Lani Silver, 1948-2009

Lani started contributing to Pacific News Service sometime in the late 1970s. She wove herself into the fabric of our office, and my life — a raw nerve of justice signalling an abuse she'd discovered, a voice she wanted to magnify, an event she wanted to promote. She listed her occupation on FaceBook as an activist. It fit. She had skills as an artist, interviewer, oral historian, journalist, filmmaker, speaker—but what she felt most comfortable doing was engaging with people in some collective effort. I knew almost nothing of her private life — her passions were all about the public realm. Her activism was driven by an almost cosmic empathy. Irritating at times like any gadfly — she talked too much, sometimes seemed too earnest and caring — nevertheless when she came to the founding dinner of the Chauncey Bailey Project, I was thrilled. Once she sunk her teeth into an initiative, I knew she'd never give up. That was the Project's great good fortune. Her passing is both an intimate and a collective loss.
Sandy Close


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