A Timely Message from Beyond

I was recently going through an old box that has been moving around with me from place to place over the past 20 years. I should really get this box a passport as it has done a LOT of traveling! Ok honestly It was time to finally start applying the the KonMari Method lol.

Anyway, I was struck, and at times deeply moved, by the gems and memories contained within this simple cardboard box. One of the greatest finds was an old card given to me by the Dean of Students from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus where I completed my undergrad studies. Dean Walker was a special woman in my life and someone who has taught me so much about living authentically, passionately and fearlessly.

She passed away in 2009, and over the years, I have wished so much that I could still pick up the phone and ask her for guidance. She was someone who also dealt with racism, prejudice, sexism, sizeism and being a woman who used her voice.

Often times over the years I have spoken to her as if she was still here and asked her for guidance. And on this particular day, going through that old box, it was as if she were answering me.

The card she sent was in honor of me becoming a manager for the first time. When I read her words, all these years later, I was filled with a profound peace and joy. I really needed to hear this reminder from one of the greatest women I have ever known.

September 2003

Dear Debra,

Congratulations on your promotion and new position. Love your work, practice empathy, remain ethical, and always aim for the moral high ground.



Although I don’t get to speak to her in person or hear her perspective regarding her experiences, I strive to remember her wisdom and practice living it each day by speaking up for myself and others.

I would love to hear from you. Who was that voice  of wisdom for you in your early career and is still a presence today?

Debra Y. Griffith

Dean of Student Equity and Success at West Valley Community College

Consultant | Speaker | Coach |Strategist |Trainer