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Evelyn Tisdale Akiwumi

She was born in Daytona Beach, FL.
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Evelyn Akiwumi was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. She attended elementary school in Buffalo. She received a B.S. in Home Economics from Howard University and a M.S. degree in Elementary education from Buffalo State College. After marrying in Buffalo, Evenlyn and her husband went to live in London then other parts of England. She next went to Ghana where her eldest son was born. She moved to Accra where she taught at the American School of Ghana until the family left and returned to Buffalo in the 1970ââ?¬â?¢s.

In the Buffalo Public Schools, she worked as a Home School Coordinator in the Quality Improvement Education Program. There she presented programs about African and African American history in most of the eleven schools she visited. When the curriculum department tried to add African and African American history in the classrooms it was a step forward to try to meet the needs of not only our children but all children. In addition to her work in the Buffalo Public Schools, she was a volunteer in Ghana for one year with Volunteers for International Development and was an elementary school teacher in the American International School of Ghana. She retired from teaching in 2000.

Although retired from teaching, Evelyn continues to encourage young women to understand and appreciate African culture. Imparting African culture through teaching has always been important to Evelyn and she has taken a lead role in various cultural ceremonies of the Links, Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. For instance, in 1986, Evelyn along with Cynthia Jefferson introduced the Rites of Passage Program of the Sorority as a component of the Debutante Program. The Rites of Passage Program is a continuing activity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Gamma Phi Omega Chapter. She continues her work with the new debutantes and introduces them to various cultural projects throughout the year.

Evelyn is an outstanding teacher and gave endlessly of her time to various educational endeavors for children outside of the Board of Education. For example, in 1989, she and Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram started the WASET Cultural Heritage Society. WASET is the name the ancient Egyptians gave to the city which later came to be known as Thebes, and is modern-day Luxor, on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. This was a Saturday morning educational program for African American children between the ages of 8-11. WASET had as its purpose; the development of an enrichment program to impart the knowledge of African and African American history and culture to African American children. The organization met on Saturdays mornings at the North Jefferson Branch Library at E. Utica and Jefferson Avenues. Evelyn designed the WASET Cultural Heritage Society Parental Contract. As many as 80 separate families participated in this program. The WASET Program boosted the use participation of the North Jefferson Library.

In May, 1960 Evelyn had the privilege of presenting the Key of the City of Buffalo to President Kwame Nkrumah of the Republic of Ghana. The key was presented in the name of Mayor Frank A. Sedita of the City of Buffalo. Evelyn was on the trip as a volunteer for a private agency, Volunteers for International Development, which co-operated with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Evelyn enjoys traveling to the Caribbean, taking note of the Africanisms there and other parts of the United States. She enjoys visiting Underground Railroad Museums and the Museum of Maritime History of Slave Shipping in Liverpool, England.

Evelyn also has membership in a number of organizations including Buffalo World Connect; Buffalo and New York State Retired Teacher Associations; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; The Links, Inc., the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteer Foundation; Buffalo-Lille Association; the NAACP, Amherst Senior Center and others.