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Spotlight on FDMCC Honorary Board Members

Zora Lathan


At an early age, Zora Lathan began her journey as an avid environmentalist and historian, a precursor to her many contributions to the Town of Highland Beach and the Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center.  (FDMCC) Graduating with honors in photography and film design from the University of Illinois, her filmmaking skills later played a pivotal role in her contributions to the FDMCC.

After working for the National Audubon Society, Zora's path led her to Highland Beach and the FDMCC through a chance conversation with a friend. Impressed by the town and its history, she and her husband, Bill Sanders, decided to settle here.  This was the start of many significant enhancements for the museum and the Highland Beach community.

Zora's environmental efforts in Highland Beach are notable. She proposed innovative solutions for infrastructure projects, including a proposal to install a green roof, rain gardens and permeable pavers as part of the construction of the new Town Hall to resolve the stormwater mitigation issues needed to secure a building permit.  The town now boasts a LEED Platinum certified Town Hall.  Years later, with Zora’s vision and assistance, the second floor of Town Hall was built-out to serve as an annex for the FDMCC and an additional amenity for the town. 

Zora also conceived and designed a beautiful RainScaping Park on Douglass Avenue which transformed a once unsightly area into a peaceful park that includes a patio of commemorative bricks that honor residents, their families and friends.  This project which Zora and Bill installed, raised over $6000 for the FDMCC to help fund museum programs. 

Going well beyond her service as a docent and FDMCC board member, Zora secured grants and produced extensive exhibits showcasing the town’s legacy and collaborated with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to restore and digitize films that preserve the community’s heritage.

Zora's multifaceted contributions spanning environmentalism, historical preservation, and cultural heritage, have significantly enriched the fabric of Highland Beach and the FDMCC. Her dedication and creativity continue to shape our future. 

It is the FDMCC’s privilege to have her as an honorary board member and a vital asset to the Highland Beach community.

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