Sarah Laslett joined the LERC Faculty in 2015 as a Career Instructor in our Eugene office and brings a rich mix of organizing and labor education experience. She was the Director of the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center at South Seattle College for five years. Prior to that she was the Labor Educator for Union and Community Women when that labor center was at Evergreen State College. Sarah was the Director of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington between 2003 and 2007.
Sarah worked for three public sector unions between 1996 and 2003: the American Federation of Teachers when she was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota; University Professional and Technical Employees (CWA 9119) at U.C. San Francisco; and the Service Employees International Union Local 925 in Seattle. During her time with these unions she worked as both an internal and external organizer, and a researcher.
Sarah’s commitment to the labor movement came early when she participated in United Farm Worker activities with her family growing up in LA. She then went on to activism in the 1980s anti-apartheid movement as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where she received her B.A. She became a leader and organizer building a union for herself and the thousands of other graduate student employees at the University of Minnesota in the 1990s, where she received her Master’s Degree in American Studies. Although that organizing drive failed, it was that experience that convinced Sarah to leave academia and go work for unions. Her discovery of labor education came when she became the Director of the Bridges Center at the UW, and she has never looked back. As the daughter of a labor and immigration historian, and a gender and family sociologist, and sister to a long-time union organizer, Sarah feels honored to serve the movement for worker justice as an educator.
Sarah’s particular labor education interests include strategic research and campaigns, leadership development, especially for women and young workers, and labor arts and culture. Over the years she has taught many classes on Collective Bargaining, Shop Steward Training, Labor History, and Organizing. She also currently serves on the Executive board of the United Association for Labor Education as the Representative for University Based Labor Educators and Labor Centers.
See Curriculum Vitae for publications and activities