The following was released by SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas President Greg Kelley on the untimely passing of Labor Leader Karen Lewis:
“Karen Lewis’ untimely death has dealt our members and the labor movement at large a heavy blow. Karen was a passionate, visionary and, for so long, unstoppable advocate for teachers, students, families and entire communities–and she knew the true meaning of solidarity.
“As a fellow Black labor leader rising through the ranks as Karen was blazing new paths combining community advocacy with righteous labor power, I was unfailingly inspired by her leadership. She was a truly spiritual force powering our reinvigorated movement, always daring us to dream big and fight boldly. She will be sorely missed.
“Karen never failed to lift up the value of both low-wage workers and low-wage work. Before her illness took its toll, there was no nursing home strike line without her presence, no $15 minimum wage press conference or rally without her eloquent and powerful voice lifting up her support.
“Because of Karen’s example, I am a better, more thoughtful, more resilient leader, and ours is a better, stronger, more powerful, more inclusive labor movement. May she rest in peace–and in power.”
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