Remembering Our Founder & Friend Nancy Adler, PhD

On January 4, 2024, Dr. Nancy E. Adler, our founder and friend, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by laughter and love. Nancy was such a giant, she has touched the lives of so many through her mentorship, support, research, and guidance. Her impact will continue to reverberate throughout the world for generations to come. 

We encourage you to read more about the life and accomplishments of the woman we all know and love in these pieces from Health Affairs and the University of California, San FranciscoSan Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, and Center for Health and Community

Late last year, to mark our appreciation of all that Nancy has contributed to E4A and to us individually, the E4A family donated funds to have fifty redwood trees planted in her honor. Like the redwood, Nancy was a giant reaching for the stars while setting down roots that reach far and wide to support and anchor all of those around her. If you would like to make a donation in Nancy’s honor, please consider these organizations that were meaningful to her: National Network of Abortion FundsEmily's ListReproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL)Worker Rights ConsortiumJewish Children and Family Services, and Greenbelt Alliance

Nancy Adler, a smiling white woman with silver and gray hair wearing gold earrings and a white shirt

Visit and contribute to Nancy's virtual memorial page. The E4A family is adding our own reflections of our relationships with Nancy and encourage you to do the same.


E4A in the words of founder Dr. Nancy Adler

When Great Trees Fall

Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Stay Connected