Ida Daniels Berk, Ph.D. - East Palo Alto, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 37° 27.933 W 122° 08.510
10S E 575889 N 4146865
Quick Description: Ida Berk was a leader who built the institutions of East Palo Alto, finding community-based solutions for issues of education, health, employment, housing and economic development.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 5/6/2009 4:40:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM6B6Y
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member scrambler390
Views: 3

Long Description:
From the eulogy on the web site, Remembering Ida Berk:

Ida received a bachelor’s degree in planning from the College of Notre Dame, did post graduate work at San Jose State and Stanford and recently completed her dissertation for her PhD in psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Ida was also a Buddhist monk. She worked for years for the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Ida has done so much and helped so many that it would take hours to relate all the good she has done. One thing we all know about Ida is that she always finished what she started. She defined the term “community activist” in the best sense of the word. She was a doer, not a talker. Ida was so sure of her abilities and her causes that she did not feel the need to bring others down to that she could raise up. Once Ida made a commitment to a cause she never backed down. Just driving around East Palo Alto there are many reminders of Ida’s drive and determination to make this a great place to live—Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center and IKEA, and in earlier days the Drew Health Center, the Nairobi Day School, the Info Center and the Manhattan Theatre (which Ida managed through her LotusWorks nonprofit).

Back in the day, Ida and good friend Gertrude Wilks were concerned about the quality of education in East Palo Alto. They formed MEE, the Mothers for Equal Education and started the Saturday School that would later become Nairobi Day School. In the Sixties, when funds were available from the federal “War on Poverty” program, the view from San Mateo County was that “there is no poverty here.” Ida and Mrs. Wilks formed the Committee of the Poor, went to a conference in Arizona and successfully found funding to start the Drew Medical Center.

Upon arriving in Arizona, Ida was told by the program organizer that the rooms at the hotel had been overbooked and that there was nowhere for them to stay. Ida smiled, looked the organizer in the eye, and asked if she had a room. The organizer said “yes” and Ida responded that she and Mrs. Wilks would be glad to stay in her room. The organizer then handed the key over to Ida. Because you see, Ida could tell a person to go to hell and they looked forward to the trip.

Location of the tree: Street corner of University Avenue and Bell Street, near the East Palo Alto Senior Center

Type of tree: Not listed

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saopaulo1 visited Ida Daniels Berk, Ph.D. - East Palo Alto, CA 8/19/2013 saopaulo1 visited it