Ken Burt, a well-known advocate for education, labor, and civil rights, was only 62 years old when he passed away from Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease in 2021. But from the earliest days of his too-short journey, he committed himself to social change. As a union leader, historian, and policy advocate, Ken was especially interested in advancing Latino labor, education, and allied progressive causes.
Throughout his career, and especially during his long tenure as Political Director of the California Federation of Teachers, Ken worked tirelessly to lift up Latino workers, educators, and political leaders, and to highlight their many and important contributions to American civic culture.
To honor Ken’s legacy, his family and friends established the Kenneth C. Burt Memorial Fund to support the University of California's Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS)-based Cal-in-Sacramento and Democracy Camp programs. This support may include annual stipend support and honoraria for select students interested in advancing progressive public policy, media, community organizing, and scholarship efforts in the State of California — all of this with the goal of fostering the essential values and passions Ken exhibited throughout his life in the areas of labor and civil rights, education equity, and political activism.
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