Jevne Diaz, an organizer, union educator and director of the Service Employees International Union’s BOLD Center, where she had worked for three decades, died of bone cancer on March 1 at her home in Lauraville. She was 67 years old.

“Jevne will be remembered for her lust for life, her critical intelligence, her laughter, her sharp sense of humor and her pensive ‘hmmm’ before responding brilliantly to her colleagues in meetings,” wrote the international president. of SEIU, Mary Kay Henry, in a statement. to the members who announced the death of Ms. Diaz.

Debbie Schneider, a former director of organizational leadership at SEIU, was Ms. Diaz’s boss as well as a longtime friend.

“I may have been his boss, but we were more like comrades,” Ms Schneider said. “We had worked together in our last jobs and we had both had long careers in labor organizations. She brought a wealth of experience and insight and was one of the most brilliant organizational thinkers I have ever known. We worked well together, and she brought a keen intellect and a lot of experience to our work.

Jevne Dias, daughter of AJ Seminars founder and CEO Albert Diaz and Kennedy Center support staff Karen Bloomholm Diaz, was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and later moved in with her family in Rockville, where she graduated. in 1973 from Charles W. Woodward High School.

As a student at Friends World College, now LIU Global, in Brooklyn, New York, which is modeled after an internationally oriented co-op-type program, Ms. Diaz studied abroad in Guatemala, Kenya and London as part of the Friends World College program. .

“Our parents were Democrats, and I think growing up and exposing herself to the world, she made a choice to help those who needed help,” said a brother, Tim Diaz of Washington. “As her friends went to other universities and colleges, she deliberately chose Friends World College, and that alone explains why she wanted to work with the less fortunate and underrepresented.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1977 in Adult Education and Social Change, she began her community and labor organizing career when she was hired in 1978 by Carolina Action/ACORN in Greensboro, North Carolina. There she met and fell in love with Peter Daniel French, who also worked for Carolina Action as an organizer. They married in 1983.

Ms. Diaz moved to Atlanta in 1983 when she was hired by Cindia, as an organizer for the Atlanta chapter of 9to5, National Association for Working Women, while her husband worked as an organizer with United Electrical Workers.

In 1987, Ms. Diaz took a job in Washington with the SEIU, which represents 2 million workers, as an organizer, worker educator and director, living first in Govans before moving to Lauraville. She then became director of the union’s BOLD Center in Washington for Organizational Change and Leadership Development.

After earning a master’s degree in organizational development in 2010 from the American University/National Labor College, she “led an internal organizational change program at SEIU,” Ms. Henry writes.

“She has developed an intensive leadership development program for high-level leaders, equity and inclusion and anti-racism initiatives and programs for team development, executive coaching, talent development. supervisors and strategic planning,” Ms. Henry wrote.

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“His legacy to SEIU and our locals includes our BOLD/Rockwood Institute program, our use of POPs and prioritization grids, to name a few examples. I, too, have been better prepared to lead because of his guidance,” she wrote.

“Jevne ran the BOLD Center (Building Organizations and Leadership Development), which she built from the ground up, and I don’t think there’s anything like it anywhere else in the country,” Ms. Schneider said. “She had a good sense of humor and was tough, honest yet diplomatic and humble. She had an amazing mix of qualities, and the two main things were that she was smart and committed.

She added: “She brought a very sophisticated kind of leadership ideas, which is not always traditional in union life. She built teams, understood the value of hard work, and was determined to keep making them and making them work. She knew how to run an efficient organization and was the key person to make them happen. »

Even though Ms. Diaz had retired as director of the BOLD Center in 2017, she continued to provide pro bono coaching to nonprofit leaders and volunteer in political campaigns. She has also served on the board of the Lauraville Improvement Association, volunteered as an ESL teacher, and actively demonstrated at rallies.

Ms. Diaz and her husband were world travelers, and she also enjoyed gardening and had been an active member of her book club for 30 years.

A memorial service will be held April 9 at 3 p.m. at Camp Puh’tok in the Pines, 17433 Big Falls Road in Monkton.

Besides her husband, who retired from City Neighbors Charter School, where he taught reading and writing, and her brother, Ms. Diaz is survived by two daughters, Moira Diaz-French of Atlanta and Lucia Diaz- French of St. Paul, Minnesota; and another brother, Peter Diaz of Bethesda.