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Tim Sampson, onzanizer for justice. (Tim Sampson 1935-2001).

TIM SAMPSON, organizer and fighter for justice, cancer at his Oakland home on December 24, 2001.

A 30-year member of the faculty at San Francisco State University (SFSU), Sampson was deeply involved in many of the important progressive movements of his time, including farmworker struggles, welfare rights, racial justice, utility regulation, workers' rights, and environmental and social justice.

He trained hundreds of organizers working with the National Welfare Rights Organization, labor unions, senior organizing and community groups, the Legal Services Corporation, Highlander Center in Tennessee, and in his popular organizing classes in the Social Work department at SFSU.

He was part of the organizing committee of the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, housed at the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C. He was a founding director of the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank based in Oakland, and a long-term board member of the Center for Third World Organizing, where he utilized his teaching and mentoring skills to work with young organizers of color.

Many of the people he worked with have gone on to found and staff organizations and movements for justice. His roots were in the organizing tradition of Saul Alinsky (who was a childhood friend of Tim's father, Jerome Sampson), Fred Ross, Sr., and Cesar Chavez.

Tim was often seen on picket lines supporting workers' efforts to organize and win fair contracts. He sang with the Rockin' Solidarity Labor Chorus and the Freedom Song Network. He held statewide office in the California Faculty Association, and was president of its SFSU chapter for 13 years. He was also an officer of an earlier faculty union, United Professors of California.

He was a founding member of Californians for Justice and helped organize the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. He always had a song, a chant, a poem, or a funny comment to lighten up a meeting, picket line, or event.

He was born in Chicago on January 29, 1935 and received his undergraduate education at UCLA and the University of Chicago. He received his BA from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Social Work from USC.

He is survived by his loving family, including his wife, Nancy, his children Peter and Joan, and his son-in-law, Larry Froid, as well as a large network of friends, comrades and colleagues around the country.

RELATED ARTICLE: Changes (1972)

Any spare change?

Why don't you try working for a change?

I am working for changes

I've already worked for my change

Everyone is working for just change, that's the problem

What kind of change do you want anyway?

I want to stop people being put through changes

Anyway, I don't have any change

Too bad, you need some too

Maybe we can make some


Well, to get change you've got to put something in,

Break something up

Wait a minute, that sounds like violence

No, violence is silence --

Change is music

The light is changing, I have to go

Sorry, I didn't have any change

It's okay, you can always

Change your mind
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Publication:Colorlines Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
Previous Article:Activist web.
Next Article:Note from the editor.

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