Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc. (SDFS) recently announced the launch of its community advocate initiative, naming advocates in Boston, Raleigh, Hartford, Chicago, Norfolk, Baltimore, Oakland, Washington D.C. and Wilmington, Del.
SDFS community advocates will assist in moving forward the goals of Slave Descendants Freedom Society, help to recruit members in their respective cities and support programs such as SDFS’s free community meetings that discuss strategies for reconnecting African American families through genealogy and history.
“Our goal is to have community advocates in at least 50 cities across the United States and Canada prior to our Family Restoration Conference in The Gambia, West Africa in 2008,” said Eric Sheppard, president of Diversity Restoration Solutions, and chairman of the nonprofit Slave Descendants Freedom Society.
In April 2007, Slave Descendants Freedom Society kicked off a 50-city tour to bring together individuals and families across the country to learn about African American history and tracing their lineage. To date, SDFS has held community meetings in Raleigh, N.C.; Wilmington, Del.; Columbia, Md.; and Hampton Roads, Va. Additional meetings are scheduled for Cherry Hill, N.J. on Sept. 6; Hampton Roads, Va. on Sept. 27; and Baltimore, Md. on Oct. 13.
Ben Keeling, pastor of Church of God and Saints of Christ and a housing manager with the Wilmington Housing Authority, is the advocate for Delaware. He sees the work of SDFS as a means to help reduce crime in Wilmington and bring the community together. “By not knowing one’s personal history we don’t know who we are,” said Keeling. “If we don’t know who we are then how do we know who we should be? SDFS uniquely combines history from a biblical perspective and genealogy as a way for a person to know and understand who they are. As a community advocate, I look forward to getting people reconnected with their families – essentially helping people help themselves.”
Community advocates have also been selected in the following cities:
• Washington, D.C. – Vivian Abalama
• Baltimore, Md. – Tracy Smith
• Boston, Mass. – David Grandy
• Hartford, Conn. – Francis Grandy-Taylor
• Oakland, Calif. – Michaela McFarland
• Chicago, Ill. – Adrienne Tucker
• Norfolk, Va. – Lisa Sheppard
• Raleigh, N.C. – Chet West
For more information about becoming a Slave Descendants Freedom Society community advocate call (757) 238-7790 or visit the website.
About Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc.
Slave Descendants Freedom Society's, Inc.’s (slavedescendants.org) mission is to help descendants of enslaved African ancestors in America and others reconnect with their ancestral heritage. Established in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Slave Descendents Freedom Society, Inc. seeks to promote and encourage an open dialogue across generations about African American ancestral history with its genealogy research and awareness initiatives and sponsorship of educational events. As a lasting tribute to African American ancestral heroes, Slave Descendants Freedom Society honors the unrecognized labor contributions that enslaved African Americans made to the building of the United States by supporting memorial projects commemorating their efforts.
About Diversity Restoration Solutions
Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. (diversityrestoration.com) is a cultural diversity and management consulting firm specializing in providing innovative solutions to resolve 21st century government, industry and community challenges. Founded in 1991, Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. has evolved into a results-oriented and quality driven organization. The company provides unique solutions to complex problems as it relates to cultural diversity and race relations for communities, domestically and internationally.