Hadassah

Member Spotlight: Kindra Cooper, Advocate Extraordinaire

Friday, Oct 19 2018

Mix a Jewish Seattle lawyer with two master's degrees—one in bioethics, another in public administration—and you get powerhouse advocate Kindra Cooper. After joining the board of directors for Hadassah's Seattle chapter, Cooper dove right into service as their Advocacy Committee Chair.

Within months, Cooper was representing Hadassah at state level Jewish advocacy events including a panel discussion aimed at community education, and a Jewish women’s advocacy training.

Since then, she and other members of her chapter have represented Hadassah in a Day in the District meeting with US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, discussing gender equity in health care and medical research, and in a meeting with Senator Patty Murray's outreach director, discussing Hadassah policy priorities including support for family caregivers and women's health equity.

For Cooper, advocacy is a perfect expression of her Jewish ideals, like tzedakah (charity and justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world). It was a deeply personal experience, however, that brought her to medical advocacy.

"Medical research is part of the reason I get out of bed in the morning." "When my then husband was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive GI cancer, he was only in his mid-30s. If it weren't for medical research, my son would not have his father."

Recently, Cooper has been actively representing Hadassah policy priorities, including at the Jewish Community Lobby Day at the Washington State Capital in Olympia, focused on combating bias, racial equity, criminal justice reform, gun violence protection, and supporting immigrants and refugees. Participants raised support for a budget measure providing greater financial assistance for anti-hate and Holocaust education programs, which successfully passed both houses of the Washington State Legislature the following day. Cooper has found a way to fight for what she believes.

"My parents joke that I was born saying, 'That’s not fair.' I always stood up for other kids at the playground—trying to right all wrongs."

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