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Roslyn Farrington
By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News
Published: 02 October 2014

Services for Roslyn Farrington are Saturday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m. at the Eliot Center Sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church, 1211 S.W. Main St.

A member of the North by Northeast Community Health Center board of directors, the dynamic feminist activist, mentor and artist passed away from breast cancer Friday, Sept. 26, 2014.

Her Facebook page has become a river of mourning with constant posts that so far have not slowed, from friends and admirers of every background.

Many commenters are her former students; many are fellow writers and others who attended self-help workshops for women that Farrington convened over the years at various locations around the region.

“Roslyn Farrington was one of the most impactful and life changing influences in my life,” Anna Beaty wrote. “She taught me about self-love, love for community, feminism, and gave me opportunities that have moved me towards a better life. From sitting in her intro class to student teaching her bell hooks class, I learned from her more than I can say.

“Roslyn also believed in me and helped me get into my graduate program . . . I certainly would not be where I am at today had I not walked into her classroom so many years ago. I haven't seen her in some time, but the last time I did, she gave me a huge love hug and filled me with belief that I could reach my goals.

“I feel heartbroken and grateful that so many people were touched by her.”

The first African American director to the Oregon Commission for Women, appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, Farrington served from 2000-2005. Over the years she pitched in to help lead grassroots projects and nonprofits from the Western States Center to the feminist theater company Broadarts’ Summer Peace Arts Theatre Camp at King Elementary School.

Since 2002, Farrington worked as a Portland State University Women’s Studies professor, teaching courses about gender but also many about writing, literature and personal health and wellness.

In 2005 Farrington formed her own nonprofit organization, All About Community, through which she offered an array of services and support to area groups and individuals. Farrington led free health classes for women and spoke to religious communities of many denominations.

In February of this year she offered an ongoing lecture series on the theme of “Living the Dream of Beloved Community.”

A dedicated artist, Farrington published a spoken word CD, “Affirmations with Roslyn,” currently available online. She also published several writings, including “Anna Holy Woman: Saying Yes to Divine Love.”

At the time of her death she was in the cast of the stage play, “My Walk has Never Been Average,” produced through Oregon Tradeswomen.

Because she loved karaoke so much, Farrington’s friends are holding a celebration in her memory at Chopsticks III: How Can Be Lounge, Saturday, Oct. 4, starting at 8:30 p.m., 535 NE Columbia Blvd.  

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the PSU Foundation for Roslyn Farrington Scholarship Fund at www.foundation.ped.edu. 

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