A Dedication to Our Dear Departed Friend and Colleague, Adrienne Gavula
By Ann Ruege
On Saturday, February 24, friends and family of Adrienne Gavula gathered in our Columbus office for the dedication of the “Adrienne Gavula Community Room.”
The event began with people sharing their stories to celebrate the legacy of our former Development Director who passed away unexpectedly on September 2, 2017. Adrienne’s leadership, strength, and lifelong dedication to social justice were at the forefront of the poignant speeches about a woman who impacted our organization from the moment she joined our team in 2004. Adrienne played a critical role in establishing our new Columbus office, and as a small testament to her, we named the central meeting space “The Adrienne Gavula Community Room.” A plaque, photo, and painted quote anchor the room and symbolize the community engagement Adrienne envisioned.
After the unveiling of the wall, the ACLU of Ohio’s President, Jack Guttenberg, began with a reading of the board resolution that was officially enacted during a board meeting on February 3, 2018. Other readers included current and former staff, and additional board members.
The board resolution reads:
Be it resolved, that the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio dedicates the common area of its Columbus office as the Adrienne Gavula Community Room, in honor of the life, work and witness of our colleague and friend, Adrienne Gavula (1982-2017).
Henceforth, may the Adrienne Gavula Community Room serve as a gathering place for the people of Columbus and all Ohio to discuss important issues of our time, to engage in learning and dialogue in the advancement of freedom, the protection of civil liberties, and the expansion of civil rights.
Let free speech and diverse opinions flourish here, and let people draw comfort and confidence in knowing their insights, experiences and opinions are valued in this space.
In keeping with Adrienne’s hope, may this Community Room serve to strengthen the mission of the ACLU of Ohio, its outreach and visibility. Through forums, seminars, shared meals and receptions, and informal conversations, may greater community prosper and friendships be established.
So, let us welcome diverse people and perspectives, in remembrance and celebration of Adrienne’s example. May each gathering here remind us of the great work and hope we share: democracy defended, freedom cherished, all humanity dignified.
Board of Directors
American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
February 3, 2018
As we move forward, we remember Adrienne’s powerful words,
“Only in our collective power is change possible. We cannot afford to be immobilized. The stakes are too high and too many people are counting on us.”
This statement is now written on our wall as a constant reminder of her activism.
We will have spring programming events in the Adrienne Gavula Community Room posted soon on our calendar page. We look forward to sharing in conversations with all in our greater Columbus community.
Take a look below at some photos from the dedication.