Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Judith D. Steele by Barbara Tabach, November 24, 2014






In this interview she talks about student teaching in East Harlem, her teaching experiences in Providence, Rhode Island and the decision to reside in Las Vegas. When she was finally able to be promoted outside of the classroom, among her highlights was being Director of Special Education Programs and Services for the Clark County School District. In 1991, she served in a dual role as Manager of the Office of Development and Education Improvement for CCSD and Executive Director of the newly incorporated Clark County Public Education Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization established to improve public education in Southern Nevada. Among her many community activities is serving on numerous board and founder of the Henderson Arts Council.

Digital ID



Judith D. Steele oral history interview, 2014 November 25. OH-02191. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement





AN INTERVIEW WITH JUDITH D. STEELE An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader?s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE It would seem that from birth, Judith D. Steele was destined to work in education and make a difference in young people?s lives. So in 1969 when the young Judi arrived in Las Vegas, she could not resist the opportunity to work at C. V. T. Gilbert Prestige School as a classroom teacher. Her stellar educational career continues as the President of the Public Education Foundation. In 2014 she was an honoree of The Distinguished Women in Nevada. Born in 1943 and raised in New York City, the additional influence of her Jewish heritage is evident in her dedication to being an advocate for others, a theme that follows her through all of her life. From caring for her Orthodox grandmother to marching for welfare rights in the streets of Las Vegas, Judi is a laser-focused educator and administrator. In this interview she talks about student teaching in East Harlem, her teaching experiences in Providence, Rhode Island and the decision to reside in Las Vegas. When she was finally able to be promoted outside of the classroom, among her highlights was being Director of Special Education Programs and Services for the Clark County School District. In 1991, she served in a dual role as Manager of the Office of Development and Education Improvement for CCSD and Executive Director of the newly incorporated Clark County Public Education Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization established to improve public education in Southern Nevada. Among her many community activities is serving on numerous board and founder of the Henderson Arts Council. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Judith Steele November 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface??????????????????????????????????..iv Talks about career at Public Education Foundation; how she started to become a social worker and changed career directions into education; provides ancestral background of both parents and grandparents???????????????????????????????.1 ? 2 Describes growing up in New York City?s Washington Heights; schools she attended there; student teaching in East Harlem; attending Hebrew school and spending time with her grandmother; victim of antisemitism by some young girls; parents? careers and story of obstacles for females being encouraged to attend college????????????????.?.3 ? 6 Reflects on how growing up a New Yorker of Jewish descent affected her life; her first teaching job in East Harlem, followed by a poor area in Providence, RI, and being written up for bucking the system there?????????????????????..????????..7 ? 9 Talks about meeting her first husband, his Jewish background, and how they came to move to Las Vegas in 1969. Explains an inner-city model school that she had developed prior to the move; being hired to substitute teach at CVT Gilbert Prestige School on the Westside?..10 ? 14 Mentions various local community activists of the 1960s and 79s that she met; compares previous civil rights observations and experiences to Las Vegas ones at the time. Talks about the Sixth Grade Center Plan and local integration issues, her second husband is African American and impact of that???????????????????????????.?14 ? 17 Talks about where she lived over the years in Las Vegas; how she connected with her religion locally; raising her children Jewish????????????????????..?18 ? 22 Obstacles Jewish educators faced in the CCSD; difficulty of being a member of a minority; conflicts around taking High Holidays off. How she sees Las Vegas has adjusted since moving here in 1969; Holocaust education and learning tolerance????????????..23 ? 27 Discusses the business of philanthropy and raising money; thoughts about why she continued to live in Las Vegas; the Board of Directors for the foundation; summary thoughts about educational responsibilities. Talks about her photography hobby; travel???????.28 ? 33 vi Talks about the building that houses the foundation, formerly Lawrence Furniture; how the Public Education Foundation was started??????????????????.....33 ? 35 Index??????????????????????????????????..36 vii 1 Today is November 25th, 2014. This is Barbara Tabach and I'm sitting with Judi Steele. If you'd spell your name for us first that would be great. J-U-D-I-T-H, Judith. Steele, S-T-E-E-L-E. And Judi, J-U-D-I. All right. We're sitting in your office which is amazing. Tell me a bit about the work that you do right now. I'm going to start there today. So as a professional educator and having been a teacher and an administrator and a director of special education and education, I, for the last twenty-one years, have been responsible for the development of a Public Education Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. I work full time for the last dozen plus years for the Public Education Foundation. It is an independent nonprofit that's dedicated to trying to champion public education and improving public education in Southern Nevada, across the state, and hopefully impacting the nation. That's wonderful. Did you always know you wanted to be a teacher? I didn't always know that. I actually thought I wanted to be a social worker. I went to Hunter College and majored in social work. Then as I was studying, I recognized that by the time you receive people as a social worker, they pretty much had habituated their life and you really couldn't intervene. So it dawned on me that if I could work with young people and get engaged with children, I would have a better chance as an adult of helping inspire them to become better and learn, which was something part of our tradition, and that through learning they had lots more opportunities and options. I chose to also major in education. I majored in elementary education and social work and sociology. That's great. 2 So let's go back in history time. Do you know the background of your grandparents? I do. You want to tell us a little bit about that? My maternal grandma grew up in Pennsylvania and she was of Polish decent. She was the daughter of lots of brothers and basically I understand from my family history that she did lots of the mothering and care giving in her family. My maternal grandfather came from Russia. I believe he came from the Black Sea, probably more the Ukraine area right now. He came as a boy from Russia; over on a boat. Then the rest of his family came as well. He went to the Lower East Side (New York.) I don't know exactly how he and my grandma met, but I know that they had five children. They had three girls and two boys. And that was my mom's family. My dad was from Russia. His mother came from Russia and left him in Russia, in Minsk area, in Belarus, I guess; that was what it was described as. He lived on a farm. He joined the Bolshevik Army when he was in his late teens and escaped to come to America, and came to New York. Oh, wow. And so part of me is first generation and the other part of me is second generation. Where did you grow up? In New York City. I grew up in Washington Heights, Inwood area of New York City. I went to all public schools, PS 98, Junior High School 52, and George Washington High School. Then I went to Hunter College on Park Avenue and studied, as I said, sociology, social work and elementary education. I student taught in East Harlem. I was part of a Harlem project where they better prepared 3 you to go into the intercity and understand the dynamics of people living in the East Harlem community. We visited churches. We visited schools. We visited social action groups. We listened to people so that we could be more sensitive to the community's needs and get more in touch with what it was like to be the children and families that we were going to be touching. What kind of neighborhood did you grow up in? I grew up in a neighborhood that had all kinds of people and you basically recognized people's ethnicity by the smells in the kitchen. As you walked through an apartment building and you walked by an apartment, if you smelled corn beef and cabbage, or if you Greek families you could maybe smell stuffed grape leaves and things. But you could tell families more by the foods they cooked and the odors that came out of the apartment?spaghetti or the gefilte fish? Now you're making me hungry. Or chicken soup. So that was the kind of environment where we had lots of families that were Irish decent and we had Good Shepherd Catholic Schools. We had probably more prejudice when I was growing up about me being Jewish than about people being white or black. Oh, really? And in my schools, particularly in my junior high and high school, there were people who lived in the Dyckman Street area and the Dyckman housing project and they were basically more poor people. We had some people from Puerto Rico, some African Americans and some poor white people. When I was in junior high and I ran for president of my school, there were two girls running and one boy. We had our captains of our campaigns. The young man won?the two girls split the vote. And the boy happened to be black and we were two white girls. So it was never a black-or-white issue. It was the boys voted for the boy and the girls split the vote. In fact, my 4 campaign manager was a girl by the name of Delores Brown, who was black. She did a great job, but we just had the girls to kind of convince and we split the vote. That was more the environment. But when I was growing up and I went to Hebrew school or Sunday school?and I went on Thursdays to the temple because I was not brought up orthodox; I was brought up reform. And so I went on Thursdays to more of a study class and Hebrew and then on Sundays to more of a customs class. I remember that...I'm trying to think at what age. But I was beaten up by some girls who went to Catholic school because we were the ?Jesus killers,? they told us. And then when I was teenager hanging out with groups of kids in a schoolyard singing old-fashion songs, bebop songs, rock and roll songs and things like that and watching the boys play ball, basketball, I was also beaten up on the way to that place back and forth by some girls for being Jewish. So it wasn't a racial thing as much as it was a Jewish thing. And I think going into Brooklyn to see my grandma who lived in an old, old rundown Brooklyn neighborhood that was at one time all Jewish. She was Orthodox?she and her old friends?so there must have been a half a dozen older people that didn't want to leave their little synagogue even though it was very small; it was the black families that cared for my grandma and brought her food and called our family when she was sick. I learned at a very young age how people took care of each other. Again, it wasn't color that was against each other; it was more that people at that point kind of didn't like people who were Jewish. At the synagogue that we went to, there was so much pride in being Jewish and hearing that we had a responsibility?I was born in 1943...we had a responsibility to care for everyone and not discriminate because if anyone was discriminated against, everyone was discriminated against and that meant Jewish people could be hurt just as much as anyone else. So it was our 5 responsibility to raise the bar, to care for all people, to give charity, to put our pennies away in a little blue box that everyone had, and to forgive people who maybe didn't understand who we were and to rise above that. There was a big ethic in my community, in my family not to beat back people, but to rise above that and show people that you could contribute and that they were uninformed or ignorant. So when you got beat up, physically, what did you do? My father didn't tell me I was supposed to learn to fight somebody, although he did show me what I could do. He just basically told me?I mean no one said they weren't proud of me for not smacking back. They told me that I should be proud of who I am and nobody can take that from me. What kind of work were your parents do?did both parents work? Yes. My mom was probably one of the only moms that worked. My father was an electrician. He spoke English well, but not a hundred percent well. And my mom, though, was very learned. My mom, I can remember, felt that she needed to?my mom couldn't go to college. Her father told her that girls didn't need to go to college. Her brothers both went to night school and became attorneys. They couldn't go to all the schools that they wanted to. They went to Brooklyn College and some other public schools even to be attorneys. But they couldn't go to the schools they wanted to because they were Jewish and they weren't accepting Jewish men in certain schools. So even in New York? Even in New York, uh-huh. But my mom then, because her father had felt that women couldn't go to college and because my dad hadn't gone on probably past eighth or ninth grade education?I'm not even sure he had that, but he read a lot?they were sure I was going to college, and my sister. And so my mom went to work when we were maybe nine or ten years 6 old. My grandma lived a couple of streets over and we used to go to my grandma's to eat during lunchtime sometimes and then to my grandma's after school. My mom then basically said that with the two incomes they could afford to do something to insure we went to school. So there was never a question that high school was going to prepare me for anything. And my mom always used to say to me: ?A woman needs to be able to earn her own living and add to a family. And if for some reason the husband isn't there, you need to be able to care for your family.? So that was never that I wasn't going to college. But what was clear was that you wouldn't consider doing anything but being a nurse, being a teacher?being a ballet dancer, that was funny; that's not a real one?or a secretary. Those were the only kinds of options. And because my mom did secretarial and brokerage work and worked for an attorney, her concern was that I would get a degree but also be flexible enough to be able to care for my children. So it was social work or something in the giving and caring professions, but where they'd allow you to spend more time with your children when you needed to. Was she different in her thinking than other families around you or was everybody being encouraged? All the families encouraged their children. It was I think my mom and dad didn't have as much resources as some of the other families did. Of course, there were other families that had less resources. But in their social group where they played Mahjong and they played Canasta and went to synagogue, I think probably we had less and I had hand-me-downs and things like that. I can remember at age twelve and thirteen, on my own, going on a train and a bus to do shopping at some of the places that you could shop for good buys; you didn't pay the top prices. It wasn't 7 as easy as a lot of the other families. So what did your New York roots prepare you for, do you think? Everything. Living in a city where you, number one, competed with a lot of smart people made you try to find the best in yourself. Living in a city that had diversity made you interested and curious and approachable and open to all kinds of people. Living in a city that had great art, the museums and art institutes, made you, when you didn't have that, very aware of it being missing. I lived in something that was considered a concrete jungle, but in reality I had more parks around me than probably anyplace that I've seen ever because right behind my apartment building was this beautiful park that overlooked the Henry Hudson River and then I could go down like two blocks and there was this Inwood Park where Henry Hudson bought Manhattan Island from the Indians. Then if you go over, there was Columbia University football field. And so I was blessed to be in this nice little section of Upper Manhattan, 204th Street and Broadway, and I could walk down the block and go to this little house called the Dyckman House where George Washington stayed and there was a little garden there. I lived in a very special place. And then there was Fort Tryon Park and you could go up and see the Cloisters and you could see European, Medieval, Catholic music and tapestry and all of that. Yes, New York prepared me to expect from wherever I was a lot of diversity, a lot of depth, a lot of richness and not to be afraid to go out when things looked different, to know how to walk in your environment?like I can hear what's going on outside as I'm talking to you?to be very, very aware, but also to be strategic because you couldn't get in a subway train without knowing how you were going to get off in the middle of a crowded place or to know where you were going if you didn't prepare for something. We really were survival people. We had to survive in a place that maybe you were even anonymous most of the time, but you had to know 8 you were somebody. So I don't know; I just feel wherever I've gone in the world whether places in Europe or whether it's in the Middle West or in Las Vegas. When I first came here that was so different. I felt I was prepared in so many ways to survive wherever I was. So it's a self-confidence, but also high expectations that the environment you're in provides depth and richness. That's interesting. So where was your first job after you graduated from college? I student taught in East Harlem on a 104th Street and Madison Avenue in East Harlem. That's where I took over for a teacher who had been mugged and shot in the school on the fifth floor. So it was up the down staircase, actually. And I taught there for a couple of years. Then I went to Providence and I taught in a newly integrated school in Providence where we had the challenge of taking students from Brown University, professors, and from a very poor area of Providence and integrating them, which was very exciting for me. What I did is I developed...I took the play As You Like It, a Shakespearean play? That's one of my favorites. Mine, too. So can you imagine fifth and sixth grade children who are into finally discovering themselves with all those marriages of all those characters? And we took that and studied genealogy. We studied history. We studied art and relationships. I took a very simple version, bought a book for everyone, and that became reading, math, art, science, everything we did from that curriculum. I got written up for not following the curriculum? You mean written up in a negative way. Yes, by the principal because it was an old-fashion person. And she told me, ?You can't have a play that's more than an hour. The attention span of sixth graders is not more than...? Blah, blah, 9 blah. So I had a little committee of young people who came from very high IQs and they were assigned the task of editing the play to make it within the hour. Well, there's no way we did it; it was an hour and three-quarters. And I got written up for making it inappropriate. But it was the kids who loved doing it; it was the parents that had trouble sitting. It was a great experience. That play brought the whole class together and the kids were writing little sonnets: pretty be this, and were talking to the teacher that way. It was very cool. Elizabethan language in the whole class. It made everyone at the same level and it was very fun. And (their) test scores all went up just because the kids were paying attention. Did you get written up for having good results? No, no, I didn't. Yes, I know. In fact, that second year I was there I became pregnant with my daughter. The rule was after six months you could not teach because you were in second trimester. It was a health condition and you were not allowed to be a teacher working. You were on maternity leave whether you wanted to or not. M students felt that that was unfair and they picketed and went to see the superintendent. So you can tell. Because I've picketed for civil rights and I've done all kinds of firsts, if you will. I was part of pioneering in my life and breaking down barriers. It started with my sixth-grade class in the school. They went to see the superintendent and he actually gave me an extension, special, because my doctor wrote I was okay, for two extra months. So I was allowed to teach, I think, up to the end of my seventh month. So we broke ground. And then pretty soon, three or four years later, I think that was changed and teachers could actually work up until they have their baby and come back whenever they want, basically, when the doctor releases them. But we were way ahead. I was always way ahead. 10 In Rhode Island as well, I was there when Martin Luther King was killed. I was part of a committee to eliminate racism in the public school and I was part of a group of people that were concerned about civil rights issues. I remember for three days we slept out around?Providence has a little capital building that's a miniature Washington, D.C. And we all slept out there and played music and prayed and all that stuff. It was a real inspiring time for people who felt that things weren't fair; that people were being misjudged or stereotyped. And then when I applied to the Providence School District, I think I mentioned this to you off this (recording), I wanted to teach there and they accepted me for a job. They knew I was Jewish?I can't image why they would know I was Jewish right away, but they knew I was Jewish immediately?they said they would place me with the rabbi's wife so I'd feel comfortable. And I declined and said, ?I'd actually like to work in the inner-city. I come from a city. I come from living and working with all kinds of people and I enjoyed working in Harlem and I would prefer to work with children that had challenges, economic challenges and family challenges.? How did they know you were Jewish? Maybe because my last name was Abrams and I had a funny nose. I don't know. Oh, they made the stereotype. If it's not too big of a jump, fill in the gap?trying to move you to Las Vegas, what was the steps to getting here? My first husband I met when I was fifteen. He lived in Brooklyn and I lived in Manhattan. In those days, many families sent children to camp in the summer to make sure they didn't get polio. They took you out of the city. So even if it was a very big economic drain on the family, it was something that families felt for your health it was better to get you out of the city. I 11 remember some summers we went away up to the Catskills as a family. But as we got to be preteen, so maybe nine or ten, my parents started?and maybe that's another reason my mom wanted to go to work, so she could afford to send me out of the city to protect us from any kind of summer bugs or illnesses. They always recommended that you leave the city in the summer because it was hot and muggy in New York and many people got sick. So I ended up going to some summer camps. When, I think, I was thirteen or fourteen, I met in summer camp my future husband and we became boyfriend and girlfriend. He actually was my first real boyfriend. I knew him and we visited and we saw each other over the years and every summer until...he went to my high school graduation. He went to Yeshiva of Flatbush, a more conservative orthodox family. His family wanted him to be a rabbi. He disappointed them and became an engineer at City College. I went to Hunter. We got married when he graduated college. He wanted to become an anthropologist. So he worked on his master's and his Ph.D. and we couldn't afford that unless I worked. I actually went through high school in like three and a half years and college in three and a half years about. I rushed through everything so that I could teach early and help put him through his master's and his doctorate. That happened and I got married and then we went to Rhode Island. When I got pregnant in Rhode Island, there were a couple of things that happened that made me begin to think this is really my best friend, but not necessarily the man that I'm in love with. Nowadays if you want to leave your home to grow up and become a woman or a man when you graduate, you go off and do that. In my era, the only way you actually did that is getting married. Somehow, I knew that, that I married someone to emancipate. But I wasn't emancipated. I was, in fact, entrapped and with a friend and with a child, but it wasn't somebody 12 that I loved enough to see myself. And that evolved because he was an anthropologist who chose to study linguistical analysis and I was a people person who chose to get engaged in social justice. As we grew up and I was engaged in the Civil Rights Movement, he didn't appreciate that and I didn't necessarily appreciate his analytical skills of language, structure and universal language, we just realized that we were even intellectually and philosophically different. It was unheard of in my family and probably very unheard of in that era for a woman to want a divorce at twenty-five years old with a child, but I did it. So again, I broke a lot of conventional things in my lifetime and I've been a path setter even when it was hard and difficult. I came here with my child, cross country, and I thought I was going to go to San Francisco area and go to university, Berkeley or go to Stanford and get involved in Oakland, and I stopped here. And when I was at Providence I helped develop, as part of the American Federation of Teachers, a model school. A model school was a school in the ghetto, which was designed to have extra services like theater and music and art and then they invited the white families to do reverse integration, to enter that community and bring their children in. It was an experiment and I was part of a team of teachers that designed that with the school system. So when I came through here and I stopped to meet with some people I knew? And so what year is this? 1969. Okay, so 1969 you're on this trip. Right. I came here, stopped, and found that there was a school on the Westside called C.V.T. Gilbert. It was C.V.T. Gilbert Model School. And I said, ?I want to substitute there.? I could tell them all the things I learned, what worked and what didn't work. Well, they weren't really 13 interested in what I had brought, but I did teach there. And then I got excited about being a part of watching something I had developed in another place emerge here. And then I was tapped because I had come from the city to do, if you will?there was forced integration here about that same time and they didn't know how to train their teachers to get ready to deal with African American kids. And I said, ?I could help.? Blah, blah, blah. So I became an integration consultant and I went out to schools to work with teachers to help them become more sensitive and more respectful of the needs of all children. So you interrupted your trip to San Francisco because you saw a job opportunity? No. I interrupted it to visit people and then I found some things that were curious and I thought I'd stay for six weeks and then I ended up staying. Then I found this opportunity and I took it. I kept thinking I was going to leave for maybe the first ten years on and off. Even when I was beginning to think I was going to grow here and I wasn't seeing that I was being offered things, I went to see the superintendent, who was Kenny Guinn, and I said, ?Is there a chance that a woman's going to get promoted here into some kind of a management job?? And he said, ?Yes, if you keep doing what you're doing, you will.? And before he retired as Governor of Nevada, he got me promoted. So who was teaching at CVT Gilbert Prestige School at that time? Well, the principal was Edna Henman and she was a very, again, progressive woman who was LDS originally except I think she was not a religious LDS at least at that point. And we were a team of people and she created little sensitivity sessions. I really enjoyed working with them because I had a lot more experience than most of these people and so I talked from my heart. But I also think I was probably quite confusing to most people. Why do you say that? 14 Well, because I was a New Yorker, because I was more aggressive, and about a year or two later I married a black man here and that was very confusing to people. In fact, there was a program we put together at CVT Gilbert called Give A Damn weekend and it was like learning to give and understand about children and these children that we were working with on the Westside. I included the Black Panthers because they were in the community and I invited them to come and give a little workshop on their breakfast program and their philosophy. I was highly criticized for that because everyone was frightened. But it was important because they had a voice. Instead of being afraid of people, you needed to hear people. Well, something was stolen, I guess, at that school that weekend. And I can remember the school district police came to my apartment, knocked on my door and asked if they could look in my car and in my house. Because my husband was black, they thought we stole. Well, we didn't. So I had all these interesting experiences that helped make me even angrier about people's attitudes and angrier not to be mean, but angrier to be stronger in my convictions that people needed to be educated and sometimes needed to be pushed to open up. When I was first here I was probably harder and more aggressive and assertive in my convictions. Who were some of the leaders that met then through this integration specialist position? Bernice Molten, who was an African American woman. I met the Andersons. I'm trying to think. Helen Anderson and her husband [Jim]. I met, obviously, Joe Neal. I'm trying to think who else was great. Guy, Judge [Addeliar] Guy years ago. I mean I walked on the Strip for welfare rights. I almost got arrested. You know what I mean? I did some pretty?but very strategic things and I knew where I was going to stop and where I was. Oh, I worked with Myrna Williams. I met Dorothy Eisenberg. She did the same thing. 15 I didn't know who she was; she didn't know who I was. But when I read her history, she and I were at the same place. People were arrested. We came and bailed them out. We did the same march that she wrote about. She was older than I was. This is the Ruby Duncan? Yes, Yes. I was part of that whole program to improve welfare rights. That must have been a very interesting experience to come out here to the middle of the desert and be fighting for civil rights. Well, but even in Providence we were fighting for civil rights. I mean, it was intellectual rather than so much hated outward. And in New York it wasn't as visible. As I said, it was more religious, but it was there. Here, though, it was really like the Mississippi of the West. I mean when I came two years before they had found a boy and a girl, black and white, dead in the desert with their genitals cut out. So it was a very not happy place. I don't know. For some reason, because again my grandma lived in a community where she was