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Senate Honors Social Justice Activist Millie Jeffrey

On May 20, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 367) honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams “Millie” Jeffrey and her contributions to her community and the United States. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) sponsored the resolution.

The resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • In seeking world peace by ensuring equality for all, Millie spent a lifetime working on labor, civil rights, education, health care, youth employment, and recreation issues;
  • Millie’s list of accomplishments and awards is long, but she is most remembered for mentoring legions of women and men in the labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and peace movements;
  • Millie organized the first UAW women’s conference in response to the massive postwar layoffs of women production workers, who were replaced by returning veterans; and
  • Millie was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and was an original member of the board of the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Sen. Stabenow stated, “As a founding member and chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus, Millie supported female candidates for public office. Twenty years ago she led the effort to nominate Geraldine Ferraro as Walter Mondale’s running mate. Most recently, Millie delighted in being represented by Michigan women she supported, Governor Jennifer Granholm, and myself. Millie is the ‘political godmother’ for many of us, and we are extremely grateful for her love and support. Millie was one of the most important mentors in my life and I will always be very, very grateful to her.”

Describing Millie Jeffrey as “a shining star in the firmament of our State and Nation,” Sen. Levin stated, “Throughout her life, Millie fought tenaciously to advance civil rights and break down the racial barriers that divide us. She fought for workers’ rights, making sure that the people who make up the backbone of our business and industry are given a voice and afforded fair treatment. She was a pioneer for women’s rights, opening doors and providing opportunities for women that were merely a dream for women before her. We can all say that our world is more just and more humane because of Millie.”

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