Advocate of all Advocates
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Praxis International advocate, Anne Marshall Pence, on April 10, 2012, age 90.
Anne was our colleague ... friend ... sister ... mother ... grandmother. She was a passionate, dedicated advocate, and she embodied what Praxis seeks to teach others about advocacy on behalf of women and their children.
Memorials can be made to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.
Anne raised a family, worked as a school bookkeeper and an accountant in the private sector until her 60's. Then, when most would be setting their sights on retirement, she began her work in the battered women's movement. She committed her time and energy to this social change work until her final days. Anne was the mother of Ellen Pence, our former director, to whom she passed much of her skill and talent as a critical thinker and passionate activist - but Anne was an advocate in her own right and blazed her own trails.
Anne joined the collective of Women's Advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota as an accountant in 1976. She brought expertise with finance to one of the first shelters in the nation, but was soon appreciated for her advocacy voice and willingness to challenge our movement to think more deeply and critically about sexism, racism, and classism and their impact on women and society. She approached advocacy as a partnership with women and staunchly adhered to the principle of keeping the voices of battered women central in our movement's work.
In the 80's she became an advocate at Alexandra House in Fridley then joined the staff of Home Free Shelter in Plymouth. She started the Brooklyn Center Intervention Project in 1983 - one of the first criminal justice intervention projects in Minnesota. Her wit, sharp mind and commitment to changing how battered women were treated within the legal system soon won over judges, police officers and the chief of police; the city proclaimed June 29th, 1990 as Anne Marshall Day in recognition of this work. She went on to concurrently run the Home Free Intervention Project in Crystal, Golden Valley and Plymouth. She was especially proud of the volunteers which were the foundation of each of these projects; many were survivors who took up the cause because of the advocacy and support they received from Anne.
Amanda McCormick, Cheryl Beardslee, Cyndi Cook and Julie Tilley
on behalf of the staff and board of Praxis International.