Bayo Ayaba Callender passed suddenly on Monday, October 9, 2023, a victim of cancer. Bayo was a person full of life and expression. She had much to give to the world and she gave unstintingly. After having lived in many parts of the world including China and traveling through several countries in Asia, she worked in The Hague, The Netherlands, and in Stockholm, Sweden. Bayo was a maven working with various organizations addressing the constancy of negative institutional and cultural outcomes to problems of race and gender. Working to reduce the persistence of those disparities, she brought that learning to the World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington, DC. As the first Race Equity Officer of the World Bank Group, she was key in helping that venerable institution mature and develop various means for institutional change.

Sometimes in league with other organizations, Bayo was a silent partner, helping to shape the public work of others. Such is the case with her work with the committee named Lucy’s Children* at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. The committee is housed in an organization that has a track record devoted to raising hard questions and probing answers. It provides analysis through papers, lectures, and selected operations to stimulate positive, workable responses to difficult issues and increase effective self-learning and redirection. Lucy’s Children is a place where the gaps are identified and the dots are connected.

In this time of grief sharing, we have established the Bayo Callender Memorial Fund at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture (BCMF/BSEC). The work goes on. Bayo’s imprint is with all who touched her. Giving to continue her legacy is one way of remembering her and ensuring that her efforts continue with vigor and resoluteness.

Thank you.
Lucy’s Children at BSEC

* Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old fossil skeleton of a human ancestor discovered in 1974 in Hadar, Ethiopia, by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray on November 24, 1974.