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¡Presente! Remembering Vivian Stromberg

Vivian was at the heart of the movement to which we have devoted our lives. Her fierce dedication to social justice for women and families across the world was expressed by the friendship and support she offered boundlessly. Vivian created a family that extends around the world. She was a model for us all and re-inspires us to continue this work every day. Thank you, Vivian. - Yifat, Anne and MADRE’s Staff and Board

I first met Vivian in the early '80's at the height of the AIDS crisis then. I went with her to Cuba to see an alternate medical/political response. It was an amazing trip. Vivian was always at the ready to make a difference. What could say more about her extraordinary life than this. Bravo, Vivian for helping us all be present!!!! - Zillah Eisenstein

Queridas amigas de MADRE en nombre del Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres  y el mío propio hago llegar por esta vía nuestras condolencias por la partida de Vivian,  fuimos privilegiadas por ella ya que siempre mantuvo su compromiso incondicional y apoyo para las organizaciones de base y movimientos de mujeres. Abrazos, Juanita Jiménez Martínez, Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres de Nicaragua (MAM) 

Thanks for all you gave us...what you left is an incredible and huge legacy reflected in all the lives you touched, in the women, girls and boys that benefited from your generosity and restless stubborn solidarity...in your leadership in MADRE during a bit more than two decades...thanks for your political clarity and your commitment, for your good sense of humor and your courage, for your 'no bullshit' so needed in so many spaces...we are going to miss you very much compañera...thank you!! - Lydia Alpizar

We have received the sad news of the passing of our friend, mother, grandmother. This is indeed sad. We have lost a champion of women’s rights. She was passionate about indigenous women’s issues and her support was great. We are grateful for the time we were  able to interact with her. - The Indigenous Information Network

We have lost a major leader in our global civil society. Yet, in the midst of our loss and sadness, we celebrate the life of our Sister Vivian, who has given so much for social justice in the world. I met Vivian many years ago, when she opened the door of MADRE to the Indigenous women of the world and accompanied, with vision, courage and sustained commitment, some of Indigenous women’s most important organizational steps, namely the creation of FIMI, the International Indigenous Women’s Forum.Thank you, Vivian, for being such a light for all of us, for your love and your humor, for being such a Mother, Sister and co-traveller in the struggle for human rights for all women. - Elsa Stamatopoulou

Que noticia tan triste que perdida irreparable. Vivian era una mujer extraordinaria y ejemplo para todas nosotras. Nuestras muestras de condolencia a la familia de Vivian, mucha resignación, paciencia y sabiduría para seguir adelante sin la presencia de Vivian. Animos. Atentamente las mujeres Ixiles que hemos conocido y trabajado con Vivian. - Ana Ceto, Coordinadora MUIXIL 

We have a saying in my community about losing a parent; that losing a father is hurtful, but losing a mother orphans you and leaves you all alone. She was one a kind, and I can only hope that we manage to get a legacy close to hers when the time comes. Since that first meeting in her office room in New York, an unquestionable sisterly comradeship had started. She mentored and empowered me into what I became. She will always be with us, a loving Matriarch and source of strength. -Yanar Mohammed, The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq

Con mucha y pena y pesar, expreso mis muestras de condolencias a la familia de Vivian.  Fue una gran mujer comprometida con las luchas sociales y particularmente con las mujeres. Nos ha dejado su sabiduría y las huellas de sus obras, de su accionar, digna de ejemplo. Que descanse en paz. - Otilia Lux de Coti

What I remember most about Vivian is her unwavering commitment to the people of Nicaragua, particularly the women who suffer so much from the (ongoing) economic and political strife that so affects Nicaragua, particularly along the Eastern Coastline. It is a pleasure for me personally to be working with MADRE once again, and in Vivian’s unforgettable footsteps, as we continue to support the women of Nicaragua and their families. - Daniel A. Smith, Direct Relief International

Will never forget all your courage and love! Will never forget your humor and your commitment to women's rights and grassroots organizing! Thanks Vivian for all you gave me, for all you gave us! Crying for you, but really glad to have worked for you! -Mayra Moro Coco

Vivian and I shared a birthday, and each year she was better than I at remembering that - a sharp, fierce mind whatever was happening with her body. I knew her for so many years, having first worked a bit with MADRE when it was just forming - with Laura, Alexis De Veaux, Susan Sarandon, and such incredible women offering inspiration to transnational feminist solidarity. And of course that she shared a house with Rhonda, my dear friend and co-conspirator, was a real bond between us. I’ve met few visionaries of Vivian’s breadth - fearlessly working to bring medical supplies and support women’s (and children’s and men’s) liberation, health and social justice from Central America to Iraq to Palestine to Haiti. She brought a galvanizing presence and message to our students at Hunter College when I was teaching there in Women and Gender Studies in the 1990s, one of the most dynamic public forums we ever had. And the trip to Cuba I went on with Zillah - and Cathy, Edwidge Danticat, Jen Gaboury, and others - became unforgettable under Vivian’s bold leadership. She wasn’t always easy, but she injected fire and political courage in all our lives. - Ros Petchesky

I'm thinking about Vivian Stromberg, co-founder of MADRE, my beloved friend and mighty mentor. Vivian passed away yesterday after a long bruising fight. In my 20s I was lucky enough to be swept under her wing and taken off on life-changing journeys to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Gaza, Baghdad, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Rwanda, Haiti. There I saw Viv live Che's maxim: "a true revolutionary is guided by a feeling of great love." With a powerful righteous love and determination to change the conditions of people's lives, she stood with the vulnerable and stood up to the bullies and by always, always, having our backs, she taught generations of us to be less afraid. We are missing her. - Laura Flanders

Today we honor Vivian Stromberg, an extraordinary friend whose courage, passion, political acuteness and resilience have touch many women around the world. So grateful she was such a strong presence in our lives whose influence and leadership of the women's movement are beyond measure. 
We will truly miss you Vivian. Love you…Indai Sajor