Celebrating the life of Mareasa Isaacs - Diversity Champion

9 Comments | Posted

mareasaOne of the strongest voices for cultural and linguistic competence has been lost with the passing of Mareasa Isaacs, who was most recently head of the National Alliance of Multi-Ethnic Behavioral Health Associations (NAMBHA). Her accomplishments are numerous - working as a Commissioner in both New York state and the District of Columbia, prolific author on cultural and linguistic competence, and so much more.

I first met Mareasa when she was heading up the Annie E. Casey Foundation Urban Initiative and I was working in collaboration with Barbara Huff on providing assistance to the Urban Casey Initiative sites. Mareasa was strong, kind, smart as all get-out, and focused on improving disparities in a most uncompromising way. Her willingness to risk so much to keep her voice so clear and unfettered with requirements and agendas of funders and other stakeholders was something I admired and in many ways has helped shaped our position here at the Children's Mental Health Network.

Details about services and ways to support her loving family can be downloaded here. I encourage you to share your thoughts below and definitely take a look at Ray Crowell's moving Facebook testimony.

Scott Bryant-Comstock


  1. hortencia benavidez's avatar
    hortencia benavidez
    | Permalink
  2. Patrick Kanary's avatar
    Patrick Kanary
    | Permalink
    If you are fortunate, you meet colleagues and friends that really impact and influence you and help you see through others' eyes. Thank you Mareasa for sharing that with me. My sincere condolences to her family and all those who cared for her.
  3. Eric Bruns's avatar
    Eric Bruns
    | Permalink
    Mareasa was a colleague, friend, and inspiration. I sought her out whenever I needed to remember what was important about our work in children's mental health. I will miss her.
  4. Susan E. Robinson's avatar
    Susan E. Robinson
    | Permalink
    In numerous forums, Mareasa offered us her insight and challenged us with her passion to build upon cultural strengths and remove barriers that hold us back & that diminish our children’s success. With a grateful heart many of us, with Mareasa, shared the journey of embracing parenthood, delighting in our children, and working to improve outcomes for children, youth and families – including our own. Within a short time this year, two dear colleagues and friends have transitioned from life as we know it. As it is with Jerome Henley, so it is with Mareasa, their spirits’ challenge me today as if it was 25 years ago when we first met, to ask of myself and of others in life, family, faith, and work "...if not now, then when?...”
  5. Joanne Nicholson's avatar
    Joanne Nicholson
    | Permalink
    Mareasa inspired me with her unwavering commitment and unmitigated passion--for the work we do, and in her relationships with colleagues, friends and family. My condolences to all who will miss her.
  6. Nadia's avatar
    | Permalink
    Today, I am filled with both sadness and joy. I first met Mareasa about 7 years ago. It was not until Ken Martinez introduced me to her personally that I realized how special I felt simply to know her. She always found a moment to recognize me even on a busy day in a crowd of hundreds. Mareasa IS a role model for all of us... and I thank Mareasa for her spirit and I thank CMHN for creating this opportunity for me to share...
  7. Barbara Friesen's avatar
    Barbara Friesen
    | Permalink
    Mareasa was an intelligent, highly dedicated, compassionate woman who was determined to right wrongs and improve the world for all people. I am saddened by her death, and know that her efforts will continue to stimulate discourse and change. I believe that she lives on in the memories of all of us who knew and cared for her.
  8. Rene` Anderson's avatar
    Rene` Anderson
    | Permalink
    Mareasa Issacs was a great and wonderful woman a true role model for all the world to see. I send my deepest sympathy and prayers to her loving family and friends she will be greatly missed.
    Rene` Anderson Tampa, Florida
  9. Kurt Moore's avatar
    Kurt Moore
    | Permalink
    A great woman who will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
    1. Leave a Comment