This post has been updated. Please see note at the bottom for details.
In the early 1990s, human rights activist Erin Potts met Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys while she was living and working in Nepal. Their friendship would soon grow into a collaboration called the Milarepa Fund, a group initially formed in 1994 to transfer royalties from Beastie Boys songs sampling Tibetan monks to the singers. The project soon grew into broader Tibetan activism, and led to the massively popular Tibetan Freedom Concerts.
Potts, now a director at Air Traffic Control, a group that helps musicians engage in activist causes, issued a public statement about the death of Yauch on Friday. It underlined Yauch's devotion to the cause of Tibetan independence, and how deeply he educated himself on the topic despite his band's party-hard roots.
"Yauch's work for Tibet helped jumpstart and nurture an international youth movement for Tibet and nonviolence," Potts wrote.
[Updated, 3:30 p.m. May 9th. An earlier version of this post included information about a memorial service to Yauch that appeared on Air Traffic Control's website. The organization has since said that the service is private.]
-- August Brown
Photo: Adam Yauch at an event to honor artist Ross Bleckner's appointment as a goodwill ambassador at the United Nations. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press