Alissa Funderburk is a New York native, having been born and raised in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island, New York. As a lover of the fast paced global power that is the City of New York, Alissa attended Columbia University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in anthropology as a John W. Kluge Scholar. While in the college, Alissa dedicated herself to a number of organizations including the Multicultural Recruitment Committee, Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters, Black Student Organization, and Sexual Violence Response Program.
Her studies focused on race, culture, education and religion, particularly those of the African-American diaspora. After her graduation in 2012, Alissa relocated to her mother’s hometown of Decatur, Alabama where she spent her time pursuing two of her favorite interests: family history and children’s ministry. After a year’s time, Alissa returned to New York and began working with Hope Church NYC as the director of kids programming and as an assistant at York Preparatory School.
In the past three years Alissa has been a dedicated alumna and devoted member of her Astoria church community. Her oral history research will focus on exploring the religions and cultures that make up New York City, recording the stories of those communities. A haven for immigrants and people from multitudinous backgrounds, New York presents an ornate tapestry of religious tolerance. Alissa will ask the question, “What do you believe in?” and uncover the many ways how religion, either belief or disbelief, impacts the lives of others.