Founders’ Tale

LOGOMODERNThe Founders’ Tale

We thought you might wonder how the 5 Founding Directors relate to one another, given the different surnames and hair color:)?

Well, here is our story told in brief…

As a high school student, beautiful Audeen Reilly encountered Vaughn Moore, the love of her life.  They had a son, whom they were forced to make the difficult decision to give up for adoption, in part due to societal pressures and laws against interracial marriage still in place during the 1970s.  That son was adopted (becoming Aaron Paul Dworkin) by a White, Jewish couple from Chicago, who raised him in New York City (yes, we are also big on geographic diversity).  Audeen and Vaughn eventually married and had another child…Madeline.

As a student at the University of Michigan School of Music (a passionate go-getter and a soul rebel!), Aaron founded the Sphinx Organization.  Soon after, he was married and had his first-born, Noah Dworkin.  While they eventually divorced, Aaron remains close to Noah’s mother who is a phenomenal teacher in the Ann Arbor schools and a passionate advocate for issues surrounding diversity and educational equity.

While he kept busy and did some jaw-droppingly fun work at Sphinx…he later met a friend, Afa Sadykhly, a violinist from Azerbaijan.  They had great fun playing music together and sharing wine and spicy food.  Eventually, she won his heart…(after they worked together for about 6 years:)).

Aaron searched for his birth parents his whole life.  In the village of Maybrook, NY, his teenage sister, did her own “searching” (a.k.a. scavenger hunting among Christmas receipts)…only to encounter documents indicating that she had a birth brother!  Audeen was also searching for her son for many of those intervening years.

The plot thickens…

One stormy November evening, Aaron opened an email from Adoption.com, stating that they may know his mother.  Through a series of emails and phone conversations, it became clear that a miraculous reunion was underway.

Since then, Audeen, Maddie, Aaron, Afa and Noah have enjoyed a beautiful familiar relationship and lived happily ever after (the only real trouble is that Audeen and Aaron do not like to lose in Scrabble…and occasionally, members of the family disagree about culinary choices).  So, despite those critically important divergent issues of food and gaming, these five human beings brought together through their unique history decided to join forces to try (in at least a small way) to make the world a little bit better of a place for people today and tomorrow.  The issues that move each of us deeply are outlined in our Areas of Focus.

And, yes, we kind of abbreviated over 40 years of history there in these few paragraphs but, if you’re really interested in learning more… Aaron wrote a book about it:)!