Reprinted from The AFL-CIO blog Now by Kenneth Quinnell on May 13, 2021.
For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have worked and continue to work at the intersection of civil and labor rights in the United States. Today’s profile is Sheila Ivy Traister.
Sheila Ivy Traister has given 44 years of cumulative service to the labor movement. She has held elected positions in the Colorado AFL-CIO and she has served SAG-AFTRA since before the merger. She has served on dozens of local committees across the broad spectrum of activities SAG-AFTRA participates in. Traister particularly focuses on committees that help expand the inclusiveness of her industry and the labor movement, including committees for performers who are Asian American and Pacific Islander, performers with disabilities and expanding equal opportunity in the industry. She created the acting department at the Colorado Film Schools and she conducts workshops and lectures for film students, educating them about SAG-AFTRA and the benefits of union membership. Traister is an actor, director and writer who works in television, film and theater. She is also a highly sought-after coach and mentor.