K. M. - So. The first guy that drew some of the naughtiest cartoons in secondary school. Also, the first guy I had a total crush on! And finally, you are the first guy who told me that he was not attracted to girls but boys. Yes lots of 'firsts' here so there are times when you do come first, so don't feel terribly when you have to show up to an event or to class, and that usually no longer applies to you! There is no doubt that I loved you the FIRST time that I saw you. And I still do because you are one of my closest friends. You understand me very well especially my penchant to never follow the norm. And you understand me that well because I believe you see some of yourself in me. You have always been FIRST to conceptualize an abstract idea, and you transform this idea into reality with strokes, colors and shapes. And then you actually turn these realities into larger objects that people can actually live in for many years. So the truth is that your social clock never followed kronos (measured time). Instead, I believe your clock is ultimately yours that is mostly activated by inspiration. You need to be inspired by ideas that take their own course, so you can realize their potential in your reality... translating into our reality. So you usually see past what we see... you see possibilities that have not yet been grasped... so kronos really never made sense to you. So your advice to me as an artist has always been, "Let's see how it goes." Since that remains your personal philosophy, you are always calm and cool. In the last twenty plus years that I have known you, I cannot recall seeing you angry. And if you are angry, do you even know that you are angry? You do, but I believe it lasts less than a minute. So I am honored to be your friend, so much, because you constantly tell me, and this seeps through your pores, "Do not take life so seriously - stay committed even if you're the last to show up."

R. M. - You were a turning point in my life as a scholar. You took a class with me while I was writing my dissertation. I returned to New York and I was still depressed from the incidents that I endured during graduate school. You asked me, "Aren't you a student?" That was the first laugh that you plucked from me and since then my laughter became everyday. You told me about the trauma that you faced as a teenager and a young woman in the South. And you met violence from the people that you most trusted - family and close friends. But you possessed a Herculean strength. You decided that you were going to live no matter what the situation. Then you told me that God was, and remains your carrier in this life. You came to New York City and you were surprised at the subtleties of racism compared to the overt behaviors you encountered in the South. They now call these subtleties 'microaggressions' and you stated that these hurt more than macro aggressions mainly because the intentions of the aggressor are not as clear. You continued to move through this life with a terminal illness, an incarcerated son, and abuse that your daughter suffered. And you revealed that your last daughter was the light that continually took you through the darkness and testament that God can produce good out of despair. Regardless of what happens, you said there was 'no reason to return the hate because it demonstrated hatred of self' - your quotes about life, love and change I will always remember. Because I knew where they came from - your heart, mind and soul - as TRUTH. I will miss you for the rest of my life, and I will remain incredibly thankful that your were my light in my darkness.

S. M. - An ANGEL on earth. That is who you were. Even though you walked and communicated with others like any other human being. I only saw the white light, your magnificent wings blinding my eyes when there was utter pandemonium surrounding you. And you stood stoic, gracefully poised, as you spoke. Then a distinctive calm descended upon us, as we listened to you, and our anxieties subsided. The most amazing thing was that there was no arrogance. You held no hubris. Even though you were the one who pioneered this meeting of scholars, teachers, community members and students over ten years ago. You convinced us to meet once monthly to interact with each other about pressing issues that were facing us... facing our world. Poverty, Ruthless capitalism, Plutocracies, Climate Change, Wars, Human Trafficking, Ethnic Genocides. But we also spoke about Rich Spirituality, Technological Change, Female Empowerment in Patriarchal Societies, Cultural Celebrations, Artistic and Musical Revolutions, Linguistic Novelties and Nature in its Splendor. All of these issues... both positive and negative... touched each of us from different countries but our commonality was that we all lived in this one world ~ as global citizens. I met the world through you not only because of you said but from your actions in this community that you created. My family expanded as I communed with these persons twelve times a year. And I sincerely thank you. But if it was only for this. You took me home from one of these meetings and as you got to my apartment, you took off the engine. You described to me from whence you came... not from humble beginnings but from privilege. And how you were still able to hold your head high amid the ruins not only because you held out your hands with love and compassion to those who came to you, but also from receiving the same from those who were perceived as having nothing. You cherished that love which moved you forward and substantial wealth remains in the heart. I cried and never forgot what you said. A part of you surely got me through graduate school. And I know that as you eternally rest, you may not read this on the screen, but you will always know how I felt... and feel. I love you.

V. M. - When I first saw you, I saw this somber Zimbabwean woman. I was intimidated because I assumed that you were unfriendly. And then I began working with you, and I thought, "How wrong was I?" Extremely. Instead, you were truly a GOOD person. I emphasize good because you taught me what that genuinely meant. You loved incredibly and absolutely with no expectation of compensation. Sharon Salzberg describes your quality of caring as one which lacks resentment and reluctance, and usually performed by those who are heroes who will risk their lives for strangers. When I think of how you cared for me through graduate school, I cry. And I love even more. You embody the core of Ubuntu. In his book 'Intellectual History in Contemporary South Africa', Michael Onyebuchi Eze describes Ubuntu's core as "A person is a person through other people strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance." I firmly decided that I am going to help you finish too, and we both did. And now you are a role model to your three daughters. Your goodwill and grace stretches into your roles as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, teacher and renowned researcher. You taught me ubuntu and I thank you abundantly, and I love you.

Quarterly Quote

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

"I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously." ~ Alan Rickman

"We categorized, labeled, and measured ourselves and then made a niche to match. The niche became our boundary, so that our aim became filling niches instead of fulfilling our lives." ~ Virgina Satir