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Carl Maxey Center holds emotional memorial service for Spokane activist Sandy Williams

Council members, Carl Maxey Center board members and close friends filled the First Interstate Center for the Arts to celebrate Sandy's life and impact on Spokane.

SPOKANE, Wash. — On Tuesday night, the people who knew and loved Sandy Williams filled the First Interstate Center for the Arts for her memorial.

City Council members, Carl Maxey Center board members and close friends talked about Sandy's life, the things she loved and her dedication to being a truth and story teller.

Williams was the creator of The Black Lens, executive director of the Carl Maxey Center, and one of the founders of Spokane Community Against Racism, and tonight, people celebrated her accomplishments and her commitment to being a loving and listening friend, sister, daughter and mother.

"While I knew that this would not be the easiest thing I've ever done, I didn't realize that it would be something that would actually take my breath away," Spokane NAACP president Kiantha Duncan said. 

"Carl Maxey and Sandra Williams," close friend Dennis Cronin started. "Two leaders -- courageous bookends to our struggles for civil rights and equity for all members of our Spokane community." 

"Because she's with us, we'll be a little more tenacious in telling the truth, we'll be a little more courageous in moving forward against the odds, and most of all, we'll be a lot more loving to everyone around us," city council president Breean Beggs said. 

"And so 'what are we going to do?,' editor of The Spokesman Review Rob Curley said. "Well let me tell you what we're not going to. We're not going to let The Black Lens die." 

There was also a moment to highlight Sandy's partner Pat Hicks, who also died in the seaplane crash. 

"As we continue to remember Sandy, let's not forget about Pat Hicks because she completed Sandy," Carl Maxey Center Board Member Sylvia Brown said. "This earth and community we lived in was something she really loved."

Between speakers, there were also dedications of dance, song and praise. There were several standing ovations throughout the night as people celebrated the many facets of Sandy Williams.

Speakers talked of the great work Sandy did for Spokane, and even though she already had so much already on her plate, she still had so much she wanted to accomplish.

Speakers asked those watching and in the audience to use their emotions as fuel to help continue Sandy's efforts to create a better and more equitable Spokane.

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