Judy has been the Director of The Institute for Labor Studies since 1988. She teaches many of ILS's classes and especially loves teaching labor history, leadership and mobilization, and global economic issues. She has a B.A. from Stanford and M.A. in History from C.U.N.Y. She began teaching in community colleges in the 1970s. She has also worked in an electronics factory and a pump factory where she was a lathe machinist. She has been an activist all her life and a union activist and organizer in both the United Steelworkers and American Federation of Teachers.
She coordinates The Heartland Labor Forum, labor's radio show in Kansas City on Community Radio KKFI 90.1FM. She is President of the Board of Directors of The Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, a non-profit organization which develops ties and mutual understanding between working people in the Kansas City area and maquiladora workers in Mexico and educates about immigration in the global economy. She has also served on the Executive Committee of The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, a San Antonio-based tri-national non-governmental organization which educates and advocates on maquiladora worker issues. She has one daughter, Carrie, who is now grown and independent.
Charles Suffridge retired from Ford Motor Co. in 1995 after 30 years on the assembly line. He was actively involved in the United Auto Workers Union for 18 of those years as Education Committee member and Chairperson. He also was a discussion leader for the UAW High School Labor Studies Program. Over a three (3) year period he was able to make a number of presentations in Social Studies classes in Kansas City, MO high schools and acted as a discussion leader at Oak Park High School, in North Kansas City & Washington & Sumner High Schools in Kansas City, Kansas. Through utilizing the UAW/Ford Education Benefit he was able to complete his BA in U.S History in 1995 and continued his education upon retirement and completed his MA degree in U.S. History in 1997 at U.M.K.C. He coordinated ILS's high school labor studies LAP curriculum for the Greater Kansas City area. This program was put together with the aid of local teachers and labor leaders.
memories of Charlie:
Heath who took over the Education committee after Charlie retired) "Charlie
inspired me, and he motivated me. He was always teaching, and he
was always there to help. I knew I could count on Charlie. I met
him back in 1987 when I was appointed to the Education Committee,
and for the next 8 years I got to know him very well actually, and
I worked with him side-by-side on many educational projects. Charlie
was very creative, and he was always looking for new and better ways
to educate the membership which kept us very active on educational
Kline, President of UAW Local 249) "One of Charlie's main contributions,
other than being a good friend to myself and encouraging me early
in my political career to keep the faith, Charlie took over at the
Education Committee for me, and he was instrumental in getting what
we call New Member Orientation to our new members. He's just the
kind of guy that you loved to be around. He was a good friend. He
made things happen on the Education Committee because he was evenhanded
in how he did things. It's a sad day for me; losing a good friend,
and sometimes as President of a local you lose a lot of members,
but this one really bothers me and hurts me a lot, but I know there's
a brighter day ahead, and Charlie helped all of us."
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