June 14, 1952 - October 11, 2018Margaret Ann Nicole Sawaya died on October 11, 2018, from complications due to cancer. Born on Flag Day, June 14, 1952, in Southern California, Nicole was an intensely focused artist, journalist, and leader of community radio. She worked as a news reporter for NPR in Washington, D.C. and at KQED in San Francisco before moving into radio management. Nicole believed in the power of radio to affect change, and her guiding principles were to take risks, support talented people, create partnerships, minimize hierarchy, and speak directly to the listeners. In 1999, while serving as the popular General Manager at KPFA, she was let go by Pacifica Radio Network after standing up to national management. 10,000 people demonstrated in the streets of Berkeley to protest her firing. Because of Pacifica's unfair treatment of Nicole and what that meant for community radio, San Francisco Chronicle noted that Nicole was "a human symbol for social and economic injustice." Soon thereafter, Nicole was named general manager of KALW in San Francisco, drawn to an audience she described as a "questioning, curious people who don't take mass media at its word." In 2005, Nicole was named Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists for her important contributions to the diversity and availability of news programming in the Bay Area. Then in 2007, Nicole was named Executive Director of Pacifica, a move celebrated by those who had rallied around Nicole, her efforts to speak truth to power, and her tireless work in non-commercial radio. Nicole was a Board Member of SPUR and worked for many other community organizations.