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Meet Mariaunna ‘MJ’ Freeman of Positive Underground Social House

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariaunna ‘MJ’ Freeman.

Mariaunna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It’s actually difficult to find where to begin! I’ve always loved being on stage since I was a kid. My mom allowed me to explore performance and the arts really early. Aside from that, I love to inspire others. When I was on stage, I wanted it to be meaningful.

In 2013, I co-founded a dynamic poetry collective with my peers, La Speaks Volumes and Moesiiah called Young Revolutionary Poetry. We performed and connected across the city. Using poetry and creative space to push topics around police brutality, poverty, trauma, and art. This was the first element that really pushed my ideas around who I could become and how I showed up in the world.

For such a long time I doubted how loud my voice should be in the world. I did what I thought was best at the expense of my own individuality. I dimmed my light to make others feel comfortable. Don’t do that – it takes you much longer. Recognize how dope you are RIGHT NOW! Once I allowed myself to embody who God intended me to be – I felt liberated.

I also attracted those who stood for the same things as me. Although there are many dope spaces, clubs, etc in the city, most places I went to felt very clique-ish, to be frank. I hate the idea of ‘networking’ events. They feel forced and fake to me. In my opinion, the club scene reminds me of being in the high school cafeteria; everyone is too cool to actually engage.

It’s essentially a talent show of who has the most clout – that’s weak. We need more substance these days; but do you! I created the Positive Underground Social House because I am a firm believer in energy. As a producer, promoter, planner, etc., we have the choice to set a tone.

My tone is positive vibes and authenticity. People recognize the real, immediately. So that’s how I choose to move in terms of my platform. My support doesn’t come from influencers, a huge VC investment, or celebrity hosts – it comes from raw connection and engagement that it beyond our phone.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest obstacle I face is myself. I can absolutely get in my own way. What I have realized is there isn’t one man or woman who can take what God has planned for you. It is possible that he or she may be used to get the message across but ultimately, what’s for me will always be for me.

The challenges that come with creating spaces are waiting to see if people will show up, lol! I’ve had 20 people show up to my events, and I’ve had 250 people show up! It’s all a matter of how we react to our circumstance and if we want to keep going despite the setback.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Positive Underground Social House story. Tell us more about the business.
Positive Underground Social House or P.U.S.H. is a live event and community platform. We have two elements to the platform; creative event experiences and a lifestyle component.

Coining the phrase, “Support The Homies” we have cultivated our “Support The Homies” Marketplace. This is a blue sky marketing approach to a traditional marketplace. It’s vendors, guest activations and entertainment experience. We emphasize the importance of support and group economics. We are also known for our second experience, “The Lockout.”

This is a dance party removing the traditional expectations; heels, VIP sections, long lines – creating underground energy that we had in the 2000s. We want you to come and dance, sweat your responsibilities away and go home. This is a space where we are allowed to be our authentic selves and have fun without drama.

The second element of P.U.S.H. are the ideals around self-awareness, self-care, and mental health. We love when you come and turn up with us, but we are also thinking about how we can prepare you for your work week? We are thinking about our guests on an individualistic level.

We do this by content creation and holding spaces such as our, “P.U.S.H. Circle” a co-ed circle for challenging conversations. We’ve discussed breaking the cycle of generational trauma, identity, faith, etc.

I am most proud of the full circle moments we see at our events. Collaboration, genuine support, returning guests who are always excited for the next “thing.” This means more than anything to create spaces where people feel safe, empowered and light.

I don’t think too hard about what “sets us apart.” I am me, and they are them. When I become consumed about what others are doing is when I will lose my voice. I seek to inspire and be inspired. I think we need to be more concerned about creating versus competing; we all deserve creative space

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe everything happens for a reason. I know that when I am in alignment with source, I will be guided in the right direction. There are certain determining factors when it comes to how things play out.

Ultimately, we must remind ourselves that we are co-creators. The role of luck comes in when our intentions are pure. When we put money aside and focus on what our ‘why’ is – there is no bad luck. Everything will show you where you’re at.

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Image Credit:
@dotseye_

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