Rising Above the Smoke=Main Title Card

Rising Above The Smoke (Virtual Symposium, 2021)


(Virtual Symposium / Webinar, 2021) 

Ascender supported The Colorado Black Health Collaborative by producing this 4-hour virtual conference featuring dynamic presenters and virtual activities to deepen the  community’s understanding and advocacy for why eliminating the sale of menthol tobacco is a social justice issue in the Black community. 200 people joined the virtual event from all across the country, including many longstanding, renowed public health experts and advocates.

The Anatomy of A Social Justice Issue (Intro Video)


Flavor Academy: Dr. Terri Richardson and Dr Valerie Yerger

Dr. Terri Richardson and Dr Valerie Yerger discuss how major corporations have targeted the sale of menthol tobacco on African American communities.

Tobacco Policy Panel

Mr. Austin Collins facilitates a very informative tobacco policy panel with guest speakers Naomi Amaha, Natasha Phelps and Bob Doyle.

Rising Above the Smoke : Former Smokers Speak about their Cessation Process

Ms. Emma Jackson is a Denver resident, CBHC coalition member and a former smoker.


Mr. Jim Pavlik shares the steps to smoking cessation.

RISING ABOVE THE SMOKE: Dr. Rhonda Coleman, DAOM, Discusses a brief history of alternative clinical treatments for smoking cessation.

Jonathan Miles explains the Colorado QUITLINE

Jonathan Miles explains how the Colorado QUITLINE supports smoking cessation.

It's Time: CDC releases new slate of World TB Day (2020) PSAs produced by Ascender Films

Even the middle of a pandemic related to novel Coronavirus COVID-19, Ascender Films team is pleased to continue to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the production of TB messages for World TB Day 2020.  This is our fourth year doing this work and we are always thrilled to work with the talented team at the CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination as they document the stories of U.S. TB survivors.

Ascender Earns two TELLY AWARDS for "Making Gumbo Jubilee" and "Shaka's Story"

MAY 21, 2019

Ascender picked up two bronze TELLY AWARDS this year.  Our short-film "Making Gumbo Jubilee: Triumph of Howard Conyers" brought home the first bronze award in the "Social Media, Food & Beverage category." The second bronze statute was earned in the "Social Media-Public Health & Wellness" categories was earned for 'Shaka's Story", a 3-min segment from an ongoing digital series of testimonials from TB survivors.  The series was produced in 2018 for the US Department of Health & Human Services/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"We are thrilled for both projects!", says Senior Producer, Paul Grant,"Making Gumbo Jubilee as our first film highlighting black foodways.  We believe this is true testament that more of great stories exploring African/African American diaspora cooking can be told with premium production value and will be well received.  While our win for "Shaka's Story" again proves that we are truly mastering how we tell public health stories that resonate and make a difference."

Take a look at both projects here.





CDC World TB Day Messages (2019)

This week the CDC released a series of World TB Day (2019) video PSAs produced earlier this year by Ascender Communications, Inc.

We are proud to assist the efforts for the wonderful team at the CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE). According to the CDC web site,“This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB). World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world.  CDC, along with our partners and colleagues around the world share successes in TB prevention and control, and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder our progress toward the elimination of this devastating disease.”

We are proud to be a trusted member of their team. For more information about TB or World TB Day. Please visit:https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/default.htm