Since last week, our hearts have been full of grief over the sudden passing of Elandria Williams — a beloved friend and mentor, visionary leader, and giant in the solidarity economy movement.
This organization and our movement would not exist as it is today without Elandria Williams.
As this network and the solidarity economy movement in the United States has evolved, Elandria has accompanied us every step of the way with crystal clear vision, deep faith, and unrelenting passion.
Elandria was an unbelievable force for building greater community and cooperation, which is really to say that they were an unbelievable force for love.
E had connections with every corner of the global solidarity economy movement, because anything less than organizing the entire world was not enough for Elandria.
And yet, somehow Elandria could see what was happening globally just as clearly as they could see what was happening inside a single person.
I first met Elandria when I was a shy 15-year old, and like literally hundreds of others, Elandria made feel seen. They told me that I was worthy. E was like that — they made you know that they believed in you, even when you didn’t believe in yourself. The same rigor they brought to their work, they brought to relationships. They noticed things in people that went unnoticed, and with unbelievable persistence, they would make sure that you felt your own worth, strength, and beauty. And then they would shine a spotlight on you so that everyone else saw it too.
E turned more of us into lifelong freedom fighters than we can count.
Elandria has been, and will continue to be, a heart and soul powering our movements. E spent every day fighting relentlessly, building relentlessly, so that tomorrow could be better. Today we are hurting, really badly, and many of us are apart. This moment calls on us to rise to Elandria’s standards, to refuse to be disconnected and insist upon being more together. All ways. Always.
Elandria’s legacy is clear— their light shone brilliantly bright— and now it has been passed to us. We might not feel ready, but it’s an unbelievable honor.
With all of our love,
Sachie and the NEC team
“Our souls and bodies yearn for a world that E inspired so many to imagine. Our commitments are to keep building that world and to tend to one another while we do so, because that’s what E has asked us to do.” — Highlander Center
Elandria is a part of all of us. Join us in expressing your love and honoring of Elandria’s legacy by posting on social media using the hashtag #ElandriaTaughtUs.
If you would like to make a donation in honor of their work and life you can do that here.
Learn more about Elandria's work & legacy:
- Achieving Sovereignty and Self Determination for Our Communities
- Why the Solidarity Economy Matters for Free Black Futures
- Give to Support Solidarity Economy Infrastructure
- Beautiful Solutions
- Disability Justice & COVID-19
- Full list of webinars, writing, and podcasts