KINGSTON, R.I. – November 7, 2016 — Gerry Hudson, secretary treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, will speak Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the URI Honors Colloquium, “Inequality and the American Dream.”
Hudson will speak about inequality in the labor force at the free public lecture at 7 p.m. in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road.
Hudson, who has served as executive vice president of the union since June 2004, leads the group’s political program–ensuring that members and all workers have a strong voice in holding politicians accountable and electing candidates at all levels who will stand with working families.
As a result of Hudson’s previous leadership of the union’s long term care work, 580,000 members are building a powerful voice in the workplace and the political arena for themselves and the seniors and people with disabilities they support.
Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations recently honored Hudson for his extraordinary leadership.
His dedication to addressing urban sprawl and the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation on low-income and minority communities informed his participation in the first-ever U.S. labor delegation to the United Nations’ climate change meeting in Bali in 2007. He has served on the advisory board of the Apollo Alliance, a labor-based organization that advocates for high-quality job creation in a clean energy economy. He’s also served on the board for Redefining Progress, the nation’s leading public policy think tank dedicated to developing innovative public policies that balance economic well-being, environmental preservation, and social justice.
He came to the union in 1978 from the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, N.Y., where he was a member of Local 144. Elected as executive vice president for the former-District 1199 in 1989, Hudson spent more than a dozen years supervising 1199 New York’s political action, education, publications, and cultural affairs departments. During his tenure with 1199NY, Hudson coordinated the merger of the 30,000-member Local 144 into SEIU/1199. He also founded the 1199 School for Social Change – a former alternative school in the Bronx – and served as a trustee of the Local 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund, Home Care Workers Benefit Fund, and Michelson Education Fund.
Hudson also has considerable political experience. In 1996, Hudson served as political director of the New York State Democratic Party and helped lead the union’s campaigns in support of Jesse Jackson’s presidential efforts in New York and the successful New York City mayoral campaign of David Dinkins. He played an instrumental role in the election of H. Carl McCall, the first African American controller in New York state.
Hudson continues to help lead union’s efforts to win quality, affordable health care for all, immigration reform, and other major initiatives by strengthening the union’s partnerships and alliances with community groups. He lives with his wife, Carol Joyner, and their two children, Camara and Amilcar, in Washington, DC.
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