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So things have been crazy this first half of the year: We dramatically rebuilt the site, birthed multiple verticals (Elections, Comics, and soon -- Labor), grew paid staff from 10 to 19, put together a real development team, moved into a new office, etc, etc.

One thing that has fallen off the wayside is the addition of new Featured Writers and Contributing Editors. Traditionally, we've added three new editors every year, and I want to get back on that schedule. I consider it critical to adding a steady flow of new talent into a medium that has become a bit stagnant. What's the last independent blog to break through the top ranks of the medium? It's harder and harder for that to happen these days. But at least here, at Daily Kos, we can continue giving fantastic voices a bigger soapbox on one of the biggest platforms in the progressive media world.

To that end, we've had a list of several names we've wanted to promote to Featured Writer status the past six months or so, but just haven't had the time to do anything about it. Today, we start to change that.

Things have settled down a bit. We're still crazy busy. The office is still just half-moved in, we're in the midst of a minor design refresh, we're still hiring people, and we're still launching new verticals (like the aforementioned labor one). But, we have enough breathing space that we're able to start reducing our backlog of new featured writers.

Denise Oliver-Velez
So we're thrilled to announce Denise Oliver-Velez. You know here as deoliver47, though her account will soon reflect her real name. On Daily Kos, she is a co-editor of Black Kos and editor at both Latino Kos and HIV/AIDS Action groups.

Outside the virtual world, Denise is an adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at SUNY New Paltz. She was born in Brooklyn and now lives in the Hudson Valley. From her bio, which will soon be posted on the site:

She has been a political activist and community organizer, was in the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Movement, AIDS activism and was a member of both the Young Lords Party and the Black Panther Party in the late 60's and early 70's. She worked in community media and public broadcasting for many years and was a co-founder and Program Director of Pacifica’s first minority-controlled radio station, WPFW-FM in Washington DC. She was the coordinator of CPB’s Minority and Women’s Training Grant Program and was the Executive Director of The Black Filmmaker Foundation.

She has published ethnographic research as part of several HIV/AIDS intervention projects and is working on a book on the Women of the Young Lords Party with co-author Iris Morales.

Now, in her 60s, she has added "blogger" to her list of activist activities, sharing her wealth of experience with the rest of us.

Denise has proven herself a strong voice on policy, politics, and movement building, as well as a model and engaged member of our community. As a result I'm thrilled and honored to have her join us as the first Daily Kos Featured Writer, Class of 2011.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Meta Groupies.

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