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Obama nominates Manhattan Country School alumnus Debo Adegbile '80 to helm civil rights division
Since July 2013, he has been the senior counsel at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Previously he twice defended the core provision of the Voting Rights Act in oral argument before the Supreme Court as senior official at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
“Debo’s ability to articulate the benefits of diversity for all, the legal concept of critical mass, and belief in the responsibility of educational institutions to serve as a pathway to leadership for all citizens are strongly anchored in his early childhood years at Manhattan Country School,” said Michèle Solá, Director of Manhattan Country School, a pre-K to 8th grade school in Manhattan where social justice, activism and sustainability are an important part of the academic program. (www.manhattancountryschool.org)
As a member of Manhattan Country School’s Board of Trustees for more than 15 years, his work has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the school’s future growth. In the classroom, Debo is a familiar face among our students as a guest speaker on voting rights, how he uses data in his work as a civil rights lawyer, and as a mentor to 8th graders aspiring to follow in his footsteps. “MCS planted the seeds. … It does a better job than any other elementary school of teaching a deep understanding of the individual in relation to larger communities, whether it is the neighborhood, the country or the world at large,” he said on a recent visit to our 6th graders.
Debo names some very influential teachers at Manhattan Country School as instrumental in honing his ability to argue, harness the energy he wanted to put into soccer, and insisting he had academic qualities shaping his ability to articulate the benefits of diversity for all, the legal concept of critical mass, and belief in the responsibility of educational institutions to serve as a pathway to leadership for all citizens.
“Over his long and distinguished career, Debo has shown all the qualities that will make him an outstanding leader of the civil rights division. The president could not have made a better choice,” said Lee Gelernt, MCS Class of 1975, senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s national office and Deputy Director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project.
This is a proud day for Debo and for Manhattan Country School. It is moments like this that we get a fuller glimpse of how MCS impacts students long after they graduate. These moments also validate our curriculum where academic excellence and social justice live side by side, providing students with a strong knowledge of themselves and the leadership skills Debo is being recognized for today. Please visit www.manhattancountryschool.org for more information about Debo’s nomination, MCS’ academic program and his work with MCS students.
About Manhattan Country School:
Manhattan Country School was founded during the Civil Rights Movement on a strong belief in and commitment to social justice and the conviction that all children’s experiences, educations and lives are enriched by diversity. Today, that dream has become a vibrant reality for 200 children each year. MCS is a model of education, widely recognized for its commitment to equality and diversity and a unique sliding-scale tuition program, which allows families to pay based on their means. MCS has no racial majority, and more than 75% of families pay tuition on a sliding scale.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Corris Little, Communications Coordinator
Manhattan Country School
(212) 348-0952 ext. 281 (mailto:clittle@
212-348-0952 ext. 281