To our many friends throughout the world and
to the many people whom we have yet to meet, we bring greetings
and a heartfelt wish for peace in our battered world.
Since August 25, 1993, Amy has never left us. Her commitment
to the advancement of human rights in democratic societies,
her special concern for the rightful participation of women
in the democratic process and her focus on the needs and aspirations
of children have remained compelling examples for our family.
While we can never do what Amy did, we can each do our own unique
thing to carry on for Amy and for people of need and opportunity
in our world. Kimberly is busy addressing church and other organizations
on subjects of South Africa and her sister's work. Molly has
committed herself to the needs of America's inner cities and
has entered graduate school in sociology to prepare herself
for service. She has also proven herself as concert promoter.
Zach has contributed to newspaper and television treatments
of his sister's life and has dedicated his senior baseball season
to her. Linda and Peter have done considerable traveling, speaking
and appearing at events in Amy's honor and are actively managing
the new Amy Biehl Foundation with long distance assistance from
Scott Meinert in Oregon.
The Amy Biehl Foundation was launched with a special celebratory
fund raising event in Washington, D.C. on the night of April
28, 1994. Hugh Masekela and his band kept nearly 1000 people
very happy for almost four hours at Kilamanjaro on this final
day of South Africa's historic free elections. The spirit of
freedom was fused with the memory of Amy and the thousands of
comrades whose sacrifices contributed to this monumental transition
to a hard-earned democracy. Co-sponsored by Boston's Fund for
a Free South Africa (FREESA), proceeds from the event were evenly-shared
by the two organizations, and held in trust by FREESA pending
government approval of tax-exempt status for the Amv Biehl Foundation.
A commemorative tee-shirt designed and produced for the occasion
had sold-through three printings. Tee-shirts may still be obtained
by contacting the Foundation. With art design by Erik Dragset
and production underwritten by Rita Falkstein and Bruce Messerman,
the tee-shirt project has been a significant contributor to
the foundation. Molly Biehl, who was a principal organizer of
the concert event, reports seeing tee-shirts on people walking
everywhere in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood and throughout Washington
An anniversary concert is envisioned for April 28, 1995. Details
will be announced as plans are confirmed.
In addition to the new funding base for the Amy Biehl Foundation,
academic scholarship endowments are established in Amy's memory
at several institutions:
• Stanford University
• University of Nevada - Reno
• College of Santa Fe (New Mexico)
A special memorial fund exists at National Democrative Institute
for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. The support shown
for the Amy Biehl Foundation and for these additional memorial
funds has been inspiring and has given the Foundation governors
an incentive to add to the endowment base as imaginatively as
possible on a continuing basis.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation held its organizational
meeting in Newport Beach on August 25, 1994 - the first anniversary
of Amy's death. Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws were approved
and policies and procedures relative to grant applications and
awards were defined.
Two small gifts have been made to the Amy Biehl Memorial Community
Center in Happy Valley township and to the feed-the-hungry program
managed by St. Gabriel's Church in Guguletu township. In addition,
FREESA has made a $4000 grant in Amy's name to Ilitha Labantu,
a successful program for battered women and children, operating
in Guguletu. We are proud of these initial steps in building
the new South Africa. Although modest, these grants are very
much in keeping with Amy's tradition of quiet, grassroots service.
Many significant honors and recognitions of Amy's life have
occurred in recent months. Among these are the following:
• United Nations Association of Los Angeles, California
(Ralph Bunche Peace Prize)
• National Democratic Institute
for International Affairs (Annual dinner - Washington, D.C.
- special recognition)
• New Mexico Advocates for
Children and Families (Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award - Albuquerque,
• Soroptomist International of Irvine, California
(Women of Distinction Award)
• Women's Network Alert/Women
For: Orange County, CA (Annual Suffrage Day Luncheon - Dedication
to Amy Biehl)
• Metro International Fulbright Awards
Dinner - New York, N.Y. (United Nations Delegates' Dining Room
• Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is
of Anaheim and Irvine, CA (Models of Unity Award) · State
of Kansas - Topeka, Kansas (Kansas State Capital - Amy Biehl
• Stanford Alumni Association - Stanford,
California ("Good & Evil" video - dedicated to
Amy Biehl) · Stanford University - Stanford, California
(Stanford Memorial Chapel - memorial service)
Democratic Institute for International Affairs ("Uneven
Paths: Advancing Democracy in Southern Africa" - dedication
to Amy Biehl - Windoek, Nambia) (Annual Report, 1993 - dedicated
to Amy Biehl)
• State of New Mexico - Santa Fe, New
Mexico (Proclamation in honor of Amy Biehl)
of California - Sacramento, California (Proclamation in honor
of Amy Biehl)
• Cities of Newport Beach, California
-Santa Fe, New Mexico - Topeka, Kansas (Proclamations in honor
of Amy Biehl)
• United States Information Agency -
Washington, D.C. (Amy Biehl Fulbright Fellowships - 1994)
• ABC Television News - New York, N.Y. ("Inside the
Struggle: The Amy Biehl Story" -"Turning Point"
April 20, 1994)
Each of these recognitions of Amy's has been meaningfully and
thoughtfully presented. Family members and friends of Amy have
been present at virtually all presentation ceremonies.
Contact with South Africa has been maintained since Amy's death.
The entire family visited Cape Town, Durban/Happy Valley and
Johannesburg in October 1993. Linda and Molly returned in January
1994 to attend the trial of Amy's alleged killers. In August
1994, Linda and Kimberly attended the trial once again.
During these visits, contacts were made with President Nelson
Mandela, Minister of Justice Dullah Omar, Chief of Staff Jakes
Gerwel, Mrs. Chris Hani, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Ambassador Princeton
Lyman, Consul General Bismarck Myrick, Premier Tokyo Sexwalle
and the leadership of the government of Namibia.
Many grassroots contacts were established with leadership in
the townships, schools, universities, various NGOs and with
media. All of these contacts will be invaluable to the Amv Biehl
Foundation in identifying specific needs, opportunities, people
and organizations which can be addressed constructively by the
Foundation in the future.
As the holidays are upon us, the entire Biehl family is acutely
aware of the thousands of expressions of condolence and support
which have not yet been acknowledged directly. There quite simply
has not been time or opportunity to respond to everyone in a
satisfactory manner. Along with Scott Meinert, we have corresponded
with as many people as possible, but the task is monumental.
It is our hope that this newsletter, and those to follow, will
establish and maintain communication with the many people around
the world who have taken time and effort to express support
and interest in Amy and in her continuing work through the Amy
We are deeply appreciative of each expression which has reached
us and are committed to making the Foundation a force for good
in Amy's memory. Best wishes for peace in this holiday season.
Linda, Peter, Kimberly, Molly and Zach Biehl, Scott Meinert.
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