Friday, September 11, 2015
Lynn Walker Huntley passed away on August 30th from cervical cancer. Lynn's professional stature is well know in the civil rights and education community. Most recently, she was the president of the Southern Education Foundation. She served there for 15 years. Before that, she was a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where she spent more than a decade funding so much of the work that now forms the intellectual and empirical foundation of today's thinking on civil rights and social justice. Her early career was spent at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and then the Department of Justice, were she held important leadership roles.
As impressive and important as those accomplishments are, Lynn stands out most in my mind for the type of person she was. Lynn was one of the most genuinely warm people I have met. She felt like family from the first time I met her. Her cadence bubbled with joy. Her gazes conveyed understanding and compassion. Her embraces surrounded you with love. She was the type of person who made you want to move to Atlanta just so you could be around her more. Top that off with her brilliance and wit and you have one of the most remarkable people you could ever hope to have the honor of sitting down next to for just a few moments.
More on her career and links to her essays urging us all to do more to further justice can be found here, here, and here.