Celebrating the life of Mareasa Isaacs – Diversity Champion
August 27, 2012
One 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.