TRIBUTE TO DAVID QUARTON
by Susan Manning on the dedication of the drop-in center to his memory
“I have often thought of David Quarton as the ‘heart beat’ of CHARG Resource Center. He was one of the founders and a clear leader in regard to the progress of CHARG over the years. His leadership stemmed from a deep commitment to the empowerment and well-being of persons who suffered with mental illness. Of course, David, knew personally of that experience. David’s commitment to initiate change and address social injustices was unshakeable. Whatever the issue – consumer rights, housing for the poor, mental health policy – David was involved in his gentle, but determined way.
I teach about leadership, and I always experienced David as a powerful leader. He was a leader like that of the jazz band leader – quiet, in the background, observing the issues, and then asserting the issues and expecting others to join in, contributing their unique strengths to address the issue. He was also the holder of the history of CHARG. When writing an article about the empowerment model with a group of staff and consumers, it was David who could always fill in the blanks about what had transpired, when, and what it meant to the future of CHARG.
David had a unique awareness of the underlying barriers to true empowerment of consumers, and he was not afraid to bring those barriers forward to be addressed. Once brought forward, David was tenacious about following the issue through to a just conclusion. One such issue was the right of consumers to read and write in their own medical record.
David was a brilliant and shining star among many at CHARG. He epitomized the heart of the organization and the values of partnership and justice that are at its core. It is fitting that the Drop-In Center now be known as the David Quarton Drop-In Center. Let us all celebrate this name change and honor the man who is represented there.”