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Unearthing My Family Story through DNA, Documents, Diving Deep and Divining the Truth – Black Genealogy Research Group

October 2 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


Join Black Genealogy Research Group, BGRG on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, for a free virtual presentation where we will be joined by Dr. Lora-Ellen McKinney. Dr. McKinney will be presenting on “Unearthing My Family Story through DNA, Documents, Diving Deep and Divining the Truth.”

The meeting will open at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time for members and attendees to network with each other.

Email the BGRG and request the Zoom link for this presentation and to be added to the BGRG emailing list: SeattleBGRG@gmail.com

Dr. McKinney is a writer turned child psychologist and health policy analyst turned writer. Becoming a psychologist combined her creative passions and parental expectations for service to others. Healing children fulfilled her community and spiritual commitments. Lora-Ellen McKinney’s skills as a researcher facilitated her investigation of her own family history using DNA, internet, and documentary research to elucidate the limbs of a very complicated family tree, filled with heroes, horse thieves, traumas, and triumphs. An artist skilled at turning lines of dialogue into dances, poetry, songs and stories, Lora-Ellen’s family story is perhaps the most important of them all.

Dr. McKinney received an A.B. from Vassar College, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Seattle’s University of Washington, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard University School of Government. Lora-Ellen was recognized for the Kellogg Fellowship when she began the Clearinghouse for Drug Exposed Children at UCSF Medical School; this program was later used by federal health and education departments. She later became a Salzburg Seminar Fellows selected to design conflict resolution strategies for the Balkans, Israel, and Palestine. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, she traveled around Pakistan, conducting research on women doing groundbreaking, often illegal work, such as teaching girls to read and write.

Lora-Ellen has worked in health policy for hospitals and think tanks in the nation’s capital. She has been recognized by national and Seattle-area organizations for contributions to social justice, race relations, the arts and compassion efforts. She recently started Cedar River Creative Productions, a nonprofit organization that supports the work of artists from the African diaspora. She is diversifying her writing portfolio to include adult and child fiction, poetry, television scripts, plays, and lyrics for a variety of music genres.

Dr. McKinney is the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Berry McKinney (1926 –2018), an American Christian pastor and Civil Rights leader. Reverend McKinney was the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle for four decades. Reverend McKinney attended the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 and was a founding member of the Seattle Human Rights Commission.


October 2
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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