Terrible news folks. We lost a leader of our movement way too early. I first met Karen when we started the Student Labor Action Chapter at UVM in 2006. When she graduated and became a nurse at UVM she almost instantly became a leader of the union. Karen was also an early champion of our Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, and her powerful testimony at the Burlington People's Forum of Healthcare in December of 2009 was featured in our video about the campaign and has touched thousands of people who have seen this video in this struggle (see her in the video here: www.workerscenter.org/movie).
Stay tuned about memorials and tributes coming up. Karen was a dear friend of mine, a huge believer in our movement, and her favorite quote tells us how we can best honor her.
"Pray for the dead, and fight like HELL for the living." - Mother Jones
PHOTO: Here is Karen supporting livable wages for Burlington School support staff, she is on the right.
Message from Karen's union
It is with profound sadness that we share with you that one of our own dear sisters, Karen Quill, passed away this weekend. Karen was a SICU nurse and a dynamic and committed Union leader, active in organizing efforts since her college days. She served our Union as Vice President, Grievance Chair, and as a Chief Steward. Karen was instrumental in leading our Union in the Model Union Process and was an active member of our committee on political education (COPE). She demonstrated her tremendous commitment to our Union and social justice by working tirelessly as an organizer so that others would have a voice, as she so often used hers to make things better. She was an excellent nurse and a strong patient advocate. There is an undeniable silence left in her absence and the world is now a harder place without her bright light in it.
In grief, in gratitute for her friendship and tremendous vibrancy, and in solidarity,
the Executive Boards of VFNHP and United Professions AFT Vermont