News Story

Utah State Legislator to Keynote Fourth Annual African American Family History Research Series

In commemoration of Black History Month, the Family History Library announces its fourth annual African American Family History Research Series, to be held on Saturday, 11 February 2006. The free event will feature Utah Representative Duane Bourdeaux as the keynote speaker and a daylong series of classes and workshops.

Mr. Bourdeaux is the founder, president and CEO of Colors of Success, Inc. Colors of Success began in 1989 and is Utah's gang prevention/intervention program model. He is also executive director of the Center for Family Development. Mr. Bourdeaux serves on several legislative committees, including Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Education, and Education Appropriations.

Representative Bourdeaux has been recognized for exemplary service by Utah's Martin Luther King Commission, the Utah School Counselor Association and the University of Utah graduate school of social work. In January, he received the 2006 Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Civil Rights Award from the NAACP Salt Lake Branch.

Commenting on the importance of family history among African Americans, NAACP Salt Lake Branch President Jeanetta Williams said: "As we recently experienced after the death of Rosa Parks, there are significant historical contributions made by African Americans that must be preserved and shared with future generations. Family history research is an important means of uniting families across distances and generations."

"The legacy of our ancestors, whether they are famous or plain ordinary folks, is a valuable part of who we have become and must never be forgotten," she added.

Mr. Bourdeaux's keynote presentation will begin at 10 a.m. A series of classes to help familiarize the African American community with the many free resources available at the library to assist them in their family history research will follow.

For a complete schedule of classes, log onto Go to the "Library" tab, then click on "Education" to open "Family History Library Classes — February." In addition to the classes, library staff and volunteers will be available throughout the day to offer free personal assistance.

Michael Styles, director of Utah's Office of Black Affairs, comments, "It's important that those of us in the African American community continue to inspire and motivate our young people to appreciate the sacrifices and heritage of our ancestors and share those experiences and the legacy left at great cost by those who have gone before us with all people in our community."

The Family History Library is located at 35 North West Temple Street, directly west of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City and just a half-block north of the Temple Square TRAX station.

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