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Abby Drue









Irma Starr



The Cornerstone of The Ben Marion Institute.

Abby Drue

Abby Drue, MFA, Founder and Executive Director, created The Ben Marion Institute in honor and in memory  of her parents, Marion and Ben Drue, whom she regards as authentic advocates of all that is fair and just.  Her life with them instilled the conviction that justice – fair and equitable treatment of individuals and groups – is a critical factor in the attainment of a compassionate world, one that encourages and supports every individual in their pursuit of self-discovery, achievement and success.

The implementation of social justice has been a lifelong passion and pursuit for Abby Drue.
She is widely known as an effective negotiator, skilled mediator, insightful strategist and implementer, an innovative and inspiring trainer, with a broad understanding of community relations, conflict resolution and outreach programs.

“Justice is a central guiding standard in social life… it shapes how people think about the social world and social relationships. It is about meaningful social action on each of our parts toward others. It is key to developing a compassionate world.”
Abby Drue

Abby’s activities and accomplishments in the human rights arena span an impressive four decades.  As a visual artist, she successfully infused art and social justice in her role of teacher, lecturer and arts activist. Today, Abby serves as a facilitator and behavioral development coach to professional associations, non-profit agencies, religious communities, service organizations, federal, state and local government agencies, private businesses, as well as large corporations. Her early involvement in the pilot program of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America, the groundbreaking domestic service agency founded in the 1960s) set the tone for her profound commitment to this work. She has taught at the college level, served three Atlanta mayoral administrations, and partnered with a number of civil rights, human rights, social services and health service organizations. Over the years, Abby has been recognized and honored by such organizations as: City of Atlanta, GA; Anti-Defamation League; American Cancer Society; Jewish Family and Career Services; and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for her tireless work in helping to create a fair and just world.

Irma Starr

Irma Starr Ph.D., Director of Education for The Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice, has an accomplished career which includes 30 years effort in the pursuit of  social justice and the celebration of human value.

Before joining The Ben Marion Institute, Irma’s career portfolio speaks of impressive community building and service: Director of the Jimmy Prentiss Morris Jewish community Center, an intergenerational metropolitan Detroit facility; Director of  SPACE for Changing Families, an educational life transitions peer support program for the National Council of Jewish Women, a national non-profit agency; as well as ten years service as Education Director for the Anti- Defamation League, an international non-profit civil and human rights organization.

Her far-reaching expertise in, and understanding of organizational management, program development, curriculum design, facilitation and training, as well as community relations, has made Irma a sought-after educational consultant and trainer.

Additionally, Irma is a life coach and certified mediator for the State of Georgia. She holds a Doctorate and M.S. in Human Organization Development, a post masters degree in Gerontology, an M.A. in Guidance and counseling and a B.S. in K-12 Education.

Aside from teaching on the University level, Irma is a respected lecturer and presenter nationwide at state, regional and national educational conferences and symposiums, as well as public and private school systems.

Over the years, Irma has been the recipient of many awards and accolades for her contribution to action, education, and advocacy. Her authenticity, genuine kindness and far reaching sense of what is fair and right, endear her to all who seek her skills and advice.

“In a just society, educators need to be diplomats and ambassadors of tact, sensitivity,
and empathy. Our role is to facilitate positive interactions among the multiplicity of personalities and cultures, beliefs, ethnicities and ideals of those around us.”

Irma Starr

  ©2007 The Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice, Inc. All rights reserved.