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Stories about Mimi

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​From: The LINC Staff and Board of Directors


The Board of Directors and staff of Literacy, Inc. (LINC) mourn the loss of our beloved founder Mimi Levin Lieber. When Mimi founded LINC 25 years ago, she was ahead of her time. Her vision was to mobilize people from within a community to promote literacy. LINC grew from Mimi’s knowledge as a sociologist, her fifteen year service as a member of the New York State Board of Regents, her belief that all children deserve to be cherished, and her conviction that literacy is a foundation of democracy. We will so deeply miss her insight, imagination and inspiration, as well as her lively humor. Now it is up to us to continue Mimi’s vision of literacy for all. “With literacy, everything is possible.” We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.

​From: Betty A. Rosa, New York State Commissioner of Education and former Chancellor of the Board of Regents

Mimi Lieber was deeply and passionately devoted to improving the lives and well-being of all children. As a member of the Board of Regents, she helped to guide our focus on the special needs of children in poverty. Mimi understood that poverty can be a profound obstacle to children’s learning, and she never wavered in her belief that providing early literacy skills to all students is a matter of social justice. I will forever cherish our special lunch meetings at the Harvard Club and up in Washington Heights. She leaves behind a beautiful legacy of generosity and compassion.

​From: Carmen Fariña, Former NYC Chancellor


Before it became fashionable, Mimi Lieber invested in high need neighborhoods and infancy literacy programs. She believed that supporting new mothers paid dividends for future students and society as a whole.  Proud to have been partners in her work. She leaves a wonderful legacy and modeled a life well-lived. Our city shares in this loss; my deep condolences to her family.

​From:  Gale Brewer, Former Manhattan Borough President

NYC children have lost a staunch advocate. Mimi Levin Lieber's steadfast commitment to community and her vision that neighborhoods can be mobilized to support youngsters in acquiring literacy have helped thousands upon thousands of children acquire not only skills, but a lifelong love of reading. I have known Mimi for decades, since her terms on Community Board 7; she gave so much of herself. I learned so much about education from each conversation with Mimi and will really miss the chance to talk with her.

​From: Roberto Perez, Commissioner at the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Mimi Levin Lieber. We appreciate Mimi’s contribution to New York City communities through public service including serving on her local community board and the New York State Board of Regents, as well as her leadership in founding Literacy, Inc. to encourage reading and literacy. She will be missed.

​From: Robert Jackson, New York State Senator and former Chair of the NYC Council Education Committee

I have been a supporter of LINC's approach to creating a culture of reading across New York City since my first years in the NYC Council. As a Senator, I continue to see the benefits accrue for families and children as everyone gets involved in reading together. Thousands of my constituents have enjoyed LINC's programs. Now that the visionary behind LINC has passed, we must keep that love of reading alive. Thank you, Mimi.

​From: US Representative Jerry Nadler, New York 10th Congressional District

I was heartbroken to hear the news of my good friend Mimi Levin Lieber’s passing. Mimi was a beloved public servant and I was proud to nominate her to the New York State Board of Regents where she served New York students for 15 years. Her legacy reminds us that we must support and invest in our children’s education from the earliest years, when it matters the most, and that universal literacy is critical to sustaining a healthy democracy. Mimi will truly be missed, and she has left her imprint on the thousands of readers she inspired through her advocacy.

​From: Councilmember Stephen Levin, 33rd District of the City of New York

On Saturday, October 16 Mimi Levin Lieber, an amazing woman, force of nature and my cousin, passed away at the age of 93. After a successful career in the Mad Men era of consumer research, Mimi served for 15 years on the New York State Board of Regents, where she pursued her passion for excellent education for young people. In 1996, she took this passion further by founding Literacy Inc. (LINC), which has been dedicated to advancing early childhood literacy in neighborhoods across NYC ever since by using community supports to ensure every child becomes a lifelong reader. Today, LINC is a thriving organization that helps thousands of children and families every year. In 2014, Mimi and LINC were essential in establishing the City’s First Readers initiative in the New York City Council, which is a partnership of over a dozen organizations dedicated to advancing early childhood literacy. City’s First Readers is now an over $5m initiative that engages almost 1 million families every year. 

Mimi’s work on behalf of literacy and quality education for all of our kids produced a legacy that will be felt for generations throughout our city. 

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