Anthropologist - Artist - Priest - Genealogist
"My role as a priest in an African Traditional Religion made me understand the importance of calling the names of our ancestors. I believe that no one dies if we can call their names, and I have a spiritual commitment to helping others find their ancestors to keep them alive in our consciousness".
For years, Denise Oliver-Velez
had been collecting stories from relatives and gathering up old
photos and news clippings. Her interest in family history started early. She
describes herself as "the nosey child of the family who asked a million questions of
and who pored over old photograph albums and memorabilia." But
even though the interest was always there, she never actually attempted to
do formal research on her own family. That is, until a few years ago when
she first visited AfriGeneas, found a community of interest, and decided to
stay a while. In her own words:
My introduction to formal
genealogical research was through AfriGeneas.
My introduction to formal genealogical research was through AfriGeneas.
As Forum Manager, Denise has helped hundreds of researchers to get started with or to advance their research and has personally posted more than 2000 messages on the Getting Started (formerly Beginners) Forum as well as other boards. She's also done quite a bit of work on her own genealogy since then. You can view the results of her research on the Denise's Ancestors website. Who knows? You might be related.
Denise Oliver-Velez is
currently a Professor of Anthropology at SUNY, New Paltz, an Ethnographer
and Data Analyst for two AIDS research projects, the Chairperson of
WEMBA - a group of artists and activists based in Ulster County New York,
and a priest of Yemaya in the Lucumi Yoruba faith.
She was the Executive Director of The Black Filmmaker Foundation, Program
Director of WNYC-TV, Program Director and co-founder of WPFW-FM
Pacifica radio, and Grants Manager for the Minority and Womenís
Training Grant Program of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). She is also a former member of The Young Lords
Party, serving as their Minister
of Economic Development and the first woman on the Central Committee,
a former member of The Black Panther Party.
09 May 2004 | 30 May 2004
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