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Bios

Steven K. AshbySteven K. Ashby became a union activist in the early 1980s when he worked at the American Maize corn-processing plant, similar to A.E. Staley's Decatur plant, in Hammond, Indiana. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. labor and working class history from the University of Chicago in 1993. He was a founder and co-chair of the Staley workers' flagship support group, the Chicago Staley Workers Solidarity Committee. For five years he led a non-profit group, Calumet Project, in Northwest Indiana that united labor with religious and community groups to fight for workers' rights. Ashby taught labor studies at Indiana University at Bloomington from 1999 to 2007. He currently teaches classes for unionists and coordinates and teaches in an online Global Labor Studies credit program as an Associate Clinical Professor with the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

C.J. HawkingC. J. Hawking is a United Methodist pastor and the executive director of the faith-based workers' rights group Arise Chicago. In 1994 she moved to Decatur, Illinois for seven months to volunteer full-time with the Staley workers, the first of five full-time volunteers that the union welcomed. Hawking has a 15-year history in faith-labor organizing, including janitor union organizing campaigns in Miami, Ohio, and Indiana with the national group, Interfaith Worker Justice. In addition to her Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, C.J. is completing a Master degree in Union Leadership and Administration at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a visiting lecturer in labor and social movements and the Harry F. Ward Social Justice pastor at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park, IL.

C.J. Hawking and Steven K. Ashby's daughtersAshby and Hawking were married in Chicago on October 1, 1994 with several Staley workers, Fr. Mangan, and Sr. Glenda Bourgeois in attendance. They now reside in Oak Park, Illinois with their two daughters, Wyatt and Eva, pictured to the right.

 
 
Staley - The Fight for a New American Labor Movement
 

"Staley is a must read for anyone interested in community and religious partnerships with labor."

--Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice and author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid-And What We Can Do About It