Tiffany was born in Ohio and started high school in Fresno, California. Her family has roots in Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio; her paternal great-grandfather was from Panama and she has always been interested in learning about Afro-Latino culture.
Shortly after moving to Fresno, her father was given a poster he hung in his office. This poster had a photo of three girls entitled, “Tres Hermanas” (Three Sisters), by photographer, Tony Gleaton. The poster also stated, “Africa’s Legacy in Mexico.” Tiffany began reading about Afro-Mexicans, their history and current presence in Mexico. While making Invisible Roots, Tiffany was a Jackson Fellow in Science and Health Journalism at USC’s Annenberg Graduate School of Journalism. Additionally, Tiffany holds a Masters in Public Health from Loma Linda University and a Bachelors in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley.
Co-Director & Producer
Lizz’s roots are in Arizona and Colorado, but she made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film, television, and communication. She is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. You will find she is most intrigued by the construction of identity and race and the issues that arise within those dimensions.
Influenced by her experience as a photographer and editor, Lizz has ventured into creating both fiction and non-fiction film narratives. Her ultimate goals are to create content that challenges viewers’ thought processes and invites social change.
Sound Design and Co-Producer
Richard was born and raised in Los Angeles. Currently, he is working towards a degree in Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Ana was born in Oaxaca, along the Costa Chica. She has been living in Pasadena for 15 years. Married to Simeon Herrera, Ana is a mother of two boys, Emmanual and Christian and has one child on the way.
Simeon was born in Oaxaca, along the Costa Chica. He has been living in Pasadena for more than 10 years and is married to Ana Fiero. The couple are parents to two boys and are expecting another child. Simeon dances the historical, La Danza de los Diablos (Dance of the Devils).
Cristal was born in Santa Ana, California, however, both of her parents are from the small town, Cuajinicuilapa, in the Costa Chica area.
Yismar Bodee’ Toribio
Yismar was born in Santa Ana, California. Both of his parents are from the Costa Chica. He is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he double majors in Chicano Studies and Black Studies.
Alva Moore Stevenson
Alva Moore Stevenson, a native Angeleno, is a historian, oral historian, and writer. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Masters in African American Studies with a concentration in Latin American Studies. For the last thirty-six years, Alva has held positions in the UCLA Library, twenty-five of those in the Center for Oral History Research. Alva is Program Coordinator in Library Special Collections.
Alva’s career in the Library, in various capacities, has involved documenting the history of African Americans in Los Angeles resulting in the exhibit, Forming and Transforming the City: African Americans in Los Angeles of which she was Curator. Alva’s Master’s thesis, Afro Mexican Racial and Ethnic Self-Identity: Three Generations of the Thornton Family in Nogales, Arizona, was based upon her research into the genealogy of her mother’s family.
In her thesis, she situates her family history within the larger history of Blacks in Mexico, Afro Mexicans who migrated north into the U.S. and African Americans who migrated southward into Mexico. Eager to share this knowledge, Alva gives frequent presentations on-campus, at academic conferences, other colleges and universities and to community groups. In 2013 Alva was Guest Editor of a special issue of the Journal of Pan-African Studies entitled, Africans in Mexico:History, Race and Place.
Daniel Cendejaz-Mendez was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His roots are entrenched in the village of Tlazazalca, in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It is one of the oldest settlements in colonial Mexico, and was once home to a significant population of African slaves who intermixed with the indigenous and European inhabitants, establishing a community of “Mestizaje” (mixture). As an educator, artist and historian, Daniel has been able to learn more about his “invisible” African roots.
Daniel is currently employed at A Place Called Home (APCH), a nonprofit in South Los Angeles. He is also an accomplished hip-hop artist with a Bachelors degree in History and Chican@ Studies from California State University, Northridge.