“I’ve learned about, witnessed, and experienced injustices firsthand. Whether they’ve been big or small injustices, I’ve often found the courage to speak out against what I knew was wrong. But I’ve only felt powerful enough to actually change things as part of a movement.”
– Michelle Crentsil
Born in Philadelphia, raised in Chicago and Los Angeles before the family settled in Louisville, Kentucky her mother’s hometown, Michelle Crentsil joined NYSNA as Political Director on March 24, after working as a criminal justice reform advocate and as the pandemic arrived New York. Michelle’s mother is a retired RN after nearly 40 years in the field; her father, from Ghana, an active union dad worked for Louisville’s public health department and as a Navy reservist. She graduated Harvard University, awarded a degree in Black Studies and Women’s Studies, where she was also a labor activist and welfare rights activist, working to better the lives of security guards and dining hall workers on campus and their surrounding communities. She was on the ground for Occupy Wall Street, working with other labor organizers and social justice activists. She’s organized airport workers for Local 32BJ/SEIU at Newark and LaGuardia airports (“airports campaign was a big one”) and was on staff for the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU.
Like all of us, she is new to pandemics, but she’s not new to hospitals or the labor movement. We are very fortunate to have her.
“We’re facing some the most challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s an incredible urgency to save lives and protect the vulnerable. There’s also an opportunity for frontline nurses to leverage their collective power and lead a movement to invent a better future for healthcare in our society. I feel there’s no better time to support nurses who are fighting for a healthcare system that cares for us all.”
– Michelle Crentsil