In Memoriam: Lenora Lapidus

May 14. 2019
ERA Staff

It is with heavy hearts but joyful memories that we say goodbye to our dear colleague and friend Lenora Lapidus. Lenora was the leader of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and one of the original founders of the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, chaired by Equal Rights Advocates. She passed away May 5 after a long, brave battle with cancer. Thank you for remembering Lenora with us.

Tributes from the Equal Pay Today Campaign Family

  • Noreen Farrell, Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates / Chair, Equal Pay Today Campaign

“The entire team at Equal Rights Advocates and broader network of the Equal Pay Today! Campaign joins the country in mourning the loss of Lenora Lapidus. Lenora was the inspirational leader of the ACLU Women’s Project, a treasured partner, and wonderful friend. Five years ago, I sat in a room with Lenora Lapidus to think big. We joined leaders of women’s rights organizations from across the country to build something stronger than the sum of our parts to get women the pay they deserve, finally. From that big thinking came the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, a collaborative effort of over 30 organizations to close the gender and race wage gap. It was my honor to serve with Lenora on the Campaign’s Steering Committee. Her tireless enthusiasm and vision helped build Equal Pay Today and such outstanding work at the ACLU. I have relied on both in working alongside her for over a decade in our fight for gender justice. Lenora was also unfailingly warm and funny, a true friend to many of us. She sparkled, and not just because she had enviable jewelry pizzazz. It is because she understood the need to live life to the fullest, every day. It is very difficult to grapple with the loss of such a fierce sister and one the country’s most gifted gender justice lawyers, but we will take her passion for this work with us in our fights ahead. We send our deepest condolences to her family and other colleagues and friends.”

  • Andrea Johnson, Senior Counsel for State Policy, National Women’s Law Center

“I was very fortunate to get to work with Lenora from the beginning of my time at NWLC as a legal fellow, mostly through our work with Equal Pay Today. She was always so welcoming and right away made me feel like an equal colleague with worthwhile contributions who should be at the table—even as I was still very much learning the ropes. She always gave me a hug when I saw her at work events and would share wonderful stories about her family that made you feel like a close friend. As a newer attorney in constant awe of women’s rights giants like Lenora, Lenora’s welcoming approach gave me a confidence boost and set an example for how I should grow as an advocate.  Lenora was a fierce advocate for all and an example for empowering younger advocates. She will be so very missed.”

  • Sara Alcid, MomsRising, Campaign Director

“The MomsRising team is extremely saddened by the loss of Lenora Lapidus, a visionary leader for gender justice in all its forms. It was Lenora’s passion and hard work that helped form Equal Pay Today and we’ll miss her wisdom, leadership, and true kindness. We send our condolences to her family, the entire staff at ACLU, and the many movement friends she made. We will honor her memory by continuing the fight for gender equity.”

  • Terry Fromson, Women’s Law Project, Managing Attorney

“While my path may have crossed Lenora’s periodically early in my days at the Women’s Law Project, it was Equal Pay Today! where I had the real opportunity to get to know and work with Lenora. Lenora dedicated her life to being a tireless advocate for equality and accomplished more than I can describe. She was generous with her time and friendship and will be remembered for her outstanding leadership and dedication to equality. I admired her thoughtful and creative approach to her work, her positive spirit, and her unlimited support of her colleagues. She leaves a legacy that will inspire those who follow.  I am grateful to have known Lenora and will miss her.”

If you would like to contribute a memory of Lenora to this post, please email Jess Eagle at [email protected]

To learn more about Lenora’s inspirational life and powerful legacy, read her obituary in the New York Times.

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