In Memoriam: Marilyn Clement

Marilyn Clement“Working for the common good is a wonderful way to live – a wonderful way to spend a lifetime. I entered that work through no virtue of my own, but through the mentoring and nurture, support and inspiration of a whole community of people all over the world… A community that taught me not to be afraid, but to live with a sense of fearlessness. It included the movement for justice in my town, my country and around the world … all taught me to be unafraid.”  Marilyn Clement

Marilyn Boydstun Clement, a tireless worker for civil rights and universal health care, died Monday, August 3, in New York City. She marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. She worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. In 2004 she founded Health Care Now!, an organization devoted to single-pay, universal health care.

 I knew Marilyn when we were students together at Tulia High School. I was a senior when she was a freshman. I graduated from THS in 1950, and don’t know that I saw her again until there was an all school reunion at picnic time 50 years later. I had learned that she was a social activist and sought her out to tell her the story of the Tulia Drug Sting. She provided a valuable contact to Margie Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Randy Credico and Sarah and Emily Kunstler at the Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.  Through these invaluable contacts we were able to secure nationwide media coverage and state-of-the-art legal assistance.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Marilyn lived most of her adult life in New York City. In February, 2004 Patricia and I and Freddie Brookins Sr. took a trip to the Big Apple, where she provided several venues for telling the Tulia story as well as providing wall-to-wall sleeping space for us in her efficiency Village apartment.

There will be a memorial service for Marilyn sometime this fall in New York City. I probably will not attend, but I do plan to give a gift in her memory to Friends of Justice.

I hope some of you can join me in that gesture.

 Charles Kiker

Charter Member of Friends of Justice

The New York Times has a brief obituary and you can find a thorough and well-written account of Marilyn’s work for racial justice and health care reform at the Health Care Now! website.

2 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Marilyn Clement

  1. I think Country Editor H. M. Baggarly was credited by Marilyn as being influential in the direction her life took.

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