Amazing Life of Alice O. Lynch 1949-2018
She served in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault for over 30 years. Serving as the Executive Director of Black, Indian, Hispanic, and Asian Women in Action (BIHA) for over 20 years, an organization that provided advocacy, education, information, and referral to Communities of Color around social issues and the impact these issues have on family stability.
Ms. Alice spearheaded the first Restorative Justice Project in North Minneapolis. Under her leadership, BIHA and other community members began providing Peacemaking Circles for youth involved in Juvenile Court. They later started providing circles for ex-offenders, re-entry circles, and support circles for persons involved with Drug Court.
She was an active participant in every phase of WOCN, Inc., as a Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence project and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. She provided hundreds of hours of expertise and diligence guiding the WOCN, Inc. spin-off process as an independent non-profit organization in September 2014, including serving on both Boards for ease of transition.
One of Ms. Alice's favorite projects that she helped lead with WOCN, Inc. was our Radio Show Project. Ms. Alice and Sumayya "Fire" Coleman, her dear sister friend in WOCN, Inc. and in life, co-hosted Sisters of Survival (SOS) Radio Show from 2007-2009, and The Women of Color Network, Inc. Radio Hour, with support from the WOCN, Inc. staff, in partnership with the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community.
Ms. Alice forged a profound local and national impact. We had the excellent opportunity to participate in a ceremony hosted by A CALL TO MEN, celebrating her retirement from the WOCN, Inc. Board. She was honored by dozens of adoring Minnesota community members and national advocates.
She gave her time to many causes and organizations. Among many awards, she was one of the One Thousand Women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (one of 42 women nominated from the United States) in 2005.
In 2007 she coordinated Talking Circles for the Science Museum of Minnesota RACE Exhibition. When they developed a traveling exhibit, Alice also traveled with the exhibit to train others to host Talking Circles for their communities. Until she passed, she traveled with the exhibition across the country.
Alice was one of three founders of the African American Professionals Work Group on Child Protection (now the African American Coalition on Child Protection) in 2014. Together with Linda Fancher and Vivian Jenkins Nelsen, Alice helped nurture and guide AACCP into being. She served as Co-chair of AACCP and member of Hypatia's intergroup dialogue team.
In 2017 Alice was the third female to received a Sons Of Bransford or SOB Awards that honors in the community Icon, Jim Bransford. The Sons Of Bransford or SOB Awards recognizes Black men and women that have had a positive impact on the African American community through their quiet and not so quiet leadership. In honor of her legacy and practice of love, compassion, and advocacy in her memory, we added a new Sons Of Bransford award, the Alice Lynch Community Service Award.
She mentored many women and men across age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, disability, country origin, and all identities. She was adored for her ability to create a space of openness and connection across communities. Within all of the circles, she referred to everyone as "sweetheart and beloved," preferred to be called "Ms. Alice" as a sign of well-earned respect and endearment, and loved her role as 'elder.'