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 Celebrating Cindy Silva: 

Listen to Solidarity forever. It was the song played at Cindy Silva's service on Wednesday June 13, a fitting reflection of her life of service to the union, to farm workers and her commitment to their fair treatment. Cindy's husband of 35 years, Valentin Silva, began his career as a migrant worker, picking apples in the orchards of Michigan. Cindy began her career working with Baldemar Velasquez in Ohio, the renowned farmworker activisit and founder of FLOC (Fair Labor Organizaing Committee), AFL-CIO. Both Valentin Silva, and Cindy's son, Christopher, shared her inclination for social justice and often volunteered their time with Migrant Legal Aid, where Cindy worked for nearly 40 years. People from all walks of life have shared their memories of Cindy and her influence on their life, from migrant farmworkers to law clerks, to lawyers and judges. She was the catalyst for many careers and often the first to recognize someone's potential, encouraging their professional development and creating strong migrant advocates for the future. Her life is an a example of her three convictions: Service, Compassion, and Generosity. She gave of her time, opened her home to others, guided and mentored young women, and showed those around her how to live, have fun, and accomplish something meaningful and good. 

Cindy's sister Pam, and MLA Director Teresa Hendricks, her friend and co-worker for 25 years, spoke about her well-lived life and her impact on family and social justice. To read more about Cindy's life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at

Cindy's Work At Migrant Legal Aid

Cindy's work at Migrant Legal Aid was her pride and joy.  Her legal experience, organizational skills, and community contacts made her an invaluable member of the team at MLA. Cindy began at Migrant Legal Aid as a secretary and moved up to become the Office Manager and Chief Financial Officer. A majority of her work included managing the programs finances, personnel, grant reporting, fundraising, and community engagement. She was known for running a tight ship, fiscally responsible and conscious of the non-profit programs' budget challenges. No legal pad or post-it note ever went unaccounted for!  Nothing made her happier than opening an envelope with a donation in it, or getting an email that someone had donated from the website or facebook page.  She was equally excited to hand out checks to clients, after attorneys won wage theft claims and recouped money, which she dutifully tracked into the millions of dollars. Most of the day to day running of the office was done by Cindy and her presence will be felt and missed long into the future.

Photos of Cindy Silva

Valentin, Cindy and Chris Silva

Cindy and Valentin at the wedding of her Son, Christopher, to daughter-in-law, Josselin.

Cindy in her Happy Place, Command Central, the front office from where she could greet everyone entering

Memories of Cindy

Cindy touched so many lives during her time at Migrant Legal Aid. Some of the memories shared have been her love for office pranks, encouraging others around her to makes silly bets, so the office could get ice cream paid for by the loser, and the love of laughing with her colleagues.
At the families request in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions should be made in form of donations to Migrant Legal Aid in honor of Cindy 
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