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Member & Activist Spotlight

'I hope in the future I can continue on this path and inspire others to blaze their own trail.'

HaSheen Wilson works in Technology Support at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio
HaSheen Wilson Moses Mitchell
Published: May 15, 2023

My life and work have involved a series of opportunities that have led me to success as an educator, social justice advocate and entrepreneur providing services for people in my community.

I’ve worked at Youngstown State University in northeastern Ohio for 21 years, helping to develop its information technology systems and teaching as an adjunct professor. I’ve seen technology change a great deal in that time. I have too.

I became active in the Black Faculty and Staff Association, and eventually was elected president. Looking for resources for our group, I made a connection to the Northeast Ohio Education Association and got involved in minority leadership training program and that began my work with educator unions in the state and nationwide.

I learned about NEA – and the way that it represented educators, but also the opportunities it offered for me to learn. Related to that, I wanted to know more about social justice, programs and eventually became a diversity trainer – and have traveled around the world to help educators understand diversity and the complexities of. That process also caused me to take a closer look at myself – and what had motivated me and what had stood in the way.

I became a strong advocate for people in education at all levels understanding that they have assumptions and that they may contribute to inequity.  I want administrators to understand how they have to be open to examining how educational systems need to change.

As I looked at my work, I also began to understand how I had the capacity to build something else outside of my work at the university and in the union.

I opened a day care center and using some of the principles I have learned through my work with the union, I created a space where children could thrive, parents would feel confident and the staff would be enthused about their work. That effort has grown to three centers.

I also saw the need to address mental health issues in my underrepresented and underserved community after losing a sister with mental health issues due to a court decision to reverse power of attorney and limit the support she needed. I recognized that more and better services were necessary. And so, I opened a mental health clinic, which now employs 12 people, and serves adults needing mental health and substance abuse support.

I’d like to see if I can dovetail this effort into the educational system – and provide service to educators and students who so desperately need social and emotional assistance.

I have been blessed to have a great career in technology, education and now providing these services that are so critical in my community and in such demand. I hope in the future I can continue on this path and inspire others to blaze their own trail.

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.