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S.Res. 367 (108th): A resolution honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams “Millie” Jeffrey (1910-2004) and her contributions to her community and to the United States.

The text of the bill below is as of May 20, 2004 (Resolution Agreed to by Senate).



2d Session

S. RES. 367

Honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams ‘Millie’ Jeffrey (1910-2004) and her contributions to her community and to the United States.


May 20, 2004

Ms. STABENOW (for herself and Mr. LEVIN) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


Honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams ‘Millie’ Jeffrey (1910-2004) and her contributions to her community and to the United States.

Whereas Mildred McWilliams ‘Millie’ Jeffrey, a social justice activist, a retired UAW Director of the Consumer Affairs Department, and a Governor Emerita of Wayne State University, died peacefully surrounded by her family on March 24, 2004, in the Metro Detroit, Michigan, area at the age of 93;

Whereas in 2000 President Clinton awarded Millie the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States Government;

Whereas 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;

Whereas Millie brought inspiration and humor to the many people she touched and did so with optimism and undaunted spirit;

Whereas Millie, a woman of influence and of great moral character, was always a voice of conscience and reason;

Whereas Millie provided a voice for those that could not be heard and hope for those that no longer believed, and because of this her legacy will continue to live on for generations to come;

Whereas Millie’s list of accomplishments and awards is long but what she is most remembered for is her zest for organizing, including mentoring legions of women and men in the labor, civil rights, women’s rights, and peace movements;

Whereas President Clinton stated that ‘her impact will be felt for generations, and her example never forgotten’;

Whereas Millie was born in Alton, Iowa, on December 29, 1910, and was the oldest of 7 children;

Whereas in 1932 Millie graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and in 1934 Millie received a master’s degree in social economy and social research from Bryn Mawr College;

Whereas Millie became an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later became Educational Director of the Pennsylvania Joint Board of Shirt Workers;

Whereas in 1936 Millie married fellow Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America organizer Homer Newman Jeffrey, and they traveled throughout the South and East organizing textile workers;

Whereas during World War II the Jeffreys worked in Washington, D.C., as consultants to the War Labor Board, where they became close friends with Walter, Victor, and Roy Reuther;

Whereas the Jeffreys moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1944 when Victor Reuther offered Millie a job as director of the newly formed UAW Women’s Bureau;

Whereas Millie’s commitment to equal rights fueled her career at the UAW;

Whereas 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;

Whereas from 1949 until 1954 Millie ran the UAW’s radio station;

Whereas Millie moved on to direct the Community Relations Department of the UAW;

Whereas Millie served as Director of the Consumer Affairs Department of the UAW from 1968 until her retirement in 1976;

Whereas Millie joined the NAACP in the 1940s and marched in the South with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s;

Whereas Former Executive Secretary of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, Arthur Johnson, said that ‘in the civil rights movement, she knew how to fight without being disagreeable’;

Whereas Millie ran for public office in 1974 and was elected by the people of Michigan to the Wayne State University Board of Governors, an office she held for 16 years (1974-1990);

Whereas Millie served 3 terms as chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors;

Whereas Millie loved Wayne State University and was a long-time resident on campus;

Whereas Millie never tired of showing visitors around her ‘neighborhood’--the Adamany Undergraduate Library, the Hilberry Theatre, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Wayne State University;

Whereas Millie thrived in the academic environment enriched by Wayne State University students;

Whereas whether discussing mathematics with teenagers in Wayne State University’s Math Corps or strategizing at the United Nations Conferences on Women about the plight of sweatshop workers, Millie’s capacity for connecting with people was unmatched;

Whereas 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;

Whereas Millie served in various leadership roles in a wide variety of national and State organizations;

Whereas Millie served on the peer review board of Blue Cross;

Whereas Millie also was an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Detroit; and

Whereas the United States mourns the death of Mildred McWilliams ‘Millie’ Jeffrey: Now, therefore be it

    Resolved, That the Senate--

      (1) honors the life of Mildred McWilliams ‘Millie’ Jeffrey and her contributions to her community and to the United States; and

      (2) directs the Secretary of the Senate to transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the family of Millie Jeffrey.

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