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Let’s Remember the Social Justice Organizers We Lost in 2018

Here are the voices and stories of organizers, activists and social justice leaders who passed away this year.

Activists from Brazilian Women Against Fascism UK, gathered outside the Brazilian embassy in London to protest against the election and future government of far right candidate Jair Bolzonaro as president of Brazil. During the vigil, activists paid tribute to victims such as Marielle Franco, a Rio de Janeiro city councilor who was brutally killed in March 2018.

There were thousands of organizers, activists and local social justice leaders around the world who died in 2018. These people may not have made the headlines, but they did crucial work in their local communities. Making Contact brings you some of the voices and stories of this year’s Fallen Heroes.

Special thanks to Discover Nikkei.

  • Dorothy Cotton, civil rights pioneer

  • Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, researcher and Japanese internment survivor — remembered by Karen Ishizuka, chief curator at the Japanese American National Museum

  • Muhiyidin Moye aka D’Baha, Black Lives Matter Charleston leader — remembered by Kim Duncan, sister of Muhiyidin Moye

  • Marielle Franco, Brazilian activist and Rio de Janeiro city councilor — remembered by Allyne Andrade, Brazilian lawyer and human rights activist

  • Ray Hill, LGBTQ and prison activist — remembered by Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston and President and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Victory Institute

  • Saw O Moo, Burmese environmental and human rights activist — remembered by Hsa Moo, Karen Environmental and Social Action Network media coordinator

  • Kiilu Nyasha, Black Panther and host of “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” — remembered by Billy X Jennings, Black Panther archivist

  • Ursula Le Guin, science fiction novelist