Bill Hughes

“Debby gave the diversity forum of our exclusive private school a gift greater than I could have imagined: she looked inside her own life and family history and told us the story of her own ethnicity.  Through this lens, she helped me see the connections between her life as a member of a family that traces its history back to the Mayflower, and mine that runs through Harlem and slavery — a trail that stops cold at my great grandfather.  Her candor and insights, her humble drive, and her commitment to others brought a diverse team of parents and faculty together to look at the deep issues of diversity in our culture: inclusion and exclusion; power and vulnerability; race, ethnicity, and immigration; religion and personal faith.  She was instrumental in providing a framework for our diversity work in a way that was both specific and inclusive.  She understood that everyone in a community is at their best when they feel like they belong, and this has become a pillar of our work.  As a result, we have been able to create a safe environment for people of every tribe.”