22 July 2011

Monica Shay

Monica Shay, died on Thursday, July 7. She was 58 years old. She died after being shot on Saturday, July 2, in her family’s weekend home in Pennsylvania. Also shot were her husband, Paul Shay, Paul’s nephew Joseph Shay, Joseph’s girlfriend Kathryn Erdman, and Kathryn Erdman’s two-year-old son Gregory. Paul’s nephew and the two-year-old child were killed in the shooting.
Monica Shay was a devoted supporter of IACSC in addition to many social justice movements.  Her lifelong commitment to bettering our world has permeated the cultural, community, activist, and academic sectors and beyond.  Her ability to reach such an array of diverse people is not only a testament to her strength of character, but also to her unwavering care, consciousness, and solidarity to all those who believe in human rights.  As a founding member of Pratt’s Initiative for Arts, Community and Social Change (IACSC), Monica was involved in developing, planning, producing and inspiring many of our programs. 
Her students have joined forces to organize a fund for a scholarship in her name which can be donated to here.  
Below are some remarks from IACSC members:
Monica, simply by being herself, made me want to be a better person.  I watched her perform in meetings and we talked and worked on projects together.  Her calm reasoning, ability to deeply listen and thoughtfully react, joy in simple things, and ability to offer viable solutions to puzzling problems are traits I treasured in her, and will continue to strive to make a part of my being.  I am deeply saddened by our loss.
-Janelle Farris

Like all of you I am shocked and saddened by this horrendous act of senseless violence. Monica is a stalwart, the kind of colleague you want to have in your corner. I immediately thought of the evening after the Park 51 event when we were all hanging out celebrating. Monica enjoyed that evening immensely, and we all enjoyed her!
- Ann Holder
Image by Sasha Sumner
The tragedy that took Monica from us is unspeakable and contrasts so heavily to her years of work for peace, equity, and social justice.  Having known Monica through several organizations I know how tirelessly she worked and how much her efforts and presence will be missed.  I look forward to seeing her work carried on by the many people she inspired, educated, and marched in solidarity with knowing that this is what truly makes a person live on.
-Brynna Tucker

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