A tenacious fighter with a heart of gold, Rowena Blackman-Stroud protected workers, preserved careers and literally saved lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was the driving force in securing thousands of surgical gloves, gowns and face masks that were desperately needed by members at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.
She joined UUP in 1982 and served as Downstate chapter president from 1991 to 2022. She served for 23 years as statewide treasurer and under her guidance, UUP remained a stable, financially strong organization. Blackman-Stroud also held leadership roles on NYSUT’s Board of Directors and the New York AFL-CIO’s Executive Council. She was heavily involved in the fight to save SUNY Downstate, bringing busloads of members to advocate in Albany, orchestrating rallies and putting in countless hours so that the institution would not be lost.
“Rowena was one of the kindest, most caring people you’d ever be lucky enough to meet, but when she felt that action needed to be taken, she was bold, determined and tenacious,” said UUP President Fred Kowal.
Blackman-Stroud died Dec. 3 after a brief illness.