She grew up at a time when anti-Semitism was really raging in Romania. She survived pogroms by hiding in barrels in a warehouse. In her older years she lived in public housing among many different people and she was the least xenophobic person I ever met. I remember she went to a church for the first time and she said, "You should do that. You need to go to a church and see."
Queenie, my mom, was a role model. A social worker for over 25 years, she wore her designer dress and drove her yellow Cadillac into the projects and the poorest neighborhoods in our town affected change every day, and made me conscious and proud.
[Another role model is] Lynne Godfrey who is my colleague and friend, and an African American woman. She and I have bounced our racial and cultural insecurities and our ideas off each other since we met in 1982 and I would have to say that she has been one of the greatest influences on my life as an educator and activist.