Jean Keenan

2020 Women of Distinction Honoree

Since 2004, Jean Keenan has been the Executive Director of Life-Work Planning Center; a Minnesota Displaced Homemaker program and a pre-employment program serving the women of the Region Nine Area since 1979.  She holds a degree in Spanish and was teaching at a private high school, when she was offered her first position with a non-profit in 1994. That position was working as an advocate for Latino survivors of domestic violence in rural Minnesota.   The decision to accept that position changed the course of Jean’s professional life thereafter. Since that time, she has worked in the non-profit sector serving survivors of domestic violence, young Latinx women, displaced homemakers and women in transition. For the last 26 years, Jean’s passion has been to work for the rights of disenfranchised women and their families; assisting them to find long-term solutions to assure their own safety and self-sufficiency.  In 2007, Jean was recognized by Minnesota State University’s Office of Institutional Diversity for her work with the Latino community in South Central Minnesota.  In 2009 she was an award recipient for her commitment to continuous improvement from South Central Workforce Partners.  In 2011 Jean and Life-Work Planning Center were recognized by the Minnesota Women’s Consortium for Exceptional Achievement for Economic Justice.   She is grateful that her personal and professional commitment met at a defining crossroad in her life and that she has been fortunate enough to earn a living while working to create a more equitable world for women and their families.