The Spokane community will have a chance to celebrate the life and legacy of Sandy Williams Tuesday evening at a public tribute hosted by the Carl Maxey Center.
Williams and her partner, Patricia Hicks, were aboard the floatplane that crashed Sunday in Puget Sound near Whidbey Island. All 10 people on board are presumed dead, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Spokane community is mourning Williams, a longtime community advocate, activist and storyteller. Williams founded the Carl Maxey Center, a community center in East Central Spokane, along with the Black Lens, the region’s only Black newspaper.
The event Tuesday is a chance for the community to come together and share not only memories of Williams but reflect on her legacy, said Betsy Wilkerson, Spokane city councilmember.
“I want us to cry together and I want us to laugh together,” said Wilkerson, who is board president at the Carl Maxey Center, where Williams served as the executive director.
The celebration of life will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at the First Interstate Center for the Arts, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Speakers who worked with and supported Williams’ many projects will share their memories, Wilkerson said. Before and after the program, which will include music and prayer, a video will play as people gather for “fellowship and talk about Sandy,” Wilkerson said.
The event is not Williams’ funeral but rather a public tribute to her work and legacy, Wilkerson said. Williams’ family plans to hold a private ceremony at a later date, she said.
“We’re just trying to give the community the opportunity to come together and celebrate her,” Wilkerson said.
In lieu of flowers, Williams’ family asked that donations be made to the Carl Maxey Center to help continue Williams’ mission.