional planning, strategic wealth transfer, identifying and training trusted fiduciaries to implement plans, and the essential series of purposeful, multigenerational legacy conversations, to align and focus the generations, true generational wealth can be realized. More often than not, we fail to plan. We don’t trust the system, often based on outdated notions and unfounded fear. However, when we fail to plan, share and engage future generations, develop relevant strategies, write it down, implement, and launch, we play right into the hands of those forces that hope we fail. Those forces are ready to divide and conquer us for our land, tempt and distract generations from purpose-driven education and careers, coax us away from our farms, and legislate away our rights. These forces are expecting us to fail to plan, fail to connect with family, and facilitate meaningful conversations about legacy. Financial success does not serve your family if there’s no written plan, an implementable strategy to preserve and distribute wealth to the next generation through appropriately skilled fiduciaries. With no guide for the next generation, aligned with the principles and values that fuel your legacy, the likelihood of infighting, loss to unintended beneficiaries, confusion, and failure, are quite high.

Legacy on Purpose℠ A Journal That Celebrates Life

Lisa G. McCurdy, Esq., has published this resource, filled with 59 weeks of liberating exercises and expressions of purpose meant to stimulate thinking, insight, and discussion on your living legacy. The intentionality, expressed through a roadmap curated for your unique circumstances— that’s Legacy on Purpose®️!



Sharing your wisdom for the intended use and benefit of the wealth and other assets before the drafting and planning are key! This conversation goes beyond parceling off assets and identifying who gets what and when. Initiating legacydefining conversations about your “why,” purpose, values, customs, and vision speaks to your life’s purpose. Without these multi-generational, meaningful forums that give voice, planning can lack intention and perspective, if you ever get around to planning at all. Let’s face it, most of us don’t enjoy discussing, death, dying, and disability. The encouraging news is that one’s purpose and legacy is about the celebration of life, the now and the future. Lisa G. McCurdy, Esq. is Managing Partner of The Wealth Counselor, LLC, a premiere, boutique estate and asset protection law firm that helps high net worth individuals and families establish generational wealth transfer strategies and philanthropic impact in their communities.


As a young wife and proud mother raising three young children in the 1980s-90s; the Kwanzaa holiday, and its seven principles really resonated with me. Kwanzaa was (and still remains) an effective way to impart cultural knowledge, and promote a healthy identity and self-esteem in Black children and teens. In spite of growing up in Oakland during the Black Panther Party era; as a teen, I was unaware of the existence of the newly formed Kwanzaa holiday, founded by Maulena Karenga in 1966. But my parents raised me with self-awareness, and I was a child who truly enjoyed reading. Consequently, I developed a thirst for Black history, which manifested an interest in selfknowledge, self-acceptance and cultural advocacy.

“Do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.”

Arthelle Y. Porter Burns and her husband in 1993, celebrating Kwanzaa with their chidren.

Perhaps, because I was born on December 31st, I identify most with the sxth principle of Kwanzaa, celebrated that day as Kuumba or Creativity. As a naturally artistic, creative and resourceful person, I feel that Kuumba truly represents who I am, at the core. I found it easy to relate to the foundational aspect of the Kuumba principle--which translates to “do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.” What better way to achieve this goal than by educating our families about Kwanzaa and investing in the futures of all of our beautiful Black children? Raising Black children during the 90’s was an ideal and colorful time; ripe with newfound Black imagery and representation in the media. For the first time in my life, there was easy access to an abundance of Black children’s literature and picture books in libraries and bookstores. I purchased “My First Book of Kwanzaa” for my immediate family and from that point on I eagerly pulled together all the necessary items for my first Kwanzaa ceremonial display and began what has become a revered annual holiday tradition for myself and my family for more than 30 years! Kwanzaa is non-religious but spiritually based, and centers on celebrating and sharing fruits of the harvest. Our first xxxxxxxx

celebration of Kwanzaa occurred in December 1990. With my hubby, our three children and a foster niece in tow, we enjoyed a snow trip in the foothills near Lake Shasta and celebrated Kwanzaa together in our little cabin, as the first snowflakes fell outside. This inaugrual celebration was lowkey; we lit seven candles in the kinara (candleholder), with each candle representing one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. From that experience, my creativity and ambition for celebrating Kwanzaa grew. I wanted to share our new holiday tradition and unity in a meaningful way by including extended family who lived in communities not far outside of the Solano County city we resided in. With a large family spread out across the Bay Area, I assigned a Kwanzaa night for the seven consecutive days of each principle; at the homes of various relatives; to honor the ancestors and bond over delicious soul food meals! Needless to say, driving to and fro, hosting each other, and representing each principle for seven nights starting the day after Christmas, proved to be too much of a good thing, despite the best of intentions! The following year, I returned to my Kuumba origin and focused on my community in the Glen Cove neighborhood of Vallejo, CA. After all, my mom-sister-friends and I raising children began to see Kwanzaa as I did--an alternative to the commerciality and materialistic Eurocentric basis of Christmas. After all Kwanzaa was and is a holiday based on honoring family and generational ties, and pride in cultural heritage. With hubby on board, we began to expand Kwanzaa beyond our household and invited neighbors, friends, and family with children over to share knowledge and celebrate our culture together. Being the humble “Kwanzaa Kuumba Queen,” I always encouraged participants to wear “afrocentric” clothing to stand out. There were arts and crafts so the children could create while learning about Kwanzaa and food, so parents could engage and participate in a relaxed and fun environment. It was important for all to learn about the symbols and their meaning, see how to set xxxx VISTAS MAGAZINE


up the Kwanzaa display on the straw mat along with the kinara centerpiece, understand the seven principles, the African textiles and colors, and last but not least-find ways to adopt the holiday tradition in their own homes. Kwanzaa was becoming a real thing in my community! As knowledge of the tradition spread, I began hosting Kwanzaa at a local community center. Forming local alliances with various leaders allowed for a Kwanzaa supportive partnership to grow and become even more inclusive. At one point myself and work colleagues began hosting an annual December Cultural Holidays event in the main library’s community room to display and share knowledge of Kwanzaa and festivities with various communities of color and learn of the December cultural traditions of others as well. I’m proud to share that I have continued this important Kwanzaa tradition with my own grandchildren and their adult parents during the last week of December. In fact, I sometimes refer to this as our “ChristmaKwanzaa” time because we spend every Christmas Eve together. As I reflect on Kwanzaa, I’m reminded of a full circle moment when my eldest daughter met Professor Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa, when she was a student at Long Beach State; the university where Kwanzaa began more than 50 years ago! I’m am proud that my seven year old granddaughter has memorized and can eloquently recite the words to “I Am The Black Child'' by Mychal Wynn, which is a special poem and mantra that my children learned during Kwanzaa. Today, more than ever, it is my hope and belief that new generations will embrace Kwanzaa and the seven principles as a meaningful way to socialize and instill unity, knowledge, pride and confidence in ourselves and across generations. Arthelle Y. Porter Burns is a Match Support Specialist for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area. A life long advocate for community youth, health and empowerment, Arthelle has volunteered with organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association; participating in Greater Bay Area Annual Walks to END ALZ since 2007.




Like those Harriet Tubman encountered who did not “know” they were enslaved, who couldn’t imagine freedom, many today are not aware that they are unfree. I used to be one of those persons. I was unfree because it is easier to order my life by artificial standards, determined by others, in hopes that somehow I would be affirmed. I do not speak now as one who has fully arrived at the place of total freedom, but I have broken the chains and begun the journey of self-discovery. How long are you willing to live with veiled ambitions, carrying dreams deeply hidden in your heart? How long will you continue to lose yourself in order to gain acceptance? How long will you continue to invest energy seeking to prove yourself to unproven people? How long will you mourn about being rejected by people, spaces, or places that cannot handle the enormity of you and your gifts? Rebel. Be brave. The courage that lies deep within you is crying out for you to pursue freedom and live authentically. This is your season to harness the power of your God-given imagination and live the life that you were created to live. You cannot just speak of being free. You must tenaciously pursue freedom, because seeing the possibilities and never walking in them is misery. Let your imagination be the architect of an unbound reality that you construct. It may seem risky and challenging, but you will not be alone.

Book excert from: Searching for Agabus: Embracing Authenticity and Finding Your Way to You (2023) by Michael Walrond (Author). Michael Walrond is a popular keynote speaker and the pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church of New York City. He has lectured widely, including at Yale Divinity School and Morehouse College. He is a cohost with Al Sharpton of the nationally broadcast weekly radio program Keepin' It Real. He has appeared on or written for NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, New York Amsterdam News, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and more.

SIP SAVOR & RSVP HOLIDAY ETIQUETTE TIPS AND POINTERS TO PREPARE YOU FOR A FESTIVE SEASON FILLED WITH PEACE AND JOY BY TOYA CORBETT PH.D. “THE ETIQUETTE DOCTOR” Growing up in North Carolina, the holidays were always filled with family, food, and fun. My grandmother started cooking the week before Thanksgiving and didn’t stop until the day after Christmas. I can still smell her hot buttermilk biscuits coming out of the oven and taste the love in her perfectly fried chicken. Displaying her southern hospitality and knowledge of dining etiquette, my grandmother would pull out her good china, silverware, glass cake stand, and white-laced tablecloth as she placed the final touches on what would be a soul food extravaganza! Although my grandmother is no longer with us, I think of her fondly during this season, especially when hosting gatherings in my home. While she would have been drinking Sanka instant coffee and listening to gospel music on the local AM station, my more modern approach to decking the halls includes sipping Pinot Noir, savoring some charcuterie, and the Temptations Christmas CD on repeat.

Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year, but entertaining and attending holiday events can be both exciting and stressful! Planning, cooking, shopping, and just showing up on time cause quite a stir in the atmosphere. Not to mention wrangling the family for your yearly Christmas card photo, searching for matching pajamas, sending out invitations to the annual Kwanzaa celebration, deciding what to wear to the office party, and finding the perfect gift for your in-laws. Whew, Bah Humbug!



with folks you may spend more time with than your family. Try your best to limit conversations about work-related topics. It’s a festive occasion, not a Monday morning staff meeting. More importantly, monitor your alcohol consumption. Too many trips to the open bar can land your name at the top of the office scuttlebutt.

PRACTICE MINDFUL INTERACTIONS During the hustle and bustle of the season, turn your manners meter all the way up. Be polite, courteous, and gracious. Hold the door open for others, practice patience in parking lots, remember those in need, respect other religious traditions, and don’t forget to say “thank you” when on the receiving end of gifts or thoughtful gestures.

NAVIGATING SOCIAL EVENTS When hosting a party, send invitations three to four weeks in advance. Consider dietary restrictions and allergies, offer a signature cocktail to simplify beverage options, and prepare for unexpected guests. When invited to a social event, RSVP before the deadline, arrive on time, refrain from bringing a plus one without permission, and leave at an appropriate hour. Also, refrain from assuming you can take leftovers; be polite and ask first. Oh! If you take a bottle of wine to a gathering that is not opened, some consider it rude to ask for it back. You can leave it as a gift for the host. As you spend time visiting family and friends during the holidays, do not show up unannounced or empty-handed. Baked goods, chocolate, a poinsettia, a scented candle, or a bottle of wine are wonderful crowd-pleasers.

HARD TO GIFT We all have people in our lives who make gift-giving incredibly difficult. They either have every gadget known to man, or exquisite taste beyond our budget. The most thoughtful gifts are typically not very



expensive but come from the heartsymbolizing a connection between the giver and receiver. Instead of overthinking it, you can always ask a person for a wish list, create a theme based on their interests or hobbies, purchase gift cards from their favorite stores, or give cash with a cute note. When possible, buy Black and local. In the spirit of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), try your best to support African Americanowned businesses instead of going to the big box retailers. Think twice before regifting. Is it still new? Too cheap? A good fit? Is any sentimental value attached from the person who gave it to you? If you are planning to regift, be thoughtful and at least take time to rewrap the item. Following the Kwanzaa principle, Kuumba (Creativity), another gift option is to curate an experience such as a family fun day, a cooking class learning how to make grandma’s biscuits, or an in-home wine tasting composed of vino from Blackowned wineries.

OFFICE PARTIES Many people loathe attending the office holiday party. Still, it is the perfect opportunity to meet new colleagues, other departments, and build community xxxxxxxx

Be mindful that the holidays can be a dreaded season for those dealing with depression, the loss of a loved one, or economic hardships. A kind word and a smile are free. If you don’t do anything else during the holiday season, gather the family for at least one sit-down meal. Pull out grandma’s white-laced tablecloth, good china, and silverware. Set the table and utilize the dining etiquette skills you acquired in home economics class or a cotillion many years ago. Raise a glass to honor your ancestors and give thanks for the present. Then, sip and savor the moment.

Dr. Toya Corbett is a sought-after career coach, speaker, and trainer - providing transformational and culturally relevant experiences for diverse audiences across the country. She is passionate about assisting Black women and college students with navigating the job market and showing up with courage and confidence. Under the name, The Etiquette Doctor, she conducts dining and business etiquette training with an emphasis on personal branding and executive presence.















Kwanzaa Fruit Salad

DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl, combine the mixed fruits.

8 servings

25 minutes

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and lime juice until well combined.

INGREDIENTS 2 cups mixed fruits (such as pineapple chunks, sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced kiwi, and grapes)

mixed fruits and gently toss to coat. 4. Sprinkle with chopped mint leaves (if using) for added freshness. 5. Refrigerate the fruit salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. 6. Serve the chilled fruit salad as a

1 tablespoon honey

refreshing and healthy dessert or side

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)


3. Drizzle the honey-lime mixture over the


Akara (Black-eyed Pea Fritters) 4 servings

20 minutes

INGREDIENTS 2 cups Black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and peeled 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika Vegetable oil for frying

DIRECTIONS 1. In a food processor, blend the Blackeyed peas, onion, garlic, salt, Black pepper, chili pepper, and paprika until smooth. 2. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot or skillet over medium heat. 3. Drop spoonfuls of the Black-eyed pea mixture into the hot oil, shaping them into small fritters. 4. Fry the fritters until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. 5. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on paper towels. 6. Serve the akara fritters warm as an appetizer or snack.



Fried Catfish

DIRECTIONS 1. Combine the buttermilk, Worcestershire

3 servings

30 minutes

sauce, 1 tablespoon of Hot Sauce, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and 1


Organics No Salt Seasoning and Black

2 cups whole buttermilk

pepper in a large bowl or large ziplock

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

plastic freezer bag. Add catfish pieces;


cover or seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 8

1⁄4 teaspoon granulated garlic 1⁄4 teaspoon granulated onion 4 teaspoons Chef Cyn's #1273 Organic No Salt Seasoning

hours. 2. Whisk together the cornmeal, cayenne, 3 teaspoons of Chef Cyn's #1273 Organic No Salt Seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper in a shallow dish.

(separated out)

3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium.

1 1⁄2 teaspoons freshly ground Black

4. Remove the catfish from the buttermilk

pepper, divided

mixture, and dredge in the cornmeal. Let

1 1⁄2 pounds catfish fillets, cut into

stand 5 minutes.

2-inch pieces 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable oil


teaspoon each of Chef Cyn's #1273


5. Fry the catfish (large pieces first), in batches, until golden brown 5 to 7 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with the Hot Sauce.

Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey 6 servings

1 hour 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and leaves chopped 1 smoked turkey leg or wing 1 onion, chopped


3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

1 teaspoon smoked

Add the onion and garlic, sauté until fragrant.


2. Add the smoked turkey leg or wing and cook for a few minutes to release its flavor. 3. Stir in the collard greens, smoked paprika, salt, Black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook for 2-3 minutes until the greens start to wilt. 4. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, cover the pot, and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the collard greens are tender. 5. Remove the smoked turkey leg or wing from the

1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

pot, shred the meat, and return it to the pot. Stir well. 6. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot as a side dish.



Spicy Jerk Chicken 8 servings

9 hours

INGREDIENTS 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 3 medium scallions, chopped 2 Scotch bonnet chiles, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped

DIRECTIONS 1. In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions,

powder 1 tablespoon allspice berries,

chiles, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper,

coarsely ground

thyme, nutmeg, and Chef Cyn's #1273 Organic No

1 tablespoon coarsely

Salt Seasoning; process to a coarse paste.

ground Black pepper

2. With the machine on, add the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. 3. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding. 4. Light a grill, or use a stove top cast iron grilling

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 teaspoon Chef Cyn's #1273 Organic No Salt Seasoning

pan. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire,

1/2 cup soy sauce

turning occasionally, until well browned and

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes (cover the grill

2 (3 1/2 to 4-pound)

for a smokier flavor). Transfer the chicken to a

chickens, quartered

platter and serve.


1 tablespoon five-spice


Jollof Rice

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over

8 servings

1 hour 30 minutes

medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.

INGREDIENTS 2 cups long-grain rice 1 onion, finely chopped 2 tomatoes, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon curry powder

2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables soften. 3. Stir in the paprika, thyme, curry powder, and salt. Cook for another minute. 4. Add the rice and stir to coat it with the spices and vegetables. 5. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. 6. After 20 minutes, add the mixed

1 teaspoon salt

vegetables and gently stir them into the

2 cups vegetable broth

rice. Cover and cook for an additional 5

1 cup mixed vegetables (carrots,


peas, corn) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

7. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork. Serve hot.



Royal Sweet Potato Pie 8 servings

3 hours 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS 2 cups mashed purple sweet potatoes 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1/2 cup milk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons brandy 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt


1 unbaked pie crust

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, melted butter, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, brandy, and salt. Mix well until smooth. 3. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the unbaked pie crust. 4. Smooth the top with a spatula and place the pie on a baking sheet. 5. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or Chef Cynthia Anderson (Chef Cyn) spent over 15 years perfecting her culinary arts craft. Her dream was realized in 2005 when she became a personal chef and owner of Intimate Sentiments. She is author of The Art of Healthy Cooking: A Journey To A Healthier You (2022).

until the center is set and the crust is golden brown. 6. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving. 7. Serve slices of sweet potato pie as a delicious dessert.


THE STATE OF THE BLACK WINE INDUSTRY Terroir Noir: 2023 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs, published by business professor and researcher Dr. Monique Bell, provides rare insight and analysis of how Black wine business owners are faring. In addition to questions about respondents’ entrepreneurial motivations, business challenges, and profile data, the 2023 survey captured post-pandemic recovery and perceptions of the wine industry’s inclusion and equity efforts since the 2020 social justice movement.


TERROIR NOIR Terroir Noir: 2023 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs, published by business professor and researcher Dr. Monique Bell The 2023 Terroir Noir report includes more than 40 in-depth interviews conducted with Black wine business owners in 2020. The research provides a striking time capsule of the heartbreak and hope that Black wine entrepreneurs experience. A scholarly analysis of some of this data was recently published as "Examining Motivations and Challenges of Black Wine Entrepreneurs using the Push–Pull Theory of

“The survey responses highlight some progress, yet as targeted funding for women, who represent more than three quarters of survey respondents, and people of color entrepreneurs comes under threat, it’s more important than ever for the wine industry, lenders, trade and government organizations and consumers to bolster these businesses,” says report author Monique Bell, Ph.D. The majority (47

Entrepreneurship" in the International Journal of Wine Business Research.

percent) of survey respondents produce wine.

Access to Capital Limited capital remains the #1 barrier to business success and is cited by 50 percent of respondents, followed by distribution challenges.

Profitability Only 50% of respondents were profitable in the most recent fiscal year.

DEI Outcomes Notably, 65 percent of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that their businesses have directly benefited from industry diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.




Nearly 80 percent were motivated to start their businesses “to change the current situation for the better.”

Industry Impact About half of respondents are neutral or disagree that the wine industry is taking meaningful action to increase inclusion for Black wine entrepreneurs (50 percent), Black consumers (51 percent) and Black wine professionals (55 percent), respectively. VISTAS MAGAZINE

FASHION & FINE DINING IN PARIS PHOTOS COURTESY OF TORI SOUDAN In the heart of Paris, The Bronze Suite Fashion Experience celebrated luxury, fashion, and culture during Paris Fashion Week. The trip was hosted by Tori Soudan, designer and owner of the Tori Soudan Brand and founder of The Bronze Suite. The occasion brought together VIPs, business owners and executives, designers, and special guests. Millie de Valette, Head of Creative Talent Acquisition at Louis Vuitton; Baron Osuna, Special Project Manager at Louis Vuitton; choreographer and actor Larry Vickers; and model Cédric Baratiny added additional glamor to the event. Tori, treated guests to a guided tour of Parisian fashion history, leading them through an immersive journey of the inspirations, and cultural transitions that helped shape the fashion capital of the world. She shared the hidden history of legendary designers such as Chanel, Schiaparelli, and Louis Vuitton. Attendees visited iconic fashion landmarks and hidden gems that played a pivotal role in defining Paris' unique style and rich fashion history. Other event highlights included a private trunk show featuring the couture of international designers and a perfume workshop in which attendees worked with an expert to craft a unique signature fragrance. Guests had a private experience with master of feathercraft Eric Charles Donatien, who provided rare insight into the world of luxury craftsmanship. Some attendees elected to experience the Black Paris Tour with Ricki Stevenson, which offered a blend of exploration and education, while highlighting the contributions of notable figures of Paris' Black history. The journey culminated with a closing dinner against the backdrop of the “City of Lights.” Participants raised their glasses to new friendships, cherished memories, and gratitude for the captivating journey shared by all. Next year, The Bronze Suite plans to travel to Milan Fashion Week, and will return to Paris Fashion Week.



s a young lawyer in San Francisco in the 80’s, it was customary for legal associates to drive time-sensitive briefs to a law partner’s home. In the ancient days, before fax machines, email, and wi-fi, office employees were forced to interact, an environment that inadvertently contributed to opened pathways, to form bonds, identify xxxxxxx mentors, and build unexpected relationships. While a law student, Theodora “Theo” Lee met Barbara Oddone, who not only showed her the ropes at her law practice, but also shared her love of wine. After dining at the Oddone residence, Barbara’s husband Pier encouraged Theo to take the tractor out and survey the Oddone Vineyards, in Dry Creek Valley. The tractor ride proved to be a pivotal moment for Theo, as it took her back to her youth in Dallas Texas. She was hooked. Pier and Barbara Oddone, provided Theo with guidance and mentorship throughout her wine journey, from helping her find land, to eventually planting and managing her vineyard.



First photo: “Theo” and VISTAS publisher Patrice Davenport, after a succesful photo shoot. Cover photo shoot by Ramone Messam. Article photos provided courtesy of Theodora Lee.

Stepping out on faith, Theo pulled equity out of her home in Oakland, to purchase 20 acres in the Yorkville Highlands. She hired a former professor as a consultant, to test the soil’s suitability for growing specific varietals. It was determined that Petite Sirah grapes would be the most likely to propagate on the land under the existing conditions. Growing sun-loving Cabernet Sauvignon grapes was ruled out because portions of the acreage were shaded in the early evening, due to their proximity to a grove of redwood trees. With her operation up and running, just a few years out of The Great Recession, Theo was forced to make the difficult decision to harvest her winegrapes early at 21 brix (a ripeness measurement based upon the sugar content of grapes). Since the grapes were contracted for 25 brix, the buyer rejected the entire 10 tons of harvested grapes. Moreover, Theo’s real estate investments that had been thriving up until this time, began to flounder. She recalled a challenging time, “I got out of it, but did not have [any] money in 2012. I lost my shirt.” Being an astute and creative problem solver has its priveledges, especially in times of trouble. Theo reached out to one of her mentors, “Mac” McDonald owner of Vision Cellars to strike a barter--her xxx



grapes for his wine production. They worked out a deal where half of the fruit would go to Vision Cellars and Mac would bottle the other half for Theopolis Vineyards. The wine needed to stay in the barrels for two years. In 2014, that 2012 Petite Syrah won Gold from the Sunset International Wine Competition. Forging her destiny from an assured disaster, Theo branded Theopolis Vineyards and committed herself to the art of winemaking. The accolades continued, and in 2016, the September Issue of Somm Journal listed the 2013 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah as Best in Class, aka the best Petite Sirah in the world. In 2020, Theo was recognized as a 2020 Wine Industry Leader by Wine Business Monthly. In 2021, she was Wine Enthusiast’s 22nd Annual Wine Star Award Person of the Year Nominee. The 2018 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah was ranked #16 in the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2021. The outpouring of recognition, from an industry that is often considered to be challenging to navigate and exclusionary, puts Theopolis Vineyards in an elite category of boutique winemaking--and she hasn’t stopped breaking down barriers. In November, Theo made history xx

as the first Black female vintner to host the Essence of Burgundy and Provence Wine Cruise (AmaWaterways). The weeklong luxury excursion featured awardwinning Theopolis Vineyards varietals including Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rhone Blend, and Chardonnay paired with fine dining from renown chefs.

African American vintners and wine industry professionals.

Theo is committed to doing her part “to ensure equality and inclusivity for future generations.” She recently established the Theopolis Vineyards Diversity Fund to support underrepresented and minority students pursuing a degree in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Each year, a scholarship of up to $10,000 is awarded to students interested in viticulture and enology, related research, or managing a vineyard. She also gives back, as a longtime member and supporter of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV), cofounded in 2002 by non other than her winemaking mentor Mac McDonald. AAVA’s mission is to provide a support network and career development for xxxxx

If we have learned one thing from Theo’s amazing journey, it is that mentorship matters. One mentor stoked her passion for wine, while the other guided her as she pivoted through treacherous roadblocks. This year marked 20 years since Theo planted her first Petite Syrah grapes. In 2024 Theopolis Vineyards will celebrate its 10 year anniversary as an official bonded winery. The litigator turned vintner has handled her ascension to the status of premium winemaker with a dazzling humor, determination, and grace. We salute Theo’s intelligence, perseverance, and resilence and for all of these reasons, we raise our glass to Theopatra, Queen of the Vineyards.

Barbara Oddone is still one of Theo’s biggest supporters. She and her husband Pier, attend the annual Harvest and Bottle Release Party and are longtime members of her wine club.

The Spelman College and University of Texas Law School graduate is a partner and shareholder at Littler Mendelson. Between winemaking, litigating cases, public speaking, and events, Theodora Lee, enjoys traveling, spa days, hiking and biking. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.



ROSE RENEWAL COLLECTION Fresh, Dewy Glow with Flora & Noor's Rose Renewal Collection Includes: Rose Renewal Cleanser and Rose Renewal Moisturizer. | $57

SKIN TRIP KIT This gentle skincare kit is infused with a specialty blend of Mushroom Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin C rich fruits to deliver happy, healthy, and hydrated skin. | $65


INSPIRATION From self-care must-haves to warm coffee blends, we’ve collected all of our favorite holiday buys from BIPOC makers! Each item was selected to make your recipient smile. Let us help you find inspiration for the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season.

THE NUBIAN EYESHADOW PALETTE BUNDLE The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette Bundle includes The Nubian and The Nubian 3 Coral. The Nubian, eyeshadow palette features the most essential collection of neutral highly pigmented colors. | $40

MYSTIQUE CHAMPAGNE FLUTES (SET OF 2) This two-piece set of hand blown champagne flutes features a brush gold base. Crafted of durable leadfree crystal, these flutes are ideal for any occasion. | $75

LOVE AT FIRST SCRUB FOAMING BODY SCRUB Experience the luxurious feel of this Foaming Body Scrub! Enjoy a decadent 3in-1 cleansing experience. The sugar scrub exfoliates, then foams up into a rich soapy lather, and finishes as an oil. | $30

EZRA COFFEE FLAVOR PACK The flavored blend pack is comprised of Candied Yams (light roast), Toasted Southern Pecan (light roast), Le Grand Duc 1928 (cognac blend), and can be purchased as ground coffee or in whole beans. | $50



PROTOCOL WHISKEY TUMBLERS (SET OF 2) Enjoy your whiskey and bourbon with this classy set of two crystal tumblers accented with delicate Swarovski Crystals. | $125

MEN'S BAMBOO PAJAMA PANTS Lounge around in comfort and style with our eco-friendly, ultra-soft, lightweight, and moisture-wicking men’s pajama pants.. Drawstring waist pants. Button-fly closure. Two deep side pockets. | $30

WARM GLOW TRIO (DAKAR AT DAWN) The new Warm Glow Trio includes two shades of Desert Date Cream Multistick (double-duty lip and cheek color) and a bestselling Lip Treatment Oil in Excellence. | $55

SAUCY DUO COLLECTION Jam masterminds have created more of the hot sauce you love with a new twist. Set includes two 8 oz. bottles of Papaya and Rasberry Hot Sauce. | $28

WILDFLOWER HONEY WITH LAVENDER This blend combines delicious Wildflower Honey with lavendar long known for its health benefits. Lavender is commonly known as a fragrant flower but it is also an edible herb that has a calming effect and is traditionally recommended as an alternative treatment for insomnia, stress, and anxiety due to its relaxing nature. | $22

HOLIDAY SIDES COLLECTION ESTELLE AMBER SMOKE WINE STEMWARE (SET OF 6) This beautiful set of “Amber Smoke” hand-blown colored glasses are made by artisans in Poland.-inspired by the founder’s grandmother, Estelle,. | $185

Luxury chocolatier, Phillip Ashley Chocolates is tantalizing taste buds with a sweet limited-edition launch inspired by classic Campbell’s side dishes. This six-piece, ‘soup infused,’ savory chocolate set features iconic Campbell’s holiday recipes. | $35





The weather, for the fourth sold out Soul of Sonoma on the Vineyard festival was a pleasant 70 degrees. The guests looked fabulous and the wine was spilling. The event was held at the historic Dr. Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown MA, and the curated wine list was accented by the lovely garden grounds. New and old connections were made and winemakers were on hand to pour and share their intriguing stories. Soul of Sonoma honored the Divas Uncorked as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first wine festival held on Martha’s Vineyard. VIP ticket holders were treated to special wine selections and a conversation about diversity in the wine industry with Alicia Towns Franklin, Executive Director of Wine Unify. The University of Southern California Black Alumni Association closed out their inaugural Black Trojans on the Vineyard week at Soul of Sonoma. A few celebrity sightings included actor and senatorial candidate, Hill Harper who shared a few inspiring words with the audience. Comedian Chris Spencer, and Derrick Jones, also known as D-Nice, made appearances while graciously posing for photos. Art lovers and collectors perused the lovely paintings from renowned artist Dr. Thomas Elias Lockhart III. The more than 250 guests enjoyed wine and delicious pairings. Wine selections represented a who’s who of viticulture including Brown Estate, Bodkin Wines, Sociologie Wine Collection, Theopolis Vineyards and Kumusha Wines from South Africa. Soul of Sonoma could not host such a epic event without the support of founding co-host Susan Kyles, our amazing volunteers, and this year’s volunteer coordinator, Susan Leigh.

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