Legacy by Irene Kopitov

The idea of establishing an strong, enduring legacy continually came up as we were learning about Lenny Zakim's work. It is always a challenge to leave behind a lasting foundation that continues to have an impact for future generations long after you are gone. Yet, Lenny, always one to put his ideas into practice, no matter how radical, how different or colossal, was able to leave behind a legacy that will undoubtedly remain and take on new life.

There are very few people in this world who are actually able to make a career out of doing something utterly noble. Lenny Zakim was able to do that. He was a professional peacemaker, organizer, communicator, leader. This was not only his public image, his persona; it was his life. When one puts such passion into all his endeavors, it is no surprise that people begin to take notice. It was his personal integrity and his genuine commitment to doing something that he truly believed in that impressed me most. As we unraveled the many layers behind his life, it became apparent that his strength lay in his ability to cross barriers that were historically shut. Lenny attempted to transcend racial and religious lines and unite people to work towards a common goal of co-existence. It was these personal qualities, more than anything else, that made Lenny a treasure, and his absence an enormous loss.

Lenny Zakim became the ideal subject because he was relevant. The direct impact of his work is not hard to recognize, especially among youth in Boston. I have had countless conversations with friends and peers who have attended Team Harmony, heard Lenny speak and personally relate to his message.