About Susan

susan_canyonSusan was relatively new to San Diego. She made an indelible mark in just 4 years and developed a multitude of friends in short order. She joined the Board of Directors of Activist San Diego and served as one of its officers. Susan reveled in the idea of building a network for social justice, that would engage new people and anticipated the pending launch of ASD’s FM Community Radio Project. Susan was an enthusiastic member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, believing that it was essential to have an internationalist, long-term, post-capitalist, vision to complement grassroots activism.

The Iraq/Afghan wars were so abhorrent to her that she seldom missed a SD Coalition for Peace and Justice meeting, worked with Code Pink and was passionate about the Stop Blackwater campaign. After attending the US Social Forum in Atlanta she contributed her organizing skills to create a similar project locally. We could go on…

Susan thrived in the wonders of the nature. Love and respect for the environment ran through her blood.

Susan was a wonderful mother and incomparable partner. She was fabulous cook, loved good wine and feeding thoughtful company. She gravitated to those who sought deeper human bonds. From her teenage participation in the African-American Civil Rights movement to her recent defense of marriage equality, she always cherished the quest for fuller equality.

Martin and Susan met 37 years ago, lived intensely and traveled for 6 months in the back roads of South America at a time, not unlike today, when the continent is alive with social change and the people were yearning and organizing for freedom. The experience transformed both of us at our core and led us on a life-long quest the cause of justice.

For this reason Susan and others helped initiate the:

Susan West Friedman Fund for Civil and Human Rights

She wanted this to be part of her legacy. We welcome your participation and will cherish your donations.

When Susan got diagnosed, she was the recipient of all the good karma that she had spread over the years. A community of friends she’d recently made in San Diego enveloped us with love and met our every need. But in a matter of just 12 weeks Susan succumbed to the invading brain tumors that stole her vital functions.

Like a good freedom fighter, her spirit relinquished the territory of a dying body and now travels freely among the people. Her loving, fighting spirit lives on with us wherever the cause of justice is at play.

We miss her deeply, but she’d want us to renew our commitment to each other and all that will sustain our natural and human environments. In loving humanity and one another we show our lasting love for Susan and all she lived for.

Don’t Mourn, Organize… and party!

Susan West Friedman Presente!

~~~~~~~~ Susan’s Last Letter ~~~~~~~~

Hello dearest friends and family;

I want to thank you all

for being such great pillars of support

for me over these past few days.

It has been crazy to go through this and

knowing how much

you all care

has meant so much to me.

I am beyond lucky to have Martin here with me,

as a great source of

inspiration and love,

it is simply impossible to describe.

Your offers of flowers,

kind wishes,

or just being around

for me is

such a great motivation

and keep those positive thoughts coming!!

with Love,


Fri, 21 Aug 2009