Ask anyone and they’ll tell you Stephanie Gasca was a real one – a take no shits, fierce mother and tía, organizer, and powerhouse. Stephanie did not care about performance politics; she cared about loving her people and getting her people free.
Stephanie, dedicated her time as a basketball mom, a community organizer, and a great purveyor of flair and personal style. She ran for office, organized for local change, and served as the former Director of Communications for CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha). Stephanie graduated from ReFrame’s second class of the ReFrame Mentorship in 2016. In 2017, she led the Fight for $15 victory in Minneapolis and helped pass a citywide ordinance raising the minimum wage. She continued to be a part of Team ReFrame after the mentorship as an active member of our alumni network and joined the ReFrame staff team in 2020. Stephanie’s impact on ReFrame and movement work in Minnesota and beyond was deep and wide.
Over the last few years, Stephanie brought her brilliance, care, and love for the people front and center, embedding it in work that we do every day. Her leadership has strengthened our systems in a way that cares for the people: participants in our programs; Reframe coaches, trainers, and mentors; and of course, her comrades here at ReFrame. We are better as a result of her leadership, friendship, and contributions and her passing leaves a hole in all of our hearts.
We sit in celebration for Stephanie and her contributions. We continue to push our work forward among grief yet we continue to find gems and treasures that she left behind for us. I hope she knew how much she was cared for, valued and held, and continues to be missed.
Stephanie was such a joy to work with. She brought realness, laughter and creativity and was such a special person. She will be deeply missed.
There are the people you see daily, and their absence stings whenever you don't see them. And there are those people you don't see every day, but you are assured and eased knowing that they are out there, making this world bearable simply by being who they are. For me, Stephanie was the latter. Our lives couldn't be much more different, yet we found a connection in our shared work of making the world better. We nurtured that connection with laughs, some good shade, mutual encouragement, and movement. I ache knowing Stephanie is not out there being a fierce and proud mama, a leader in her community, a smart and creative force in the lives of those she touched, and ultimately unapologetically herself.
Stephanie Gasca -Tiocfaidh ár lá
- Joseph Phelan
Stephanie was more than a leader and a comrade; she was a dear friend who operated out of a deep sense of care for people. While I had the extreme privilege of witnessing and experiencing the care during our time together at ReFrame, it was just how she operated with her family, the sports teams her children played on, her neighbors whose cars got stuck in the snow during harsh Minneapolis winters and in the way she organized. I close my eyes and see her dancing to Tina Turner in the back of a party bus with her gold signature bamboo hoops shimmering in the light, her vibrant smile and laughter in the toasts people shared over dinner, and the excitement she shared with me in witnessing the iteration of ReFrame's work. Stephanie, I will miss you forever, friend.
- Jess St. Louis
I admire and will always remember Stephanie's fierce and indomitable spirit, her communication prowess, and the love and devotion she poured into her community. I'm so grateful I got to know her during our time together at ReFrame and I am sending her loved ones my deepest thoughts and condolences in her transition. May her legacy and self-effacing love for others and for justice continue to inspire and move us.
- Keith Brooks
Please save the date for August 15 and join ReFrame in honoring Stephanie’s memory. You can register here.
More information about memorial services in Minneapolis on Sunday, July 23, can be found here.
If you would like to support Stephanie’s family please contribute to the GoFundMe.
Stephanie, may you rest in power, may your familia and comrades find peace and inspiration in your honor, and may all of us be able to channel that small light of chingona rage, joy and glory into magic and momentum on our shared journey to freedom.
hermelinda and Team ReFrame
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