Denise Graves is one of 8 siblings whose mother moved around the country to break the poverty cycle, avoid racism and protect her boys from gangs and police assaults. With help from her mothers’ social networks, Denise is the first daughter to earn a BA, MPA, and graduate from seminaries. Denise raised 7 children, taught school, provided community pastoral services and organized for 20 years with a national network. She began her relationship with New Orleans in 1995 and became a resident in 2008 – engaging families regarding health care and environment, and equipping indigenous community organizations to thrive in a changed political and economic market place. When the contract ended, Denise reinvested in and negotiated new relationships with the people of the city. As a drummer, writer, published author, traveler, and educator, Denise loves the diverse artistic and multi-cultural people and nature of this old reinventing city of New Orleans.