It is with tremendous sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Jim Diego. Jim joined Hester Street as a Senior Project Manager in August of 2021. 

During his tenure with the organization, Jim worked on a wide range of projects, from building a network to support Black business owners, to advocating for greater investment in community land trusts, to supporting the creation of the first-ever environmental justice data portal and report for NYC. Jim brought his whole self to his work with Hester Street, always showing up for our partners and his colleagues with humility, generosity, and warmth. His time at HST leaves a lasting impact on our work and the communities we serve.

Outside of work, Jim was an avid runner, with the unique accomplishment of having run a marathon in all 50 states. We loved seeing photos of Jim’s latest running-inspired travels, and listening to clips of him singing the national anthem to open a race. A singer with a beautiful voice, Jim could always be counted on to kick off our staff karaoke with a bang, and he was active in the gay men’s choral community.

As we continue to grieve this loss, we will share tributes and remembrances of Jim from his colleagues and partners. If you worked with Jim and have a memory to share, please send them directly to sarah (at) hesterstreet (dot) org. 

A public viewing will be held from 5-8 pm on Wednesday, December 21 at the Gerard Neufeld funeral home in Flushing, Queens. Jim’s family will also host a memorial service in Jim’s home state of Kansas after the holidays. We will continue to post updates here with opportunities to honor Jim’s memory in the coming weeks.

We send our love to his family, the LGBTQ community and all the communities Jim was a part of.