Meet The Authors

Joyce Stokes Jones

Joyce Stokes Jones was born on December 31, 1929 in Auburn, New York, the home and death place of Harriet Ross Tubman. Jones attended Seward Elementary School and was graduated from West High School in 1948. Jones was a career secretary and retired in 1989 after fifteen years as Secretary to the President of the Syracuse Common Council. Beginning in the early 1970’s, Jones began 30 years of research and writing about the life and times of her Great Grand Aunt Harriet Ross Tubman.

In 1968, Jones contracted with the Syracuse Herald Journal to write a weekly column called “Black Heritage” which depicted notable African American figures in American history. During that same year, she worked at Channel 9 where she produced a children’s segment on Black heritage. Later in 1970, Jones was commissioned by New Readers Press to write a column entitled “Blacks in Time”. A few years later in 1972, she was hired at WCNY/Channel 24 to produce and direct thirty minute segments dealing with issues in the Black community.

For the past thirty years, Joyce Jones has made numerous presentations to students, and congregation and community forums on Harriet Tubman’s life. She has also conducted tours at the Tubman Home. Her travels have taken her to such places as Annapolis, Cambridge and Bucktown, Maryland. She has also visited St. Catharines, Canada; Cleveland, Ohio; New York City; Washington, D.C. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Auburn, New York. Jones made these trips in search for relevant information which often led to new and different discoveries on her famous relative.

In 1985, Jones produced a documentary video on Harriet Tubman’s life based on findings called “A Conversation with a Living Relative of Harriet Tubman”. Later in February 1992, she designed and handcrafted the Harriet Tubman Doll. The doll was modeled after the author’s late daughter, Olivia Babette Jones, who resembled the famous conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Harriet Tubman Doll was a limited edition series.

In October 1999, Jones was motivated to compile her research and writings to author Beyond the Underground. Aunt Harriet, Moses of Her People. It chronicles her investigation into circumstances and significant events that shaped the lives of the Green Ross, Stewart, Elliott, Gaskin and Stokes family line, while focusing on Harriet Ross Tubman, one of America’s greatest and bravest heroines. It is a poignant story that describes, in detail, the nuances and realities of slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and alludes to the paradox of winning freedom in the northern states and Canada. The backbone of this work explores the relationships between family members, their masters, and friends, all of whom helped to create the Harriet Tubman saga. The manuscript is more dynamic and humbling than is often documented.

Michele Jones Galvin

Michele Jones Galvin, Director of Community Initiatives, is responsible to assist the Commissioner of Social Services with coordination, data management and evaluation of special projects. Ms. Jones Galvin is responsible to assist the Commissioner of Social Services with data management, coordination and evaluation of community based, special projects. She works closely with administrators of community based organizations, schools, and health and social service programs to provide families the greatest access to medical care and support services. Ms. Jones Galvin specializes in program design, implementation and evaluation. In support of the county’s commitment to valuing diversity in the workplace, Ms. Jones Galvin is a member of the diversity training leadership team and a certified Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator.

Ms. Jones Galvin was awarded a Master’s Degree in Psychological Research from the New School for Social Research, New York City. She received a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Psychology and African American Studies from Fordham University, New York City.

Ms. Jones Galvin serves on the Board of Directors of the George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation, Central New York Health Systems Agency, and Syracuse Corinthian Club. She formerly served as a board member for Centers for Nature Education, Chadwick Residence, Consolidated Industries, Cultural Resources Council, Everson Museum, HOME, Inc., Juneteenth, Inc., Independent Living Services, Junior League of Syracuse, Loretto Nursing Home, Meals on Wheels, North East Community Center, Partners in Education and Business, PEACE, Inc., Regional Learning Services, Syracuse Stage Guild, Transitional Living Services, Vera House, Volunteer Center, and Women’s Fund of Central New York.

Ms. Jones Galvin is also affiliated with Community Wide Dialogue On Race, FOCUS Greater Syracuse, Junior League of Syracuse, Lambda Kappa Mu, Inc., Leadership Greater Syracuse, National Coalition Building Institute, Professionals of Color, Syracuse Citizen’s Academy and Thursday Morning Roundtable.

She was the recipient of the Onondaga County Martin Luther King Award in 1998 and the Lambda Kappa Mu Service Award in 2001. In 2002, Ms. Jones Galvin was awarded the Thursday Morning Roundtable Award for Meritorious Community Service and the YWCA Diversity Achievers Award. In 2007, she was inducted in to the North Side Hall of Fame. In 2008, Ms. Jones Galvin was recognized as one of the founders of the Women’s Fund of Central New York. In 2009, she was awarded the Bethany Baptist Church Harriet Tubman Spirit Award.In October of 2011, Ms. Jones Galvin was awarded the American Red Cross Women Who Mean Business Award.

In 1999, Ms. Jones Galvin and her mother Joyce E. Jones began collaborating on an historical novel. Told from the perspective of a relative, Beyond the Underground. Aunt Harriet, Moses of Her People portrays the life, times and accomplishments of the famed abolitionist. The book culminates as it speaks to the pivotal role of race, color and discrimination as counterpoints in the lives of Tubman and her great, great grandniece, Joyce E Jones. Publication is expected in the very near future. Connect with Michele by emailing her at

Reader Reviews

Site by Ashtian Holmes