With heavy hearts, we share the news that our founder and greatest supporter Laura R. Chasin died unexpectedly on the evening of Tuesday, November 17th. Our love and prayers are with Laura’s family, especially her husband Dick and her children and grandchildren who were all the greatest loves of her life.
Words are hard to come by at a moment like this.
Laura’s mind was keen, creative, and tireless. She was endlessly making new connections - between political polarization and family therapy, dialogue to civic engagement to psychodrama, friends to opportunities and networks to each other. Ever willing to challenge herself, Laura prepared carefully, thoughtfully, intentionally for each encounter, anchored by humility but never constrained by anxiety. She was a woman who reckoned with her own fears, gathered her strength and persevered bravely into uncharted territories with a unique curiosity about every person she met. Laura’s generosity of spirit and true grace opened up space for the minds and hearts of others in any gathering. She lived with a vision of transforming fractured relationships, communities, and politics through the intentional, careful work of communication.
Laura and Dick Chasin at their wedding
So very much of Laura is woven inextricably into the work of Public Conversations Project. She offered us blossoms as well as fruit, and managed to plant seeds for the future of this work, which was her passion right up until the end of her life. Though we wish her life had carried on much, much longer, Laura left us the example of a life fully lived.
Laura’s memory will always be a blessing. Her legacy belongs to all of us, and our partnership is more critical now than ever.
Thank you for your companionship on the journey to come.
May the love and passion that drove Laura’s life live on in us, now and for all the days to come,
P.S. We will share more news about memorial plans as it becomes available. Messages of condolence for the family can be sent to Public Conversations Project at 46 Kondazian Street, Watertown, MA 02472, or via email.
"All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story, or tell a story about them," wrote Karen Blixen (as Isak Dinesen).
Laura was beloved of so many. We know there will be many tributes to her life that together will illuminate a fuller portrait of the woman we knew and loved. While we mourn her loss profoundly, we look forward to witnessing this communal story of Laura unfold as we all reflect on her impact on our lives and work.
We invite you to share your own reflection as we bear this sorrow together and craft the story of the future in memory of Laura.