Bebra lives in Monroe, LA. She is a retired telecommunications senior account executive. She is a first-generation legal voter in her mother’s family, born in 1951 in Russellville, AK. Her political and community interests started as a young girl, grew through high school inspired by her great grandmother who at 84 years old, lived to see the Civil Rights Bill signed in 1964. Since then her passion and dedication has culminated throughout her entire adult life where she has continued her advocacy despite witnessing and weathering the storm of racism for over 30 years.
She has worked in recent years with the wind of prejudice at her back. She has gone on to graduate in 2011 at 60 years old from LeTourneau University with a Teach EC – 6th bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and again in 2014 graduated Magna Cum Laude at 64 years old earning her master’s degree in Psychology Non-Licensure.
Bebra, currently teaches and mentors in Title One schools as a Head Start teacher in the City of Monroe School District.
She feels that Kamala Harris embodies all the hopes and aspirations of future generations of color. Her role as Vice-president feels like the psychological scars inflicted on her, other black and brown women, and all women of color after many years in Corporate America may start to finally heal.
Deborah lives in Omaha, NE, she is a retired Community Development Manager for the Nebraska Arts Council and is an arts consultant who works at the intersection of arts and community engagement.
Since retiring, she has assisted organizations with capacity building, strategic planning, conducting information workshops and various special projects. She has recently served as community arts liaison for the 30 AMERICANS exhibit at Joslyn Art Museum. Deborah is also a textile artist whose work has been featured in exhibitions and is in private collections. She is still active in the North Omaha community after 50 years and serves on various committees leading the charge for equity and inclusion. She currently serves on the board of the Omaha Community Foundation.
She feels the significance of Kamala’s election is timeless. It celebrates and acknowledges the sacrifices and struggles of all those who came before her and paved the way. Beginning with those women on the first ship of enslaved captives who crossed the Atlantic to Breonna Taylor. Her victory pays homage to those unsung heroes who dared to chart a course of freedom for themselves and others in the dark of night. It is for those dedicated culture warriors during the civil rights movement. The Fannie Lou Hamers, the Ella Bakers, and others who supported the movement in the shadows of the men.
Bebra and Deborah joined Tish Beauford on “Public Affair” to discuss their journey as African American women and racial equality since the Civil Rights Movement and what the election of Kamala Harris means to them as the first woman and first African and Asian American woman to be elected Vice President of the United States of America.
Listen to the show: