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Remembering Nikeeta Slade

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By Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker

Nikeeta Slade was one of our favorite people. She died suddenly on May 7 from an unexpected adverse medical event. She was only 32. The Greens have lost one of their most committed, knowledgeable, and talented organizers.

Nikeeta was a member of the Green Party in Syracuse, New York and had been a member of the now disbanded International Socialist Organization. Before she completed her apprenticeship to become a union millwright, Nikeeta had been an organizer at the Workers Center of Central New York. She was on the staff of Howie’s 2014 campaign for Governor of New York and was an advisor to our 2020 presidential campaign on policing and racial justice issues.

Nikeeta was a leader in Black Lives Matter Syracuse. Here is an interview Howie did with her after a BLM-Syracuse demonstration on June 6 last year. Angela and Howie had Nikeeta on their weekly livestream in December to talk about organizing.

Nikeeta was co-host of the podcast Queer Women of Color (QueerWOC), which is one of Angela’s favorites. The humor and brilliance she shared from the podcast and her voice and repartee with her co-host, Dr. Money, are really going to be missed.

Nikeeta was the most well-read and informed member of her generation of activists we have met. Howie had many discussions with Nikeeta about organizing and social theory. Among favorite books they often referred back to in those discussions were Robert L. Allen’s Black Awakening in Capitalist America (1969) and Mike Davis’ Prisoners of the American Dream: Politics and Economics in the History of the American Working Class (1986), books that too few current activists have read. Howie was delighted to have someone to talk with about them. He will miss Nikeeta as much for those conversations as for the consistent energy and commitment she brought to the movement.

Nikeeta contributed so much in her short life and had so much more to give. That is what she enjoyed doing. We are thankful for her blessing us with her contributions while she was here and so sad that she has departed.

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