Kelly Coogan-Gehr - Director
Kelly most recently served as Education Director at National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of bedside nurses. As Education Director, Kelly 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 sited at Rutgers.
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, environmental pollution, water privatization, and gender and racial inequality—directly impact the health and safety of their communities. Prior to NNU, Kelly was a Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Washington University. She has more than seventeen years of research experience and twelve years of teaching experience with interdisciplinary social justice knowledge projects. Kelly has PhD from Rutgers University and a BA from Duke University.
Darby grew up in coastal South Carolina and was first exposed to labor education through her involvement with Just Economics, a community organization and living wage campaign in Western North Carolina. In 2012, she moved to Massachusetts to pursue a Master's Degree in Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her studies included the history and practice of labor education, particularly popular education methodology.
Darby did communications and organizing work with the Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Union, a non-traditional statewide organizing campaign. She is happy to be in Seattle and looks forward to growing roots in the community and enacting her commitment to labor education and the empowerment of working people.
John Boyle - Labor Educator
Originally from the Coal Region of Pennsylvania, John moved to Daytona Beach, Florida in 2001 and started an organization to register people to vote. His work there led to his election as chair of the Volusia County Young Democrats and a volunteer organizer and lobbyist position with the Volusia Teacher’s Organization. He got his Associate Degree from Daytona Beach Community College and transferred to the University of Florida where he continued his activism in numerous roles while studying Political Science and City Planning.
John has organized for Service Employees International Union in California and Virginia as well as SEIU Local 6 and SEIU 1199NW in Seattle. Most recently John co-founded a social enterprise and published his first book, Rent-to-Own your First Home: An American Dream Story
Anita M. Scheer
Raised as an Air Force Military Bart, Anita lived in several states, finally settling in Anchorage AK. Anita completed an 8000 hour Apprenticeship through the IBEW LU 1547, working on the North Slope of Alaska, as well as other areas around the state. She owned a small contracting business after moving to the Seattle area, installing telephone, data and fiber cabling - signatory to the IBEW here in WA.
Anita is a graduate of South Seattle College receiving her AAS Degree in Network Administration from South Seattle College in 2011. Before joining the Labor Center team, Anita worked the South Seattle College’s WorkSource office assisting job seekers.