Entre Cibolos – Criados: Consciousness, Creativity and Community
Bepuwave, Buenas Tardes; Good evening. I am so pleased to be here today. Sandy Zane and Frank Rose, thank you for the invitation to speak.
Indeed, it is a tremendous honor to be able to participate in this opening by the amazing artist, Armand Lara – whose memorial, is . . . . . breath-taking, . . . but it gives breath as well. This thoughtful remembering is a project — that through creativity raises consciousness — and in the end, is inspired by the promise of strengthening community.
Let me begin as I learned early in life to do — acknowledging the ground upon which we stand and recognizing the indigenous people — especially the Tano and Tewa — who have served as its stewards for millennia.
Here in this sovereign landscape, Pueblo elders have said that, “wherever we go, we leave our breath behind us” — an invocation recognizing those who came before us and how their life force remains with us long after they have gone. In recognizing this life force, we not only illuminate all of the ancestors who lived in this place, but point especially to the life of those living now in the present, as well as to those generations that will follow, inheriting what we leave behind in the future.
Like this essential recognition of indigenous ground, I also learned at a very young age that before you even speak, before you lead into a conversation, it is not only respectful, but necessary to share about what people and place you belong to.
I was born into the ancient and storied geography of the Taos and San Luis Valleys, the heir to a convergence of people and their cultures, unique intricately woven histories.
I am the son of a farmer and rancher who always encouraged me to find words and stories as a way out, perhaps knowing that in spite of the fact that I had come from generations of farmers, my love of learning carried a promise for something else.
I am also the son of a schoolteacher; my mother, who spent decades working with children in the villages of Questa, Cerro and Costilla, who deliberately taught me how to use words and stories as a way in.
I am fortunate that I was also raised by a third — my mama, my abu, grandmother — who most inspired in me the core values of empathy, curiosity and imagination, all essential components in weaving a story.
Every day that I was with her in my youth, I remember lessons that encouraged my life-long hunger for memory. In this way, a large part of my work has been to identify and recover the broken and fragmented histories, and to take those stories, center them, and raise them up—to give them wings as Armond has.
This is precisely what brings us to this moment. In this way, I will frame my words today through the concepts of creativity, consciousness and community, cradled in the title of my talk— Entre Cibolos – Criados.
Let me say a few words about this title. As I began to think about Armond’s use of the icon of the buffalo, I could not help but think of the importance of this symbol in this region historically and culturally.
We find the first use of the word Cíbola as early as the 12th century, referencing a legend of golden cities; it also emerges 400 years later, in the Spanish encounter of the A:shiwi (or Zuni) villages, when they are given this same name by Spanish chroniclers. Because the A:shiwi villages sat along a major north-south trade route, the exchange in bison pelts may have been definitive, influencing somehow this naming. On the other hand, in the A:shiwi language, Cíbola is loosely translated as buffalo, and remarkably similar to tsibolo:wa, which is what Zuñi called the Spanish, in reference to many they perceived as having burly facial hair.
Tangled by the intricacies of cross-cultural etymology and linguistics, it is as though this name is a mirror, one culture pronouncing it upon the other. Historian Hubert Howe Bancroft himself concluded: “About the origin of the word Cíbola, there seems to be no certainty.”
In this intricate convergence, Cíbola sits as symbol, place, people, narrative and event, all in one. It would also connect the plains to the east of present day New Mexico and for many, would become an occupation; Cíboleros were those New Mexicans—including men from Indo-Hispano as well as Pueblo communities—that traveled out into the plains to hunt buffalo—and sometimes trade for captive peoples. From this foundation, a convergence and exchange of people, stories, places, would come New Mexico itself.
It is hardly surprising then that a 19th century trovo, (a poetic duel) would accentuate how important this the buffalo symbol had been since the 16th century:
Nuevo Méjico insolente | Insolent New Mexico
Entre cíbolos criado, | Raised among the buffalo,
Dime ¿quién te ha hecho letrado | Tell me, who has educated you
pa’ cantar entre la gente? | To sing among the people?
Underlying this poetic interrogation we realize that what, where and who New Mexico is makes clear that we are not, as some would come to argue, “Spain on the banks of the Rio Grande,” but instead, who we are — at the core — authentically is from here- land-based indigenous.
Mr. Lara’s work — elevating the buffalo into this art installation — speaks to this profound recognition and spirit. Symbolically, the buffalo, a species that would come to also encounter U.S. imperialism, and very nearly disappear, has undergone a resurgence, which is why it remains to this day a symbol of strength and beauty, but resilience.
Pero, entre cibolos – criados, among or within this herd of buffalo, can be found the essence of this story—the story of captivity and slavery. In my title, I slightly shifted the emphasis of the word—criado– used in the poetic dual to the plural. The word, “criado” is from the Spanish verb “criar” to rear, educate and bring up on one’s family’s home. In a Spanish vocabulary, it has also come to mean a “servant,” adapted, however, as a euphemism as I have argued for years, to avoid the legal use of the word, slave. While the classification esclavo, or slave, does appear in official documents early in New Mexico’s history, and famulo, maidservant later still, it is far more common to find the silencing euphemisms for slavery, such as the terms “genizaro” and “criado.” What the word reveals is precisely what it attempts to hide: a continually constructed ideology of a legally mandated benevolence, which while read outside of slavery, in fact constituted the creation and maintenance of colonial hierarchy, and above all, a story that, however obscured, is worth remembering.
As the American author, feminist, and social activist, Bell Hooks has noted, “remembering makes us subjects in history” and there are many ways to tell this story.
This brings me to the topic of creativity, one of three concepts that have long defined my work. Creativity is not only about art, but also ideas and their formation. It may begin with dreams, or a subconscious, and may swirl in our individual mind or come into focus in the collective, but eventually it emerges when we take our hands, our voice, whatever we can, and we make something.
The delicacy and strength of New Mexico and its people has always been sustained through the creative possibility. Sometimes that creativity has come, as resistance or response, to tensions or to the possibility of using art for transcendence.
Other times, the creativity is simply part of the everyday and even here, the story of slavery is reflected in the tangible world we inhabit. I remember a well-regarded historian once said to me, “the enslaved indigenous people here left no material culture,” to which I replied, “They left everything!” Because they were the ones that labored — more than just “hewers of wood and haulers of water” — their mark is everywhere upon the built environment.
A glimpse into their lives, the countless daily activities would have revealed that they were the ones that cleared the fields, dug the ditches, made the daily bread, molded the pots, wove the rugs and made countless bricks, bricks of mud that became homes, churches, whole communities, and that year after year would be sustained by their hand, smoothing their memory into the mud.
Some of this creativity was in the form of words, made into song, and traditions that became dances — dust still rising and settling, with every step. Even today, songs are sung, dances danced, honoring those who came before us.
These creative traditions reflect a story of convergence. Aby Warburg, one of the founding fathers of art history and an eminent specialist in the Renaissance, visited New Mexico in 1895 with eyes wide open. He was astonished by what he saw, the allusion to “Hispano-Indian layers,” the mixture of forms, the carefully woven tapestry of divergent places in time that had come together in this place.
In this way, I think of the countless petroglyph etchings on the surface of stone and in the performance of language, poetry and even in food preparation. I think of the syncretism that can be seen in the material, technology, form and design and orientation of a village, or of a Navajo concha belt.
And today, I think of the Flying Blue Buffalos, each one holding meaning, including the reference to indigenous captives as bluebirds by some Pueblo people. Finally, I think of identity itself, of the beauty and complexity of what it means to be Indo-Hispano in this landscape—born of the intricacies of genetic weavings, beauty all around us.
In this way, creativity is not far from what we know and how we come into knowing who we are.
Let me turn now to speak about consciousness. By consciousness, let me start with my own.
Even as a child, I always leaned into the old people, listening and absorbing their stories, including the ones that in previous years they would not have told. Telling secrets in age comes in time. It was in this way that I first heard the story about Indian slaves in our family and in the community, fragments of a story whispered by grandmothers carefully imparting it with quiet intention. Dulcinea Arellano, my great grandmother, always told the same story, of La Panana, the Pawnee woman who though captive, challenged another captive man brave enough to run away with her, to risk his life, only to be saved by her, and they did, settling along the wide stream, the Arroyo Hondo, from where their lives would descend unto me.
I also treasure a blanket created by Manuelita, the matriarch of the Rael Family, said to have been captured from her home in Dinetah, the Navajo homeland and baptized in the New Mexican village of Abiquiu, long before Ms. O’Keeffe captured that landscape with paint and canvas. That weaving is a profound reminder of her labor and also of me, the genetic labor and reflection of her and those that followed.
I think of my ancestor Margarita, the matriarch of the Arellanos—an Apache woman whose story only emerges because of a lawsuit filed in the early 18th century between two men battling for the property they claimed in her person. There are certainly others, some known now after years of uncovering the records and others unknown still, but all stirring inside of me.
Surrounded by these whispers of stories, it also was in that same decade, as I was coming of age, that I sat down with my family to watch Roots, the 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley’s novel, Roots: the Saga of an American Family — a story that virtually overnight expanded a national understanding of slavery and the African American experience in the United States. Raising consciousness is not easy. The social and political mediations that took place in the decades following the Civil War and Reconstruction embodied a wide ranging acceptance of slavery and its role in U.S. history as an “an unfortunate, but a benign institution, which ultimately helped civilize and Christianize Africans,” a message conveyed by white scholars writing about slavery, whose books were still being assigned to college students as late as the 1960s. However, the enormous amount of work done by African American scholars, in many ways re-centering slave experiences and identifying and posing counter-narratives, have dramatically shifted these paradigms and Haley’s novel and the series did the most to elevate the story.
Although Roots conveyed a distinct memoir from my own, in watching it as a young boy, there was something in it that pulled at me, urging me to tell a story that was also a part of what it means to be and belong to a community, a nation that is still now in the process of perfecting itself. I learned then that stories, like the people that hold them, can have parallels, companions or counters. This was the moment when this story first began to grow inside of me, like a tree with branches bending in a wind, up from my own roots.
In time, drawn to the subject of enslaved Indians as a young scholar, I would immerse myself as a historian in countless archives, reading between the lines of documents, tracing my finger across maps and looking closer at photographs, all complemented by my work as an anthropologist, engaged in many hundreds of conversations set with bread at kitchen tables, revealed upon a walk through alfalfa fields, and shared across miles by telephone and electronic correspondence.
Taking those experiences, connecting them and eventually centering them, the story grew like a forest, one that eventually became a manuscript defended by me to hold a doctoral credential. However, believing that scholarship is most valuable when grounded and applied in the world, I left academia, and yet through my role as a public historian and anthropologist, indeed, because of it, the story only deepened further, to this day.
So when I talk about consciousness now, I am not only referring to the work I have done as a scholar and public historian for over two decades, but a commitment to raising consciousness on the ground, locally, in the minds of people in our region and nation, particularly in the minds of those who have not yet recognized that this story, however painful, is also one of complex beauty. This is no easy task.
It requires illuminating the obscured and erased, and more challenging still, pulling up from the abyss of erasure and peeling back the debris of myth. This has involved everything from my work on historic trauma, including the last year’s efforts that have culminated in a recent monumental shift away from a pageant that celebrates conquest.
While I have had the opportunity to work for many years on numerous and varied projects, my life’s work has been this one: to illuminate the experiences, the histories of the indigenous enslaved.
The experiences of captivity and enslavement can be traced in the Southwest through three distinctive governments, Spanish, Mexican and American periods. My own work, particularly in the last of these eras, reveals that even if this slavery, present in the territories, was considerably different from the American South, and even if it was of Indians — still then considered significant obstacles and threats to westward expansion — slavery of any kind, from an ideological standpoint, posed a significant problem for the nation, just then emerging from itself divided over the issue. Yet, indigenous captivities and enslavements would continue to take place well into the late 19th century in places like Colorado and New Mexico.
From a research perspective, for nearly three decades, I have immersed myself in archival, ethnographic and bibliographical work, carefully reading, transcribing and often translating thousands of pages of letters, church records, wills and testaments, censuses and other primary sources that carried elements of the story. I have examined newspaper accounts, as well as writings on the subject by witnesses and by sociologists, anthropologists and historians. And finally, I myself have conducted hundreds of oral histories, including in recent years. To analyze, synthesize and understand all of this, I have compiled an extensive genealogical database of slaves and masters, which I hope to release publicly someday.
Slavery obscures; it erases origins and names, and because the histories of the world have always focused on the powerful, even the telling has often been lost. This is true of any slavery, but certainly of one that is called by another name and one subject to being lost in the transition of nations and empires. Yet, recovery can sometimes emerge in-between the lines, and though delicate, as Joy Harjo has observed, “Memory was always more than paper and cannot be broken by violent history or stolen by thieves of childhood.”
Recognizing both the challenge and the imperative of recovery, each individual life is worth remembering.
I think of Rosario Romero, who was captured in the 1860s along with her daughter Soledad and purchased for 150 pesos by the famous Padre Antonio José Martínez of Taos; upon his death she would pass into the hands of his son, George Romero, and would live in Ocate, NM until her death in 1930. In a rare instance within an institution where names were almost always erased, because she was older, Rosario still remembered her first name, Ated-bah-Hozhoni, Happy Girl, a prophetic gift perhaps given by her Navajo mother with quiet ritual and intention; and in spite of Rosaria’s circumstances, she walked in beauty and strength — and her original name is the collective legacy of her hundred of descendants.
I think of Concepcion, who courageously told of her captivity in the early 20th century, “in a mild breathless little voice” as noted by the anthropologist that would later recount it. Her story began like Rosario’s, though she was taken with her sister, mother, aunts as well as a grandmother, whose death at the hands of her captors she told in painful detail. Conception would also recall that her sister was sold in Chama, her aunts in Abiquiu, and that she and her mother sold into the small village of Cundiyo. She recounted the 16 years that they were held in bondage, and revealed the moment that she and her mother transitioned to first earn wages, eventually moving to Santa Fe where she would work for Ms. Candelaria for another 15 years, earning $8/month.
I think of Luis Valdez. In 1934, Charles E. Gibson Jr. arrived in Guadalupe, Colorado at the house of Epifanio Valdez. An enthnographer, Gibson was gathering histories of Colorado’s San Luis valley, of its settlements, customs and families for the U.S. Civil Works Administration, a precursor of the Depression Era WPA. He found Mr. Valdez and his son sitting in the sunshine visiting with a neighbor. Valdez, in his early fifties, described how his grandparents, Seledonio and Lupe, had been among the first New Mexicans to settle in the valley. While Gibson’s intention may have been to frame the story with Epifanio and his “family,” he was drawn to another individual who sat silently in the shadows and at a distance, an individual who for this ethnographer seemed out of place, which apparently captured his imagination all the more. Gibson later narrated this encounter as follows:
At some distance sat Luis, alone and silent. When I began asking questions, Mr. Valdez called Luis over to us. He stood by, quiet and respectful taking no part in the general conversation, only replying to direct questions. I was interested in his attitude, which put me in mind of a well-trained negro servant of the old south, rather than an old Indian, who had spent his life herding sheep.
This particular representation of servitude is now, even as it appears to have been in 1934, seemingly out of place as a slave narrative of the United States of America, which not only continues to echo of another place, but of another people. This obscurity is precisely what makes reading the old Indian Luis as a “slave” both so challenging and yet so remarkable.
In the same interview, Gibson goes on to write that the Indian Luis was “originally the property of Seledonio Valdez,” and had been “acquired,” as had been the “custom” by “purchase from men who made regular raids into the Navajo country for the purpose of capturing slaves.” He further notes that Luis, who himself claims eighty years, “has been in the Valdez family all his life.”
Yet, in identifying both the particular “custom” of enslavement and the original owner of the property in Luis, this interview embodies a ghostly echo by which ‘the present’ is so thoroughly imbued, indeed given standing by ‘the past.’ The 1934 interview was not the first time Luis enters history through an official document, however.
Sixty-nine years earlier, in 1865, the debate over Indian slavery in the territories of Colorado and New Mexico had reached a zenith with a Special Proclamation and Executive Order calling upon all agents to eradicate the practice of Indian slavery.
Although most agents in New Mexico did not respond, justifying the practice as a cultural custom, the Colorado-based agent, Lafayette Head, did. In 1865, Lafayette Head, Indian Agent for the Tabaguache Utah Tribe, also visited the Valdezes, where he discovered and subsequently reported that Seldonio Valdez, grandfather of Epifanio, held three “Indian captives,” in his household. Head’s representation of this particular household included Gertrudes, a twenty-four year old Pah Ute, purchased in 1848 from a “Mexican” in the New Mexico Territory and who is noted as having one child. Paula is the second identified, as an eleven-year old Pah-ute, purchased in 1858 from a “Utah” in the Colorado Territory, and finally Luis, a nine-year old male, listed as a “halfbreed” with no other information given except under the category of “remarks,” wherein he is listed as “absent”—a demarcation that may have described only the temporary absence of the young boy away from the household, occupied perhaps with his task as a sheepherder, for which he would become known.
The Valdez household was, however, only one of 103 households listed in the actual enumeration. The Lafayette Head list, as it is known today, is perhaps one of the most remarkable documents of the slave trade of the 19th century, a register that provided clear evidence of the practice of slavery, detailing the narrative of purchase and transaction, reflecting what Head calls in a letter accompanying the lists— a “practice [that] has been in existence with the generations.” Essentially, this practice, as such, reflects at least thirty-four years in movement, identifying the year 1831— just ten years after Mexico’s independence from Spain, yet also before U.S. conquest and annexation— as the earliest date in which one of the captives had been purchased.
Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the focus of these lists, though villages in both Taos and Rio Arriba Counties. Additionally, the lists chart the following information: 1) the date of the interrogation, 2) the owner’s name, 3) the owner’s place of residence, 4) the name of the captive, 5) captive’s age, 6) captive’s tribal affiliation, 7) the year the captive was purchased, 8) from whom the purchase was made, 9) place of purchase, 10) gender, 11) marital status, 12) the decisive question of whether or not the captive would be returning to the tribe or not, and 13) space for additional comments.
There is much more that can be said about this document, including what Lafayette Head obscures, the many hundreds not captured in this census, including those in his own household. However, even when read simply as a singular recounting, these lists, in which 149 Indian slaves and their masters are identified, serve as a window into issues of identity. Of those included in the enumeration, there are 114 Navajos, 16 Utahs, 9 Utes, 6 Pi-Utes, 1 California, 2 Apaches and 1 “half-breed” represented. Of these, there are 100 female and 49 male captives listed. Their ages range from ages 3 to 60. But identity is also something that evolves over time, and more than two decades ago, I began working to complete a database of the enslaved in our entire region, inclusive of those listed in this incredible census, tracing these individuals to contemporary families.
While there are actually many documents that illuminate the names of the captives and enslaved peoples, I have accentuated the Head List this evening especially because Armand drew from it to provide a name for 74 of the winged buffalos that hang in the atrium above us, the first artistic rendition I know of inspired by this list.
There is a buffalo that has the name of Jose Antonio Gomez, purchased for a team of horses and food. He would marry Abrana Jacobs and have 8 children; become a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church; and would be buried in 1921 in Alamosa, Colorado.
There is also a buffalo that holds the name of Juana Maria Pacheco, who along with Juan Miguel Martínez, Maria Antonia Trujillo, Margarita Trujillo and Maria Martínez, all appeared in 1868 before the County Clerk of San Luis, CO declaring their continued presence in the homes of their master and mistress respectively, and proclaiming that their owners had repeatedly given them liberty “of going wherever [they] wished to go.”
Each one of the winged buffalos has a story worth remembering and for each buffalo there are thousands more.
Conclusion – It is About Community
Indeed, collectively, there are untold more stories like Luis’, Rosario’s and Concepcion’s, though most exist more as fragments. Challenges of recovering these stories result from the attitude — that the details of these people’s lives were not considered worth remembering, even at the very moment that indigenous slavery was taking place, as well as in its aftermath.
This erasure was further compounded by the imperial transition that emerged with the American conquest of northern Mexico. Here, even the stories of the elite in conquered territories were obscured, let alone the marginalized people that the conquered themselves held. The stories of the enslaved are also overshadowed by the slavery narratives of the American South, which has defined nearly every aspect of our nation’s history, including the various racial constructions that render non-Whites and non-Blacks invisible to this day.
As a foundational legacy for New Mexicans in the Southwest, the story of enslaved Indians has been quieted over the years by whispers as much as by silence, hushed aside even by those who have inherited it — carrying if not their geography in their faces and hands, certainly its memory in an aching consciousness— unknown perhaps, but still there.
Particularly as a story that was perhaps never meant to be passed on, remembering these lives whole is not easy. Yet, the most telling aspects of any deep and sustained study of the nuevomexicano Indo-Hispano culture, in fact, reveals how the long story of the people itself rises from beneath layers of histories formed somewhere in-between erasure and memory — histories experienced, imagined and passed down through story, telling, as it is, identities.
Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about the children who have been forcibly taken from their parents who have crossed the U.S./Mexico border. To this day, hundreds have not been reunited and some wonder if they ever will. This horrific matter has reminded me of stories that followed in the decades when slavery was finally banned in the territories.
Reclamations were attempted by many Navajo families in particular following the wars, the Civil War as much as the Indian Wars—families who had lost their children in the middle of the fighting and forced migrations. It was then, according to an 1872 interview between the former Freedman Bureau’s Commissioner, General O.O. Howard, and Hastiin Ch’il Haajiní, Manuelito, Diné (Navajo) that the indigenous leader recounted how it had happened that their children had been “lost” :
You know very well how they come to be there. When this world was dark with dirt and sand flying, and the stones were raised by the wind, and all were fighting with the Government and themselves, you know very well how this thing happened. When all the Nations came against us, then we lost our children
Some of these children returned, many did not. Josephine Silva and Ruth Colville recalled for instance, that when the news of freedom arrived in the San Luis Valley, “several of the women and girls [of Sevan Mile Plaza] left and headed south. They did not make it out of the Valley. Frozen, they were found dead in the foothills some time later.”
Toward a conclusion, and with the imperative of awaking these stories, I recall the memorable words of the renowned American novelist, Ralph Ellison, about the importance of keeping “the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it.”
Even today, but certainly in my work as a whole, I hope that I have achieved, even if just modestly, my objective, which is to affect a deep, narrow and sustained commemoration of the past. As such, this is not solely an account of those immediately affected, but those who would inherit the story, broken over several generations and into a people for whom it was expedient to keep going, to forget.
In the memorable words of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, “this is not a story to pass on,” a statement made perhaps to keep memory alive, to keep telling. Scholar Homi Babba notes that “Although Morrison insistently repeats at the close of Beloved, ‘This is not a story to pass on,’ she does this only in order to engrave the event in the deepest resource of our amnesia, of our unconsciousness. When historical visibility has faded, when the present tense of testimony loses its power to arrest, then the displacement of memory and the indirections of art offer us the image of our psychic survival.”
I have often contemplated the fact that there was a day in time when the last indigenous man and woman captured and held as an enslaved person in the American Southwest closed their eyes forever. The reality was that the passing of these individuals was a gradual occurrence, made up of countless individual deaths. For instance, Luis Valdez passed away in 1942. He died in Denver in the home of his original master’s great grandson’s home. Other men and women spent these final moments in many places across a vast landscape, including in large cities like Albuquerque and Los Angeles as well as in Indian Pueblos and Hispanic settlements alike. Some died destitute and alone, while others passed away surrounded by their own children and grandchildren.
Like the words genízaro and malcriado, which are storied and translated across place and time, the word ‘remember’ is as well. From the Spanish ‘to remember’ recordar is from the Latin, re-cordis, the process of awakening and passing something back through your heart and mind, in order to make something or someone whole.
The eyes of all of the descendants of those indigenous ancestors continue to awaken the possibility of remembering with each new birth of a New Mexican. Telling this Story—in whatever form that telling comes— is about how individual and collective lives are remembered, how a community takes the memories, stories and traditions of what has been passed down from one generation to the next, and how it reimagines itself, now in the present and into the future. We are the herd of buffalo that rises.
Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez
With ancestral connections to both Hispanic and indigenous communities, Dr. Rael-Gálvez was raised working on a farm and ranch stewarded by his family for generations in Costilla, New Mexico. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he completed an award-winning dissertation, “Identifying Captivity and Capturing Identity: Narratives of American Indian Slavery.” He is currently working on the manuscript, The Silence of Slavery. Formerly the State Historian of New Mexico, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Senior Vice President at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dr. Rael-Gálvez currently is a writer and the founding principal of Creative Strategies 360°, a consulting firm which supports transformative work within communities and organizations, including his present project, an initiative on “Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation.”