Dear OK YOU community,

As many of you know, our dear Julie Mancini passed away earlier this week, leaving a gaping hole in our communities and hearts.

There are people who quietly go about making a difference in this world. Julie Mancini was not one of those people. When Julie was in the room, you knew it. She was a tornado who swept you up in a swirl of people and projects she cared very deeply about, with her whole being. Julie didn’t ask you to come along with her or support a certain cause she cared about, she told you why you needed to support it. Julie cared loudly. She cared fearlessly. 

She planted hundreds (thousands?) of seeds in our artistic and nonprofit communities, and OK You was fortunate enough to be among them. More than that, I’ve often wondered if OK You would have become a nonprofit had it not been for Julie’s persistence. Over our lunches—always the two of us and Robyn Tenenbaum—Julie with her tuna salad and diet coke—she’d say (about what was then a personal project), “This needs to be a nonprofit,” and (ignoring my resistance) “All you need are two board members and you have two right here.” A couple years later we became a nonprofit with Julie as our first Chair and Robyn our Secretary.

As some of you know and others can imagine, Julie was not the textbook board chair. She was forever in search of the meeting link, she veered from the agenda, took us down side roads. Mid-thought, she suddenly realized another person we needed to know. She swore like nobody’s business. There were no rules, no formalities. Julie kept us human. She grounded us in the raw and real. Connected us and surprised us. She reminded us that it’s possible to show up with our full, unapologetic humanity and still get a whole lot of shit done. 

How lucky we all were to have known her and to now carry her spirit and lessons inside us. Our deepest condolences to all who loved her, especially to her beautiful family and the extended family she created by speaking her mind and heart with abandon for the good of all of us.


Kathleen Lane
OK YOU Founder/Program Director