Tani Marilena ADAMS
1954 - 2017
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ADAMS, Tani Marilena
Tani Marilena Adams (Sept. 15, 1954 - Feb. 5, 2017), an undisputed firebrand, passed away after battling an aggressive cancer for four years.

Throughout her life, Tani ceaselessly sought to make this world a better place for those whose voices were not heard, and to bridge the cultures and perspectives of the U.S. and the developing world.

Tani grew up in Austin, spending summers in Guatemala. She attended St. Stephen's Episcopal High School and Westlake High School, where she served as class president. After receiving her B.A. from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas in 1978, and her M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1981, Tani worked across borders and issues to shine a light on the needs of those who are often ignored.

In 1982, Tani founded the Texas Center for Policy Studies and from 1988 to 1994, she set up and directed five regional offices for Greenpeace in Latin America. In 1996, she was chosen to be the director of CIRMA (Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamerica) in Antigua, Guatemala. She went on on to make that library one of the finest in Latin America.

In addition, and as a continuing legacy, Tani, with the help of others, created an interactive exhibit, ¿Por qué estamos como estamos? ("Why We Are the Way We Are?") which describes the diverse ethnic identities and 500 years of interethnic conflict in Guatemala. By presidential decree, the exhibit is to remain in place for 50 years; high school students living in Guatemala City are required to visit before graduating. She then became the research director of the Instituto de Aprendizaje para la Reconciliación Social, where she was for two years.

In recent years, Tani lived in Arlington, Virginia, where she focused intensively on issues of chronic violence and society. Tani had fellowships at the United States Institute of Peace and at the Woodrow Wilson Center and she had consultancies with a variety of organizations. Fittingly, the Wilson Center published a report laying out her work just a few days before she left us. It's at https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/chronic_violence_final_by_tani_adams.pdf

Tani left behind marvelous children, Ariel Costanza (17) and Nicolas Randolph (14), her parents Richard Newbold and Betty Hannstein, and sister and brother, Gina and Walter.
A celebration of her life will take place in the home of Fred and Laurie Beck, 700 E. 32nd St. in Austin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 25. RSVP to Laurie Beck at LaurieBeck@BeckTV.com. We also are collecting memories of Tani - pictures, stories, impressions - for a memory book for her children, so please share. By email, send thoughts and messages to walteradams2002@gmail.com and also to tanimemories@gmail.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2017.
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9 entries
January 15, 2019
Tani was my boss at Greenpeace SF in the early ninetees. She was a passionate virgo like me. She was a beautiful soul. I thought about her a lot lately and found her obituary just today. So sorry to know you left us. My admiration and condolences to her family. My respects and love. I will never forget you!
Angels Bronsoms
March 1, 2017
Tani was a beautiful swimmer at Barton Springs and a lovely, gracious person.
Jana Kos
February 25, 2017
Fred Wright
February 25, 2017
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Tani. She certainly was a passionate voice to so many. What an unbelievable legacy she left. Thoughts and prayers with her family.
Fred Wright
February 24, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
February 23, 2017
I'm so sorry to hear of your loved and deepest condolences are extended to you. Something that's helped me through the death of loved ones is to reflect on 1 Corinthians 15:26.
February 23, 2017
The Adams family were all exceptional people. We road the same school bus, and Gina and I played after school together a few times. I'm so sorry about this sad news. Tani has been an idol of mine since I was in high school. Much love to your whole family.
Haddy Goodrich
February 22, 2017
I remember Tani from high school (Westlake High School) and she always had an interest in helping others, even then. I had not seen her since then but it appears she carried her desire to help others into her adult years. Rest well, Tani!
Kim Oliver
February 22, 2017
Adiós to a truly bright spirit. Many years ago we camped along the Pedernales River just in time for the monarch migration. We rode through the park in Ruth's (your?) Volskwagen with the sunroof open, and all around us the sky was full of bright yellow and orange wings. What a big beautiful laugh you had. Honored to have been your friend.
Michael Moss
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