Shannon Cassanova

Department: Yale School of Management

Position: Senior Administrative Assistant 


I come from a union family. My grandfather was a painter at Yale and my mother was a Local 34 Executive Board member. I grew up participating in actions and strikes. They taught me to stand up for myself and now, I’m learning that being a leader means teaching others how to stand up too and fight for themselves.

During the pandemic, people in my department were getting mixed messages about working from home and were afraid they would lose their jobs. I organized an EPM for members to inform management about challenges and concerns that these messages were creating. Members overcame their fears of confronting management and they spoke about how hard they were working to keep the department running and the importance of a good job with benefits. After the meeting, members told me how speaking up empowered them even when they felt so much uncertainty about their jobs.

Since she was little, I’ve been bringing my daughter to union actions and letting her see all the work that we do for each other and the community. Getting her to see firsthand that I’m standing up and fighting for a better future makes me very proud. I love hearing her chant in actions. I’m grateful that I’m able to give her the same lessons of union solidarity that my parents gave to me.