Debbi taught English at New Mexico State University for 30 years before retiring in 2015 when she moved to Louisville to be near family. As a longtime meditator, she was drawn to the Earth & Spirit Center, and she joined the Mindfulness Mentors in 2017. When Breonna Taylor was killed by police in 2020, she co-founded, along with Di Kerrigan, an anti-racism group that would come to be named White Women Listen Learn Act. Together, they work to amplify and support the Black community’s calls for justice. Debbi is married to Paul LaPorte, and they have three amazing daughters. She loves biking, hiking, and most anything done outdoors.
Debbie graduated with a BA in Theater and a MA in English from New Mexico State University. She also completed an OCIP 2-year Online Teaching Fellowship
Debbie worked at New Mexico State University, Department of English, as a College Professor from 1988-2018. She taught literature of the South and Southwest, including Border, Chicano, and Native American literature, as well as Fiction and Playwriting. In Las Cruces, the arts community led the way in social justice, and she was very involved in those activities.
Debbie has given numerous paid and volunteer creative writing workshops in New Mexico for women’s groups, senior citizens, young people in juvenile detention, individuals with disabilities (one of her students’ plays was chosen for production at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.), and others.
Some of her plays have been produced in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Kentucky (one, at the Martin Experimental Theatre in the Kentucky Center for the Arts.) As a Mindfulness Mentor, Debbie led mindfulness sessions with a variety of groups all over Louisville.