With deep sadness and appreciation, we honor the life and work of Dr. Miranda Merklein who passed away on October 14th, 2017. Miranda is a former adjunct professor with a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, and a BA in Political Science from College of Santa Fe. She worked as a faculty organizer in higher education with SEIU 925 in Seattle, Washington and was a Faculty Forward Network member.
Miranda was a fierce adjunct activist who paved the way for others and modeled speaking truth to power: “Even though I don’t have academic freedom, I’m going to act like I do,” Miranda says here. “I’m going to teach as though I had tenure. And if I get fired, then I get fired.” Miranda was also a poet, a mother, a grandmother, and friend to many.
In her words:
It’s a messed up world. Before leaving Seattle, I was an organizer for a group who fought slumlords. We did a march on one of them with 30 people, which was pretty cool to see, as far as the tenants being empowered. In Seattle, they are renting single rooms with a toilet for $900 now, no walls. What’s weird for me is how we’re all supposed to act like we’re okay when all this is happening to most of us. (personal correspondence)
Miranda empowered people with words and actions. She is deeply missed and not forgotten. Her daughter Victoria has set up an account to bring Miranda home to Cambria, California—near the ocean she loved. Rest in power, Miranda.