AFGE National Representative Honored by Mayor of Washington, D.C.
(WASHINGTON)— Rusty Hassan, a national representative for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), recently was honored by Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams for his years of service and commitment to the city’s cultural community as a jazz broadcaster and educator. “It was absolutely a thrill to be recognized,” says Hassan, who celebrated the honor with his family, including his 83 year-old mother.
After meeting and working with Fannie Lou Hamer (a well-known fighter in the American Civil Rights Movement) in 1967, Hassan began his career at AFGE in 1978, which encouraged him to continue his education. He received a master of science in labor studies from the University of the District of Columbia. “I really enjoy working here because I believe that at AFGE we’re fighting the good fight,” says Hassan.
Hassan has been the producer and host for weekly jazz radio programs for the past 35 years and currently hosts “Jazz & More” on Washington, D.C.’s, WPFW-FM. He interviewed on “The Blues Story: Triumph of an American Art Form,” a radio series broadcast on public radio stations. In 1984, he was recruited to teach the undergraduate jazz history class at American University, and taught there until 2002. Hassan also conducted classes for the Smithsonian and the Jewish Community Center and has lectured at the Corcoran and George Mason University. Hassan teaches a jazz history course at the University of Maryland University College. “I enjoy teaching this class especially because the students are adults, and they’re more appreciative of the music,” continues Hassan.
“I have been blessed to work at AFGE all of these years. It has afforded me the opportunity to pursue both of my passions – the labor movement and jazz,” says Hassan, as he smiles.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.