Eileen Shaughnessy is an educator, activist, and musician living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Eileen teaches courses in environmental and social justice in the Sustainability Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. Her courses focus on racial justice, feminism, and nuclear issues. Her courses include Sustainability 334: “Environmental Justice Practicum” and Sustainability 418: “Nuclear New Mexico: Social and Environmental Impacts”- a class she designed to address the legacy of environmental racism and colonialism in New Mexico created by the nuclear weapons industry. After studying with eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Eileen is also an experienced facilitator in the “Work that Reconnects,” which ties together deep ecology and Buddhism to cultivate inner & outer resiliency in these time of ecological, cultural, & political turmoil.
Eileen is the front woman, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist for the celebrated social justice indie folk band Eileen & the In-Betweens. She has released three full-length albums of original music (You Know , Everything is Alive , and We Ain’t Givin’ Up ) and she has been invited to perform her uplifting social justice music across the U.S. and Canada. Eileen’s songwriting is inspired by the sacredness of the earth and the desire to mobilize music as a tool for social change in line with the “greats” such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, and Woody Guthrie. Eileen draws sonic inspiration from her Irish-American & Celtic heritage, folk roots, Americana, pop, and world music. At the age of 15, Eileen began the life-long habit of teaching herself instruments: including drums, guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and harmonica.
Eileen & the In-Betweens completed a two-month tour of the U.S. West Coast and Canada in the summer of 2017. The tour was titled “We Ain’t Givin’ Up: Social Change & Music” and included collaborations with social justice and environmental justice groups such as Showing Up for Racial Justice, Nevada Desert Experience, FLIP Fest in Canada (LGBTQ grassroots art festival), and many others. In over-ten years of being a touring musician, Eileen’s show highlights include: playing alongside Reverend William Barber in his revival of the Poor People’s Campaign, opening for Gloria Steinem, performing on KUNM’s Ear to the Ground series, performing on the New Mexico Song Swap at the Art of the Song Series (nationally syndicated on NPR), and playing the Albuquerque Women’s March in front of 10,000 people.
“Eileen Shaughnessy has risen in my esteem to the top rank of Albuquerque artists. Her song craft is exceptional and is especially important now...in a time of bitterness and activist burnout a song that can energize and affirm is of particular value – Eileen’s catalog includes many....To me this underlines her commitment to giving her audiences something useful they can take with them after the lights come up, something constructive, perhaps even uplifting.”
— Matthew Finch, Music Director KUNM-FM, Albuquerque, NM