WASHINGTON – The Pension Rights Center mourns the death of Beth Shulman, a great human and a beloved colleague who died Friday, February 5, 2010. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in October and subsequently suffered complications from pneumonia. Beth is survived by her husband, Ernie Englander, and son, Aaron, as well as a loving circle of dear friends and family.
Over the past two years, Beth was a communications and policy consultant to the Pension Rights Center and to Retirement USA, helping us develop concise, creative, and value-centered messages and grassroots strategies to promote the need for a new universal, secure and adequate retirement income system to supplement Social Security.
Aside from her work with the Pension Rights Center, Beth had an impressive history of social change work spanning four decades. For 22 years Beth served in various positions with The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, including thirteen years as a Vice President and one of the highest ranked women in unions at that time. Beth began her career as a civil rights lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee, focusing on employment discrimination and school desegregation cases.
In 2003, Beth wrote a highly respected book The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans, which exposed how many workers playing by the rules were struggling just to make ends meet. Beth most recently co-chaired the Fairness Initiative on Low-Wage Work, worked with the Russell Sage Foundation, and served on a number of boards.
Beth was not just a dedicated activist, but a loving, compassionate and fun woman who could light up any room with her mega-watt smile and open personality. She was a guiding light to the Pension Rights and she will be deeply missed by all of us.
Beth’s legacy will live on through the work and projects she initiated and all the lives she touched.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at Tifereth Israel Congregation. The temple is located at 7701 16th Street NW. See http://www.tifereth-israel.org/ for more information.