Re-Imagining the African-American Experience in World War II

Coming Home (Poster Concept 1)Ascender is very proud to be assisting the Prince George’s County African-American Museum and Cultural Center with multimedia web creative and design. Among our first tasks: To design promotional materials for their upcoming May exhibition: “Coming Home: How the African-American Presence in World War II Shaped Prince George’s County”   

We jumped at this opportunity. To get started we studied archival images that were provided by the museum. Then we studied U.S. propaganda poster art from the period taking a particular interest in those with African-American representations.

The first thing we noticed was how today you can walk into any restaurant, bar –maybe even your local hardware store—and find reproductions of Uncle Sam’s glowering “I Need You to Serve…” poster or the “We Can Do It” poster which celebrated American women serving in factories… Both are pretty exceptional.  But, have you ever seen posters featuring Heavy Weight boxing champ, Joe Louis or celebrated Navy hero Dorie Miller? WWII Poster Concept 2

Nor had we… The reasons why these images haven’t been more prevalent over time are far too many to discuss on this site. Point is, we thought we throw our hat into the ring and design a couple of our own. What was our goal? To create something that celebrated black men and women who served their country and portray them with valiance, strength and a dash of rugged inspiration without being too emotionally heavy-handed.

When all else failed, we looked to Clint Eastwood... The posters for  “Flags of Our Fathers” were contemporary, elegant and thoughtful. So, we thought, 'Why not combine aproaches and let the client decide?'

With any luck, what we create will portray these many great men and women with the honor they deserve.

Helping Families to Communicate...

Ascender was tapped by The Media Network, Inc., to produce The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health (OWH)  ' Communication Skills Building for African-American Parents of Pre-Teen Girls.'  This light-hearted, colorful video offers  a range of parenting tips and other facilitators that can encourage single mom's to maintain healthy, productive relationships with their pre-teen and teenage daughters.


‘Communication Skills Building for African-American Parents’  (trt: 24:21) | 2010 
Producer / Director: Paul Grant
Director of Photography: Sean Simmons
Animation & Video Production : Ascender Communications
Writer: Michelle Sewell, MSW (Girlchild Press)
Agency: The Media Network, Inc.
Client:  U.S. Dept. Health & Human Services, Office of Women’s Health (OWH)


Just Released:The Tanzania Experience, PT. 1

The Balm In Gilead, Inc. releases the first installment of a three-part online documentary series about their phenomenal work with the Tanzania Interfaith Partnership (TIP), a major HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program comprised of a partnership between the three largest faith-based organizations in the country of Tanzania.  This program is funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and PEPFAR.

Ascender spent three weeks traveling across the beautiful country in late 2009  to document their efforts to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS among families in rural areas. See the video below or scroll down and take a look at out gallery of images from abroad.

(All Images: Paul V. Grant for Ascender |  2009)

‘Lift Every Voice and Sing!’ Earns 2010 Telly Award

‘Lift Every Voice and Sing' (trt: 4:53 sec) 2009
Producer / Director: Paul V. Grant
Animation & Video Production: Ascender Communications


Ascender awarded prestigious TELLY AWARD ® for ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ web video.  Over 1 million people have watched this video on YouTube. It was orginally produced in 2009 for an historic inaugural ball in Washington, D.C. It was later donated toThe Balm In Gilead, an international non-profit that helps to build the capacity of faith-based organizations to address health disparities in communities of color.

Four ears later, we continue to receive calls, emails, and letters from people who have seen this video all around the world.  We are truly grateful to have  produced something that means so much to so many. Watch the powerful, inspiring video that continues to earn praise at conferences and events nationwide.

The Balm In Gilead, Inc.  has made free copies of this DVD available for persons making any donation of $12.oo or more. To get your free copy please visit, or, call (804) 644-2256

NHTSA 'Older Drivers' Awareness Campaign (2009)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)  launched an educational campaign to help families determine when their aging parents should stop driving.  This video was produced by Ascender Communications in late summer of 2009 and released in early 2010 for  online  distribution and television broadcast through a closed-circuit satellite cable networks targeting schools, public and private medical offices.

‘Should My Father Change His Driving Habits’  (trt: 4:37) | 2009
Producer / Director: Paul Grant
Director of Photography: Sean Simmons
Animation & Video Production: Ascender Communications
Writer: J. Monsalve
Agency: The Media Network, Inc.
Client:  U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA




UFCW 'Welcome Home' TV and Radio Campaign

It was a regional campaign.  A big regional campaign....



‘Smithfield Justice'  Combination TV SPOT (trt: 60 secs) 2008
Producer : Paul Grant
Director of Photography: Sean Simmons
Animation & Video Production: Ascender Communications
Editor: David Schneider
Client:  United Food and Commercial Workers Union

'The Wiz' TV Spot (Duke Ellington School of the Arts)

Duke Ellington School of the Arts is a legendary high school based in Washington, DC.  Many world-renowned visual artists, musicians and performers have either attended or visited the school.  Every two years, Duke Ellington High presents a major theatrical performance to showcase the amazing talents of their students. 

Ascender was very pleased to donate this TV spot to help promote their outstanding 2008 presentation of the classic musical 'The Wiz'.

‘Duke Ellington School of the Arts Commercial (trt: 60sec) | 2008
Producer / Director: Paul Grant
Animation & Video Production: Ascender Communications
Client: Duke Ellington School of the Arts ( Washington, DC)