Osvaldo “Ozzie” Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and lived in southwest Detroit most of his life. For close to five decades, he has been active in community advocacy and human services. He served as mental health director for ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), as the executive director of Latino Family Services and as Dean of Students at Wayne County Community College. In 1998, he started a ten year tenure as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Assistant Professor (Social Work/Sociology) at Madonna University. In 2008, he provided oversight to Children/Family Special Projects for the Wayne County division of the State of Michigan’s Dept of Human Services. From 2013-2016, he led community engagement efforts for Southwest Solutions. Currently he consults with a number of social service and arts organizations.
Ozzie is an amateur historian of Latin-Caribbean music, often presenting on Afro-Hispanic music, a musical style he also lectures on and performs, including as co-director of the Afro Puerto Rican drum and dance troupe, BombaRica. During his lifetime he led a number of performance troupes and bands, and currently leads the salsa/Latin Jazz band, La Inspiracion.
LAS/AFS 2250 AfroLatino/a History & Culture