Mya Dale, 1990–2012
We lost one of our beautiful young ones two days ago. Mya Dale died Wednesday morning, June 20. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, classmates, and all she touched in our community.
Mya, an economics major at University of Alaska Anchorage, was widely involved in Anchorage’s LGBTQIA community. She was an active member of UAA’s LGBTQIA student club The Family and volunteered at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage and the One Anchorage campaign for the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative. She lent her face to Identity’s “This is My Identity” campaign, and in 2011 she was one of five recipients of Alaska Pride’s 2011 Young Adult Recognition Award.
Comments posted on Bent Alaska’s Facebook wall since we posted the initial news yesterday attest to Mya’s effect on people, even those who only met her once or twice. Members of UAA’s The Family will hold an informal gathering on Saturday in remembrance of Mya, meeting on the UAA campus and then traveling to Shannon’s home in the Mat-Su Valley:
- Date/time: Saturday, June 23, 3:30–6:30 PM
- Location: The Den, bottom floor UAA Student Union, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage (see map)
- Further info: see Facebook events page or contact Shannon at (907) 315-4561 or email@example.com.
Bent Alaska will post with information about other services or remembrances of Mya as information becomes available.
Statement from Identity
Identity’s Board of Directors issued the following statement yesterday:
Today we announce the passing of Mya Dale, a dedicated member of our community.
Mya was a volunteer at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage, recipient of the 2011 Young Adult Recognition Award, one of the faces of the “This is My Identity” campaign, volunteer for the One Anchorage campaign, and active in The Family Club at UAA.
She was a bright light in the community and we extend our condolences to all those in grieving, especially Mya’s family and friends.
Information on services and other memorials for Mya will be made available when finalized.
For those in need of assistance in coping with her passing, please call the immediate assistance Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Board of Identity
Statement from University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA Chancellor Tom Case issued this statement to the UAA community late Wednesday night:
Tags: Alaska Pride Young Adult Recognition Award, Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage (GLCCA), Identity, Inc., Inc., Mya Dale, One Anchorage, The Family at UAA, University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)
Dear UAA community,
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of UAA student Mya Dale, who died Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
Mya attended UAA as a full-time student at the Anchorage campus since fall 2009 and was pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in economics with a minor in political science. Mya participated in UAA’s LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Ally) student club, The Family, the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) diversity team, the UAA Hip Hop Club, and AHAINA student programs.
Director of the Office of Campus Diversity & Compliance Marva Watson commented, “Mya Dale was full of life. She radiated excellence. People around her could feel compassion through her words and genuine smile. Mya cared deeply about the campus community and her leadership was paving the way to make a difference for individual voices to be heard. She was a strong ally and friend of the UAA NCBI diversity team, working to build inclusion and reduce prejudice. All in all, she was an extremely courageous person on a journey to ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity. I’m deeply grateful and will miss Mya’s spirit, integrity and all the ways in which she was a special individual.”
Ms. Watson also commented, “Whenever, you need reflection or inspiration, listen to Mya Dale’s recital of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Nobel prize acceptance, as her voice spoke loudly during UAA’s 2012 celebration of Alaska Civil Rights Month.” A podcast of Mya’s recital is online:
Lexi Prunella, Faculty Advisor for The Family, said that, “Mya was a pivotal individual in our student LGBTQIA community at UAA. As an advocate for the disenfranchised, she brought more awareness, empathy, and knowledge to the Anchorage community as a whole. She was a genuine nurturing and passionate person – anyone who was lucky enough meet her could palpably feel her authenticity and energy. Our Family will greatly miss her welcoming spirit.”
Social Work Adjunct Instructor Kaela Parks stated, “Mya was a student in one of my courses. She was an active and vibrant participant within our discussions. Her contributions made it clear that she really valued diversity. She sought additional resources to better understand the experiences of others, checking out many titles from the Disability Lending Library, and eventually ended up working for the department as an aide to support equal access for her peers. It was a pleasure knowing her. She will be missed.”
Mya’s death is a great loss, which affects our entire UAA family. We extend our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, classmates, and those most closely affected by Mya’s passing.
During difficult times like this the University has programs and resources available for students and employees. We would like to share phone numbers for several resources.
UAA Student Health and Counseling Center: 786-4040
UAA Psychological Services Center: 786-1795
UAA Student Development Counseling Services: 786-6158
ComPsych Employee Assistance Program: (866) 465-8934 (company #GC5901Q)