DEI Committee

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Steering Committee is an advisory and working group to help NGS realize its vision to be a society open to all people seeking to discover their family stories, be inspired by them, and give voice to their ancestors. The committee is comprised of a talented team of genealogists who bring rich DEI expertise and fresh perspectives to the table.

Andre Kearns

Andre Kearns, chair, is a director at large for the National Genealogical Society and chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. He is a genealogist, public speaker, commentator, and writer who has extensively researched his family tree tracing back to 1619 and the first Africans to arrive in Virginia. He is committed to making the genealogy community more diverse, equitable and inclusive, and empowering large sections of our society to discover their family stories, be inspired by them, and give voice to their ancestors.

Bernice Alexander Bennett

Bernice Alexander Bennett serves on the Board of Directors for the National Genealogical Society, Chairs the Membership Committee and is also on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is an award-winning author, genealogist, nationally recognized speaker, storyteller, and producer-host of the popular Research at the National Archives and Beyond BlogTalkRadio show. Bennett is one of the Founders of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute and a member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. She created the Descendants of African American Homesteaders Facebook group to encourage descendants to find land acquired under the Homestead Act of 1862, and to share their family stories on the Homestead National Historical Park Service website under the “Black Homesteaders Project.

Ken Bravo

Ken Bravo is a retired attorney and the Immediate Past President of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. He is also a Past President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland and is a frequent lecturer on a variety of genealogy subjects. He has been searching his own roots since the mid-1970s and, in more recent years, has added the families of the spouses of his four children to his research. In 2019, Ken served as a co-chair of the IAJGS International Conference that was held in Cleveland, and he is also chair of the 2022 IAJGS conference which will be held in Philadelphia from August 21-25, 2022.

Lisa Fanning

Lisa Fanning is a member of the National Genealogical Society and serves on the Society’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She is a genealogist who has extensively researched her family history back to North Carolina and Virginia African and Tri-Racial Isolate communities in the 1600s. Lisa is also a genetic genealogist who volunteers as a DNA Detective (Search Angel) with Search Squad. For the past 25 years, she has worked professionally in the DEI field and is excited about combining her passions to build a stronger diverse, equitable, and inclusive genealogy community.

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco (Boriken Taino) is a member of the National Genealogical Society and serves on the Society’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She is a genealogist and independent scholar. Her current book project explores the connections between slavery, genealogy, and family histories in nineteenth-century Puerto Rico. She has researched and published on eugenics’ foundations in genealogical societies during the early twentieth century. These contributions build understanding for a more diverse, inclusive and equitable genealogical practice and community in the present. As genealogy is the democratization of history, it becomes a means of writing our ancestors back into a historical narrative that encompasses the richness of who we are.

David Morrow

David Morrow is an attorney and business executive who has worked across multiple industries including entertainment and finance. In his spare time, he is a professional genealogist documenting his unique family history throughout the southern states and blogging about his personal discoveries. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Erica and their son David III. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Bachelor-Benedict Club of Washington DC, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is also a member of the National Genealogical Society and serves on the Society’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.