Baba William Mathews

[Baba William Mathews, 2022]
Photographer: Tony Turner
BAM Affiliation Baba William (Bill) Mathews
Baba Bill Mathews was born to the late William and Rose Lee Mathews in East Harlem, NY. He attended Benjamin Franklin High School and continued his education at Hostos College in the Bronx. Baba Bill was initiated in the mystery of Obatala, in the Lucumi tradition, by Iya Carol Robinson, (Council Member) and Baba William Wells.

He began his work experience with New York City’s Human Resources Administration, first as a human resources technician, and finally moving up to his present position as deputy assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Unit. More than 30 years of experience troubleshooting new programs for Human Resources Administration, and 15 years of management program skills in various agencies in New York City, uniquely prepared him to work in management positions with community organizations. He currently is a member of the Homeland Security Crisis Management Agency and operation manager for HURREX, Hurricane Evacuation Center for the Office of Emergency Management.
Baba Bill was invited 25 years ago by Baba Chuck Davis to join the Council of Elders. He was also asked to become a member of the Chuck Davis Dance Company’s signature group, Ntore, which shows the prowess of the Rwandan Elite warriors.

Because of his attention to detail and devoted loyalty to the Council of Elders, he was asked to serve as an assistant to Chief Elder Baba Lee Abrahamson in ceremony. With Elder Katunge Mimy, he also works to ensure that the Ancestral Room at every DanceAfrica is viewed as an integral element honoring those whose shoulders we stand on. He is extremely proud of his work in this important area, comprehending its impact on all who remember and praise our fallen leaders in the arts and culture.

Baba Bill is committee chairperson for Ijo Orisha Yoruba Church, Inc., a member of Omo Obatala Egbe, Inc., an administrative member of the Egbe Iwa Odo Kunrin/Binrin Rites of Passage program, and Ancestral Shrine coordinator for the International African Arts Festival held annually in Brooklyn. He is chair of the Program Committee for the Orisha Community Development Corporation.