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Ascend Together Foundation

A nonprofit organization


Contact: Jill White, PharmD

Couple Attempts to be First ‘Interracial’ American Husband and Wife Team to Summit Mt Everest Promoting Racial Unity

How one family is making a difference

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK June 24, 2020 After seeing the nation ravaged and divided by skin color, husband and wife, Arkavius and Jill White, created a nonprofit organization, Ascend Together Foundation, to promote racial unity. Jill White states, “we are using the challenge of summiting Mt Everest as a metaphor for the challenge we face as a nation to overcome racial divide. Though the mountain is steep, we can do it together.”

Neither of the two have ever climbed before thus making this an appropriate metaphor. They plan to demonstrate that all people, regardless of skin tone, are the same and that with helping each other they can overcome the challenge of the formidable peak. The couple’s motto for the foundation is Stronger together, divided we fall. A call to all for racial unity.

In addition, Ascend Together Foundation endeavors to educate and encourage people from all backgrounds to go outside and get active. Arkavius White explains, “People that look like me think that the outdoors isn’t for them -- that hiking, camping, and climbing are for [white] people. I thought that growing up and as a young adult. I want to show people that outdoors is for everyone. It’s good for mental and physical health.”

Indeed, the foundation has organized monthly community walks in the couple’s hometown of Oklahoma City and want to help organize walks in other cities as the country opens back up. Their hope is that people of all cultures will come together for racial unity. “This isn’t something that only one group of people can change. We must come together for change to happen. If we keep dividing ourselves into groups, then how do we expect racism to stop?” Jill asks.

The couple and their daughter after the 1st Community Walk for Unity.

Before the couple tackles Mt Everest, they must train on many other mountains and plan to start by climbing Cotopaxi, a volcano that sits above 19,000 ft in Ecuador, this December. When asked about plans for the foundation Arkavius states, “We would like to be able to provide outdoor equipment and education to people in areas of the country that don’t have access to it; we’d like to help redefine the demographics of outdoorsmen, but mostly we want to leave the world a better place for our children. A place that the only race that matters is the human race.”

About Ascend Together Foundation

Established as a nonprofit organization which operates with volunteers, Ascend Together Foundation is committed to promoting racial unity through positive action. Donations go directly to the mission of promoting racial unity and providing education, community, and equipment to get people of all backgrounds outdoors.

Related links:

To learn more about the what mountain climbing has in common with racial division see here.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jill White at

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