Debra Roberts is an MBA graduate from the Northeastern University and the first Black person ever elected as a selectperson on Stoughton’s board. As the saying goes, with great power, comes great responsibility. Roberts wants to embody this saying and use her three – year platform to bring about change in the town.
On the morning of 19 June, the Juneteenth, Roberts walked alongside 50 other residents of Stoughton. It is a town 20 miles south of Boston. They were protesting against the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the other victims of systemic racism. Meanwhile, she outlines all the changes she wants to bring about using her distinguished platform. Roberts said that first of all, she wants to reduce the racism that is rampant throughout the town. Despite being home to people from various races, racial representation is very low in the workforce of the town. She plans to use her podium for that exact change and bring about diversity in the town’s workforce. “Diversity has to be a priority,” says Roberts.
Roberts has been a voice for diversity all through her career. Seeing the rampant lack of it is no new news for her, it seems. She has served first as a volunteer, and then as the chairperson of the Stoughton Diversity and Inclusion Organisation for the past 3 years. She has been working relentlessly, using every small opportunity available, and trying to bring together the minorities of the town. The commonwealth presented her with the Massachusetts Heroine of the Year’ award due to her unyielding efforts. Only the world’s 100 women who make a substantial mark in their local communities receive this prestigious award.
However, bringing about an increase in diversity isn’t the only mountain Roberts wants to shoulder. She wants to use her dais to bring about several other impressive changes to the town. Of this, she lists her priorities to be rezoning Stoughton’s downtown to promote small, local businesses. Furthermore, she also wants to revamp municipality services such as the fire department. Also, upgrading the city’s sewage system to make the neighbourhood more hygienic is on her list. Debra Roberts wants to use her huge platform as one of the city’s councilmen to bring about the change she wants to see in the world. She aims to transform her city from a backwater to the centre attraction that it deserves.