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Funlayo Easter Wood

African Studies, with a primary field in Religion

Funlayo Easter Wood is a doctoral student in African and African American Studies with a primary field in Religion. Her research centers on theological, philosophical, and semiotic aspects of Ifá-Orisa religious practice and comparative analysis of the tradition, within all of which she privileges Yoruba language as a conduit to understanding. She has additional interests in African and indigenous religions, more broadly, African/a philosophy, myth, and ritual. Funlayo has had her work published in the Journal of Africana Religions and has presented in academic and public forums in the United States and Nigeria. An initiate of Obatala and Iyanifa, she is delighted to contribute her voice as a scholar-practitioner and is dedicated to combining scholarship with social praxis.

Funlayo is the founding director of the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association (ADRSA) and serves on the board of the Orisa Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to community building. She is also a contributor to and regional recruiting director for the popular religion blog State of Formation and the creator of Ase Ire, an inspirational, informational web space and resource center.

A native New Yorker, Funlayo graduated summa cum laude with a BA from the City University of New York Degree for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (African Diaspora in the Americas, 2008) and magna cum laude with an MA from the City College of New York (History, 2010) where she was a graduate fellow at the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service. She has additionally been awarded fellowships from the US Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays, Foreign Language and Area Studies) and the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School.