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Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc.

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U.S. Slave Descendants Group Hosts Family Restoration Conference in Gambia

Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc., a U.S. based nonprofit genealogy and slave history organization, announces their first international Family Restoration Conference will take place in The Gambia, West Africa from May 30-June 7, 2008.

Carrollton, VA, February 01, 2008 --( Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc. announces their international Family Restoration Conference will take place in The Gambia, West Africa in June 2008. The in-depth conference will explore historical and cultural points of interest related to family genealogy and history and business development opportunities available in The Gambia. The conference evolved from three previous genealogy and history symposium events conducted by Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc. in the United States since 2004. A commerce and trade seminar will be hosted by strategic business partner, Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc., during the conference.

“At the conference, we look forward to broadening awareness about The Gambia, a historically rich and economically productive country,” said Eric Sheppard, president of Diversity Restoration Solutions and chairman of the Slave Descendants Freedom Society. “The Family Restoration Conference will bring together a diverse mix of families, educators, diplomats and business executives from across the African Diaspora for five days of engaging dialogue interweaved with informative seminars and entertaining tours. The mission of the conference is two-fold: to strengthen families by providing a foundation of knowledge for genealogical research and support trade between the U.S. and The Gambia.”

The conference is slated for May 30-June 7, 2008, with travel arrangements coordinated by Avocet Travel, a cultural heritage tour and travel agency. The conference itinerary includes:

• A Cultural Presentation Forum addressing the history of Africans in The Gambia and United States
• Seminar Exchange Sessions on African and African-American genealogy research, education, healthcare, and tourism and travel
• “Doing Business in The Gambia” Seminar Exchange with local Gambian business owners, commerce and trade professionals and Gambian bankers
• Tours of Gambian historical and cultural sites, including optional participation in The Gambia’s 9th International Roots Festival, a biennial cultural heritage event that invites all people of African descent and all persons committed to the well being of Africans and the development of Africa, back home to The Gambia

In addition to the conference, all attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a site location tour for Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc.’s new development project, Restoration Center. Restoration Center will be a one-of-a-kind genealogy, cultural heritage, business and world-class conference center, helping to promote and encourage improved relationships between Africans and African Americans.

“Avocet Travel is honored to be the official tour operator for the Family Restoration Conference because of the wonderful work its presenting organizations do,” said Avocet’s Chief Marketing Officer, Tracey Mendelsohn. “We are also delighted to be part of raising awareness of The Gambia.

When our Chairman and CEO, Clarence Smith, founded Avocet, it was with the idea that cultural heritage travel is one of the most profound ways to explore our shared human history, increase understanding and distribute benefits throughout Diaspora societies and communities. The association with the conference helps to advance our mission.”

Conference packages begin at $2,900 per person (double occupancy) and include airfare, hotel accommodations, transfers, conference registration fees/ conference activities and daily buffet breakfasts. Registration for the conference only is $250 per person. Hotel accommodations will be at the Sheraton Gambia Hotel Resort and Spa (conference site) and The Kairaba Beach Hotel.

To learn more about the Family Restoration Conference, visit and, or call Avocet Travel at (866) 862-2442.

About Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc.
Slave Descendants Freedom Society's, Inc.’s ( mission is to help descendants of enslaved African ancestors in America and others reconnect with their ancestral heritage. Established by Eric and Lisa Sheppard in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Society seeks to promote and encourage an open dialogue across generations about African American ancestral history through genealogy research and awareness initiatives and sponsorship of educational events. As a lasting tribute to African American ancestral heroes, the Society honors the unrecognized labor contributions that enslaved African Americans made to the building of the United States by supporting memorial projects commemorating their efforts.

About Diversity Restoration Solutions
Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc. ( is a liaison support services and cultural diversity training consulting firm specializing in providing innovative solutions to resolve 21st century government, industry and community challenges. The company provides unique solutions to complex problems as it relates to economic development, cultural diversity and poverty eradication. President and CEO, Eric A. Sheppard, is a visionary for developing business and cultural relationships to increase commerce and trade between African Americans and Africans. Sheppard is also the founder and chairman of the nonprofit organization Slave Descendants Freedom Society, Inc.

About the Tour Operator (Avocet Travel)
Avocet Travel was founded in 2004 with a specialization in tours to the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. By client demand the company has since expanded its portfolio to include cultural, leisure and other specialized travel programs to all of the Americas (South, Central and North), Africa and Europe as well as cruises and island destinations throughout the word. The Chairman/CEO of Avocet Travel, Clarence Smith, is a distinguished entrepreneur and the President Emeritus and Co-founder of Essence Communications, publisher of Essence Magazine, the premier publication for African American women since 1970. Smith created Avocet Travel with idea of again building cultural bridges, this time by encouraging people of all backgrounds and nationalities to travel to Cultural and World Heritage destinations.

Contact Information
Diversity Restoration Solutions, Inc.
Lisa Sheppard

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