The Stand

Wash. State LERC has hired Kelly Coogan-Gehr as Director

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coogan-gehr-kellySEATTLE (Feb. 3, 2016) — The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at South Seattle College has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director, Kelly Coogan-Gehr.

Kelly most recently served as Education Director at National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of bedside nurses. As Education Director, she oversaw the development of NNU’s continuing education program for nurses and the launch and growth of NNU’s higher education program in Women’s Global Health Leadership at Rutgers University.

As an NNU Educator, she developed continuing education courses that taught nurses to make concrete connections between human health and economic well-being, environmental justice, labor and other social movements, social and economic inequality, and legislation pertaining to workers’ rights and health and safety. She also developed higher education curriculum on labor, international movements for health, the global economy, neoliberalism, and global inequality. Kelly has witnessed the power of labor education to transform nurses into community leaders once they see how topics-such as the corporatization of healthcare, environmental pollution, water privatization, and gender and racial inequality-directly impact the health and safety of their communities.

Labor-CenterPrior to NNU, Kelly was a Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Washington University. She has more than 17 years of research experience and 12 years of teaching experience with interdisciplinary social justice knowledge projects.

The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center works with unions, community-based organizations and within colleges throughout Washington state to provide training and classes for and about working people. Its mission is to use the best practices of adult education to design programs to help working women and men develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge to be leaders at work and in their communities.

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