We have learned that one of our Swarthmore alums, Ann Yasuhara, passed away on June 11,2014. Ann, a Quaker, had become a strong influence in the direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), working to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Friends lovingly referred to her as their “Mountain Woman”. EQAT recently honored Ann as one of their Elders at a special ceremony at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.
Others gathered for a memorial service and outdoor reception in Princeton:
We encourage you to read all of the obituary published in Princeton’s Town Topics, but we offer a few excerpts here:
A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family. Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.
Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”
“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.
We appreciate Ann for her profound influence on so many pursuing peace and justice.