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Dear Universe Press Kit  

 Releases:  Dear Universe Press Release (Click here)

About Dear Universe:

Dear Universe Cover

Dear Universe is a lighthearted and insightful collection of inspirational letters– with a southern twist– that invites each of us to transform our social and spiritual lives. Written by Akili over the span of many years working as a counselor and educator, each letter glimmers with both the joy of self-realization and a universal wisdom that echoes across the page.

Genre:  New Age/Spirituality/Self Help

Price: (Paperback) 9.99





Facts About Dear Universe

  • Foreword by Layli Maparyan, PH.D, Author of The Womanist Idea & The Womanist Reader
  • 72 pages
  • Each affirmation begins with “Dear Universe”.
  • Available on Amazon and select bookstores throughout the country.

Sample Interview Questions:

1. The term ‘Universe’ is a popular word for many to use these days. Why do you think that is?

I think the term Universe is growing increasingly popular because it doesn’t suggest a religious affiliation or perspective. When someone says “Universe”  they could be a Christian, Jewish, or a Muslim. They could also have a non religious spirituality or even be an an atheist! I think that’s a big part of why people use the universe. It’s speaking to the “great all” which may or may  not mean a belief in religion.

2. What made you write Dear Universe?

I needed a way to remember all of the inspiring things I had learned from my time as a counselor. I was going through a time in my life when everything was “falling apart” and in that moment something told me that I needed to write down the emotional knowledge I knew. I needed it so I could remember those words and keep them with me. They really became my lifeline during a very difficult time. So I literally just started writing them one by one, beginning each with “Dear Universe..’ and before you know it, I looked up one day and realized I had a book!

3. What are you hoping people get out of Dear Universe?

So many things.  I  hope that Dear Universe gets people to understand that we are apart of the Universe, and that therefore, the power to change ourselves and our world really is in us, not “out there” somewhere. When we ask the universe for something,  we are not just calling on one person out there, but instead we are calling on ourselves and everything around us to support us in our well being and growth.

4. As a counselor you’ve worked with youth and men. How does that work show up in Dear Universe?

The skills and knowledge that I learned from and with them is sprinkled throughout the affirmations. Some of them are literally the things I would say. Because those classes were ultimately about self control, self empowerment and understanding your emotionsthey are truly universal concepts that can help people where ever they are in their lives. 

Lectures/ Book Talk:  

“The Experiences Behind the Affirmations: A Book talk with Yolo Akili, Author of  ‘Dear Universe.”

The affirmations in Dear Universe didn’t just come out of thin air. They come from the real lived experiences of the author.  In this interactive book talk, Akili highlights key affirmations in Dear Universe and provides the hilarious and sometimes shocking backstory to how and why they made the page. 


Micheal Todd Books

Micheal Todd Books is a small press based in New York that focuses on books that interweave spirituality and social justice themes.

Media Inquiries:  Contact: Seitu Jemel Hart at (917) 306-5384 or

Twitter: @YoloAkili @_DearUniverse



About the Author:  

Yolo Akili. Photo by Tabia Parker

Short Author Bio: Yolo Akili has worked as an anti-violence and emotional wellness counselor for marginalized youth and men for almost a decade.

Akili’s writings have appeared in many publications including the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Voice Male. He has appeared on Huffington Post Live! and The Derek & Romaine Show (Sirius 1080 XM). Akili has also delivered keynotes and presentations at Vanderbilt University, Columbia University, Fordham University and much more.




Photo of Yolo Akili By Brandi Pettijohn

Photo of Yolo Akili By Brandi Pettijohn

Photo by Brandi Pettijohn

Photo by Brandi Pettijohn

Facts About Yolo:

  • Yolo’s Writings have appeared in Huffington Post, The Good Men Project.
  • Yolo Has appeared on Huffington Post Live & The Derek & Romaine Show (Sirius 1080 XM).
  • Yolo has worked with homeless and runaway African American youth as a case management counselor and life coach.
  • Yolo taught court mandated “anger management” classes to middle aged men.
  • Yolo is a Certified 200 Level Yoga teacher Registered with Yoga Alliance 
  • Yolo has been an invited presenter and speaker at: Columbia University, Fordham University, Vanderbilt University, Northern Illinois University, The Texas Council on Family Violence, Morehouse College and more.
  • Yolo’s Work has been featured in many publications including The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Daily Princetonian, and the Bay Citizen.