Peace for Yonni

Many of you know that local civil rights activist and historian Yonni Chapman has been struggling with cancer. Last night he peacefully ended that battle. Here's part of the touching e-mail that his daughters Sandi and Joyce sent out last night:

Yonni lived his life for The Struggle but has spent the last 29 years with his own intense struggle to live with cancer. His struggle is over, but our struggle continues and what he would want from all of us is to use his passing to renew our commitment to justice, equality and to each other as sisters and brothers. We'd like a few days just to be on our own so we probably won't be answering the phone right away. We'll be organizing a celebration of his life and will contact you all as soon as that plan is made. For now, please just send him your best wishes to speed him on his way home.

Yonni gave so much of himself to this community, and I have no doubt that we are a more just and equitable place because of it. I also think I'm a better person for having been poked, prodded, enlightened, and inspired by his work. 

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As Sandy Chapman so beautifully put it in an email last night: "His struggle [with cancer] is over, but our struggle continues and what he would want from all of us is to use his passing to renew our commitment to justice, equality and to each other as sisters and brothers." 

Yonni's love for this community was constantly expressed in words and deeds, calling us to reassess the past as we honored it and to look forward at the injustice and inequality before our eyes.I was privileged to work with him just recently in the effort to establish and dedicate the Peace & Justice Plaza in front of our downtown post office/court building. His sensitivity to inclusion made the P & J Plaza a place and lesson for us all. Peace to you Yonni, brother, we owe you our vigilance and commitment. 

Yonni's work was a great example of a thoughtful "Jimmy Higgins" - never out for the spotlight; always working hard for thoughtful reflection on the truth of the collective past, with an eye towards a better future.  Might that we all attempt even a small amount of the same.  I'll always remember him.=Tofu Dave Bellin

I was very saddened to hear this. Yonni was like an older brother or young father for me in the early 1980's when I knew him well. I learned so much from  him. What a fabulous leader he was -in a quiet and unassuming way that we don't always recognize as leadership. Where others lecture and hector, Yonni - who could do those if need be - accomplished  so much by listening and by finding points of common ground on which to build  understanding.  All  the best to  Yonni's friends, family and community. Ted Johnson

I am writing on behalf of Boo and Bubba, litter mate lab/setter mixes thatwe got with my father as six week old puppies almost nine years ago. We need to find a loving home for these dogs because our dad passed away last week and none of us have the ability to take them in at this point. They arehealthy, up to date on all shots and check ups, and are the most laid backdogs you will ever meet, in addition to being very well behaved. They are alittle taller than pure labs and weight 66 and 70 pounds respectively. Theyare very gentle and never bark inside or jump, though they do like a goodchat with the squirrels outside in the fall. They don't chew or climb onfurniture, they are great with kids, and are well house trained.They are inside dogs but have grown up with their own backyard and have notbeen socialized with other animals. We would only feel comfortable sendingthem to a new family that does not have other cats or dogs. These babies areolder, but as healthy mutts we think they have several good years left inthem. They show no signs of arthritis and don't even have any gray hairsyet! They would be especially good company for someone who wants reallysweet companions and not a jogging partner. They have never been walked muchand as long as they have a little bit of yard they will be fine without it.It is really important to us that we find them a good home as soon aspossible so we don't have to take them to the shelter. Here are some photoswe took last week (if you know labs you know why their faces look so focusedin their pose).Please contact Sandi at 919 819 1432 if you are interested in arranging avisit. Thank you so much for giving our sweeties a chance,Sandi, Joyce, Boo, and Bubba-- Sandra Chapman OsterkatzDepartment of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC 27599-3265

 

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