Rest in Power: Rowena Blackman-Stroud
Rowena Blackman Stroud, a member of Brooklyn For Peace’s Advisory Board, passed away on December 3. As president of the union (United University Professions, UUP) representing the faculty and staff at Downstate Medical Center for 30 years, Rowena devoted her life to fighting for her community. When Governor Andrew Cuomo sought to privatize Downstate and lay off workers, she assembled a coalition of Brooklyn faith, union and community leaders that included Brooklyn For Peace in a successful three-year effort that saved Downstate. During the Covid pandemic, when there was a shortage of protective equipment for hospital workers, Rowena organized a drive that obtained thousands of surgical gowns, gloves and face masks for frontline hospital workers.
On a personal level, when I retired from SUNY Oswego and moved back to Brooklyn where I had grown up, it was Rowena who suggested I join Brooklyn For Peace and put me in touch with Matt Weinstein. Matt has collected some photos of Rowena, including her giving BFP an award for our work in the campaign to preserve Downstate which can be found here.
UUP’s tribute to Rowena is here.
— Bruce Altschuler, Co-Vice Chair, Brooklyn For Peace