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ACHIEVING CULTURAL EQUITY
SURVEY 1 FINDINGS
Men of Spirit
MEET THE PANELISTS
José Rodríguez (Ifa Name: Agboola)
Was born and raised in San Diego, CA to Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian parents. After working for 11 years as a School Psychologist, he decided to dedicate his life to practice as an Awo full time in 2014.
Lumumba Akinwole Bandele
Father, husband, priest of Obatala, longtime community organizer, and educator from Central Brooklyn. Lumumba is the former National Strategies and Partnerships Director at The Movement for Black Lives
Spiritual healer, musician, songwriter, proud father of his children and countless religious godchildren throughout the world. A recognized soulful Afro-Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban singer. Alex is a master in the folkloric roots drum tradition known as Bomba.
State Senator Kevin S. Parker
A prominent New York State Legislator who is distinguished as a savvy strategist, brilliant intellectual and an elder statesman. Also an experienced educator, Parker has been a professor of both African-American Studies and Political Science at several CUNY and SUNY colleges.
José Arturo Ballester Panelli
Afro-Caribbean artist based in Puerto Rico. Most of his work for the past 20 years explores the connections between photography, Afro-Caribbean aesthetics, history, and the racial, social, and ecological systems in the Caribbean and its diasporas.
A visual artist, educator, and writer. His function as an artist is like that of an archeologist: to discover, investigate, extrapolate meaning from, and offer reconfigured perspectives of the artifacts that have been left behind. His rich Puerto Rican cultural and familial heritage drives him to create.
Was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Have been a Babalawo for 40 plus years. Married with children he continues to practice Ifa as a Babalawo and travels around the world giving lectures on various topics of the tradition along with giving readings, performing rituals and ceremonies, and initiations.
Babalorisha (Head Priest) of Ile Oooosa Erin Mope in New York City. Has been heading a small Orisha community in New York City, for the past 45 years. He has participated with other Orisha communities for example the Cuban Lukumi, Nigerian Isese and Trinidadian Shango the Baptist.
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