The Longmore Institute Mourns the Passing of Advisory Council Member Anita Silvers

RIP Anita Silvers, (November 1, 1940 – March 14, 2019)

A headshot of Anita with silver hair blowing slightly in the breeze
Photo by Emily Lobsinger, American Philosophy Association
A Note from Longmore Institute Director Catherine Kudlick: 
It’s with great sadness that I share the obituary for Anita Silvers. As an active member of the Longmore Institute Advisory Council since 2012, she was that all-important holder of institutional memory who knew who to talk with and what to say to get stuff done. She was principled, witty, and Herculean in her efforts to secure disability rights near and far. She set high standards for all of us - including herself - and let all of us - including herself - know when there was room for improvement. 
I close with the wonderful memory of Anita speaking to the students in my Feminist Disability Studies course almost a year ago to the day. She’d given me earfuls about disability studies and about feminism, which made me a bit nervous. But the moment she wheeled in on her red scooter, story after story poured out: her decision to study philosophy, her participation in the civil rights protests, her early days at State, her work, her dreams. To be honest, I don’t recall many details, other than that we were all in awe. 
And so was she. 
It was delightful. 
Department of Philosophy Statement:
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Professor Anita Silvers (1940 - 2019) was an institution in professional philosophy. She was Professor and former Chair of the Philosophy Department at San Francisco State University and a nationally recognized advocate for disability rights. Disabled by polio as a child, Silvers was a leading advocate for equality for persons with disabilities. On the faculty at SF State since 1967, Silvers worked to make access and disability services available on California college campuses. In 1980, she was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the National Council for the Humanities, the governing board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She served for 26 years as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division). Silvers received the inaugural California Faculty Association Human Rights Award in 1989 and served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand in 2005. In 2009 she was awarded the Quinn Prize for service to the profession by the APA, in 2013 the Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement and Contribution by Phi Beta Kappa and the APA, and in 2017 she received the Wang Family Excellence Award for extraordinary achievements in the California State University system. Silvers's groundbreaking scholarship helped to establish disability rights as an important subfield of philosophy; she is regarded as an authority on medical ethics, bioethics, disability theory, social philosophy, aesthetics, and feminism. As a teacher and mentor she changed the lives of countless students, scholars, and activists. She will be deeply missed by her students, colleagues, and the many people she inspired.

A memorial will be announced at a later date.