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4th Mar


Supporter Spotlight: Detra Mills

A wise person once said, “Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.” That person must have known Detra Mills – our dear friend, Coburn Place board member and all-around champion of leading and living a good life.

Detra first learned about Coburn Place in 1999 as a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. As an attorney in private practice, she would refer clients who could benefit from Coburn’s care. A couple of years ago, a friend invited her and her husband to attend CoburnFest!. She said, “I feel like I never really left after that!”

Detra joined the board of directors and is constantly finding new ways for her employer, TCC and TCC Gives to support the mission too. Read all about their involvement on several impactful projects.

We always like to hear what keeps supporters engaged. Detra’s three-part response illustrates her gift for lifting up everyone she encounters.

The volunteers! I serve in partnership with a crazy-engaged board of directors and committee members and community volunteers – all of whom are creative and inspired and all-in. I am humbled and proud to be a member of this group of Coburn advocates – it is such an honor.”

The staff care deeply about ensuring that each client is cared for in their individual way, so that they can be assured of a chance – and all they need is a chance – to plot their own journeys. And staff cares enough to not tell them how or when or what, but to open the doors, connect them with the tools, and turn on the lights. Coburn’s clients can make their own good choices, they mostly just need the opportunity. And someone to believe that they can.”

She shared, “There is something so magical about Coburn for me – it’s hard to explain. Every time I enter the building, it feels a bit like . . . walking into a sacred space. It feels like . . . comfort, safety, forgiveness, healing, renewal. Hallowed ground. It’s powerful.

These feelings resonated with her own life. As she and her husband of 20 years, whom she refers to as ‘Honey Love’, were discussing sponsoring a Coburn Place apartment, she made herself vulnerable enough to fully share with him her story of domestic abuse from a prior marriage. Coburn became the perfect touchstone for her “to honor my relationship and speak my truth.” Detra reflected on the moment saying, “The best we can hope to do is be able to stand in the light, find our own voice, find a friend, hold their hand, and walk home along a shared path. My experience with Coburn has helped me shine more light on my path, and I will be forever grateful for the gift of that memory.”

When Detra and her husband aren’t busy saving the world, they just love to have fun together. They enjoy golf, yoga, traveling, friends, bourbon, and brew. They adore their kids and love hanging out with them, but are having a blast as empty-nesters.

Detra is a dreamer, but she is also a doer. When she sees a need, she makes it her mission to fulfill it. Our gratitude to her is as deep-rooted as her heart is to our mission.

Want to experience that magical Coburn feeling for yourself? Contact Julie, Community Engagement Director, at to set up a tour.



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