Debra Messing
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Hear My Story: Debra Messing

When you have an amazing group of upstanders to honor, you just want to celebrate! June is the Cohen Family Upstander Month at The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. It’s when we set aside time to shine a light on people who are answering the call of history– meeting their moment and standing up for justice in important ways in our community today.

“It allows us to touch the humanity of someone who has lived a completely different experience. And I think that I have always been curious about all the sides and shapes of our humanity, and wanted to understand and feel as much as I could.”

-Debra Messing, on the power of storytelling

The month kicked off with the Upstander Awards Gala on June 2nd at Union Terminal, and this year’s awards featuring Debra Messing as the celebrity host, helping us to tell the stories of an incredible group of upstanders among us. Debra is an Emmy Award-winning actress – she’s the one and only Grace Adler from the hit sitcom Will & Grace, but she is also a producer, and longstanding social justice & human rights advocate. Debra toured our center before the gala, and said of her visit here, “We need places like this in every single town.” The Holocaust & Humanity Center’s Jackie Congedo hosts the conversation, and we’re proud to share it with you here.

Episode Resources

Learn more about us and our work building a community of upstanders

Read about all of the incredible upstander award winners

Join us for other exciting events during Cohen Family Upstander Month

Read more about Debra

Find out about the organization Debra co-founded

Read more about some of Debra’s advocacy work

This episode is part of the Cynthia & Harold Guttman Family Center for Storytelling. Find this story and more here 

Our gratitude to Margaret & Michael Valentine for their ongoing support of this series. 



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