Interview Date: May 3, 2022
Interview Location: Morton Grove Public Library
Interviewer: Chad Comello
Duration: 47 minutes
Pamela Fullerton has lived in Morton Grove since 1983. The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and German father (who she says has a “Puerto Rican soul”), she has fond memories of weekly family dinners at Maxwell’s, frequent visits to Oriole Pool and the Morton Grove Public Library, and enjoying birthday cakes from Chicago’s now-closed German bakery Dinkel’s.
She was an excellent student with a love of literature that inspired her to pursue a career in education. After working as an English teacher for 15 years, she decided to transition into the mental health field to better serve underrepresented and minority populations, while also equipping other therapists with the tools to support multicultural communities.
When starting a family with her Jamaican husband—whom she originally met as a 12 year old after sneaking into a Niles West school dance—she decided to stay rooted in Morton Grove to stay close to their families and take advantage of the community’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity, especially in the schools.
In this conversation, she talks about her experiences with discrimination as a kid that inspired her passion for advocacy, how important healing trauma is for individuals and communities, and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting two kids, juggling multiple jobs, writing a book, and starting a professional counseling and consultant business.
See also: Amelia Fullerton's essay on libraries