WASHINGTON—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the death of Eugenia “Genie” Kemble, the founding executive director of the Albert Shanker Institute:
“Genie Kemble’s North Star was always a fierce sense of what was right. She fought for righteousness, justice, public education, labor rights and democracy both here in the U.S. and abroad.
“Genie’s contributions to the AFT and the labor movement are too numerous to list—she left an indelible mark on the history of our union, the union movement, and the fight for justice and dignity for all people. She worked beside and learned from leaders like Bayard Rustin, A. Philip Randolph, Al Shanker and others to hone her own leadership on behalf of our members and working people—creating the AFT’s main professional development effort for teachers and the AFT’s professional magazine; leading the AFL-CIO’s Free Trade Union Institute, which supported union efforts to build democracy, most notably through its backing of the Solidarity union in Poland; directing and expanding the AFT educational issues department; and conceiving of and launching the Albert Shanker Institute. She will be missed.”