Angela Berkfield: In Memoriam
Angela Berkfield, social justice educator, activist, and lead author of the book Parenting 4 Social Justice: Tips, Tools, and Inspiration for Conversations and Action with Kids, died September 14, 2021, of breast cancer. She was 44 years old.
Angela was a force for radical love who believed that "a world where everyone can thrive is possible, and coming." As she wrote in February 2021, "When we understand and feel our connection to all beings, we know that when other beings are hurting, we are also hurting. We are inspired to change our actions, to create what it is that will heal us, all of us."
Some of her dearest friends reflected on Angela's presence in their lives, in a piece that ran in The Commons on September 22, 2021. Below are excerpts from that piece.
"I am forever changed by her, as are so many who have expressed the same feeling recently. She was my person: the one I always invited, always went to, always shared things with. But she’s also a person whose example taught me, again and again, how to live well, to live honestly, and to live fully into the belief that a better world is possible." —Abi Healey
"Making people feel their worth, and feel the glow of her love, was her gift." —Melissa Alvarado Lees
"More than a leader in our community, more than a friend or colleague, Angela was and is our kin. Our kindred. And now she is among our well ancestors, and may she rest in peace and power. Laughing with us, guiding us, loving us from that realm as she did in this one. Teaching us how to walk as she did, into wild places, ready for the impossible." —Naomi Doe Moody, on behalf of the SUSU Healing Collective
"Angela left this realm knowing that she will never be forgotten and that her work is in all of us. Her spirit watches over us, and her light shines bright. We will forever be grateful to Angela for her gifts. May she rest in power and be one with the ancestors. ... You are our Roots, Angela! We rising up!" —Shela Linton
"She had a long vision of a different kind of world, and she embodied that vision in every way she could, every day, with every person. Her legacy lives on in the people she loved: all of us." —Kendra Colburn
"She truly was one of the most remarkable humans I have ever known. And I know that she influenced so many just like me. Her love was and is exponential, because it lives on in me, in each of us that she has influenced. She brought people together in such powerful ways. She embodied community, she taught for it, she stood for it, she lived for it! I love you, Angela Berkfield. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving us all." —EV Valentine
"I bow to Angela’s commitment to tapping her inner knowing and committing to its guidance, no matter how edgy. I celebrate this precious, fully embodied existence—Angela’s life feels like victory." —Dana Renault
As noted in her obituary, in her final year and a half Angela was transformed by her healing journey with cancer, which she shared publicly through her writing on CaringBridge. During her final month, she expressed profound joy that she would soon meet her ancestors, who she knew were waiting to greet and welcome her to the spirit world.
Family, friends, and co-conspirators gathered on September 25, 2021 at Amazing Planet! Farm in Williamsville, VT—and on October 16, 2021 at Woodbury Baptist Church in Woodbury, MN—for wonderful, and wonder-filled, celebrations of Angela's life.
The October 19, 2021 episode of adrienne maree brown's and Autumn Brown's How to Survive the End of the World podcast opens with an exquisite tribute to Angela, and her Facebook page contains an outpouring of love and grief and appreciation for the existence of this beautiful human. Angela's CaringBridge journal also includes memories and reflections from many of her beloved.
Donations are welcome ongoing, in Angela's honor, to SUSU CommUNITY Farm, The Root Social Justice Center, Out in the Open, Migrant Justice, and Grassroots International, all organizations that Angela supported in her lifetime.