Virtual Memorial for THE Honorable Ron Dellums


“Once you see injustice, once you understand pain, you cannot walk away from that responsibility to speak up. Once you see the harm that is being done, you no longer have the excuse of ignorance.

I believe that the overarching responsibility of a leader and a person in political leadership is to be a part of educative process and to bring people along with you.”

Ronald V. Dellums


We are profoundly sad to share the devastating news of the passing of the Honorable Ronald V. Dellums, a warrior for justice, global humanitarian, father, son, husband, and child of Oakland. Our prayers, love, and great gratitude go out to the Dellums family: his wife Cynthia, his children Pamela Holmes (deceased), Rachel Chapman, R. Brandon Dellums, Erik Todd Dellums, Piper Monique Dellums, stepson Kai Lewis, 6 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.  We have been blessed to have had the extraordinary opportunity to work with and for one of the world's most principled, visionary, and courageous leaders who devoted his life's mission to fighting for justice for all peoples.  May we continue his legacy in all that we do next.

The Dellums Institute for Social Justice

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Democracy Now! Tribute:

Remembering Ron Dellums

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“He was the voice and the soldier crying in the wilderness alone on those issues. But he was also the hero of the invisible. You do recall that he was the first Democratic Socialist who called himself a Feminist. He was a hero to the invisible, to the oppressed, to the lost and shattered, the marginalized, the despised and abused, the faceless some being evicted to the incarcerated, from the healed to the crippled, from the activists to the veteran. He was a peace monger. I called him the Eve’s and the Esther’s of the world, the women of the world.

He was focused on human trafficking and the AIDS pandemic and the human condition and the Cuban Missile Crisis and human dignities in every race, gender, and sexual orientation including in the military. He was faith painted in distinction on this great canvas of the human condition. There was not one area of progressive ideology of peace, of human dignities and rights that he didn’t cover, that he didn’t tap. He was extraordinary in the world and he was extraordinary in his humanity in the private sanctuary of who he was as a father and as a husband. He was man and flawed and extraordinary beautiful.

I’d like him to be remember as young kid from West Oakland, who found his way out of the inner city to the Marine Corps to UC Berkeley to the Halls of Congress to South Africa, to Haiti, to Cuba, to Grenada, to women, to homosexuals, bisexuals, and lesbians, to humanity. And his fight will continue and it is needed and necessary at this time in our nation more than ever before.”

Piper Dellums

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NY Times:

Ron Dellums, Unrelenting in Congress, Upheld Left’s Ideals

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The Washington Post:

The lessons we can still learn from my friend ron dellums

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The Nation:

Ron Dellums Maintained a ‘Relentless Faith in Our Ability to Make a Better World’

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The last few years offered me the unforgettable opportunity to befriend an incredible man from whom I leaned the virtue of living through your beliefs.

Ron was one of the last true Africanists. He understood well that the plight of Africans (in Nigeria, South Africa, Guinea, Mozambique, Rwanda ....and in the diaspora, in Jamaica, Oakland, New York, France, England ...) was one and the same. His engagement for the well being of the people of Oakland was not more fierce than the energy he put into ending apartheid in South Africa.

In private he was a true gentle giant. His smile, warm handshake and passionate conversations easily conquered the most hardened souls. I always looked forward to hearing his baritone voice, brotherly expressions, hypnotic smile and spirited ideas.

I will definitely miss my brother and the multitude of inspirational thoughts he bestowed upon me.

May God grant him the gratefulness we failed to bestow upon him

Very best wishes,
Mori Diane

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SF Gate:

Remembering Ron Dellums, Former Congressman & Oakland Mayor

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The Dellums Institute for Social Justice