Letter to the editor.
This is a letter to the editor from Downtown Ithaca Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Managing Editor Thomas Giery Pudney at tgpudney@ithacavoice.com.

Communities are built by committed, caring individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in the hard work that is inevitably required to bring about positive change. These individuals are indispensable to their communities: they engender leadership and visioning; they think beyond themselves and their immediate circle of acquaintances; they seek to include others and expand the horizons of those not as informed or empowered; they are quick to think about the needs of others and the role of their community in addressing unmet needs.

Kirby Edmonds was such an individual… A community builder and an agent of change. He championed inclusivity and empowerment. His sleeves were perpetually rolled up — always ready and able to move the bar of true community forward. A fellow and guiding light at the Dorothy Cotton Institute, Kirby helped to bring the trials and triumphs of the past to the turmoil and the promise of the present. As founder of the Building Bridges effort, Kirby sought to bring people together, to work through their differences and unite around their shared beliefs. A mediator and facilitator, Kirby had the rare talent to seek and tease out commonality and shared purpose in a group.

The unexpected passing of Kirby Edmonds saddens our community and all the people who were privileged to know him. His loss to our community is great. But, his contribution to our community was likewise so profound that we can only give thanks for his time with us and his contributions to make this part of our world a better, more just and meaningful place.

Gary Ferguson

Executive Director, Downtown Ithaca Alliance