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Stewart Acuff papers

Identifier: L2012-19

Scope and Contents of the Papers

The Stewart Acuff papers consits of speeches, agendas, writing manuscripts and drafts, and notes, 1998-2011.


  • Creation: 1998-2011


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use but has not been processed fully. Please contact Special Collections and Archives to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biographical Note on Stewart Acuff

Community organizer and union organizer Stewart Acuff (1952- ) graduated the University of Missouri. From 1977 to 1982, he worked as an organizer in Missouri, Texas, Tennessee and New Hampshire for organizations affiliated with ACORN and Citizen Action. Acuff joined the union movement in 1982, as the organizing coordinator for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Texas.

In 1985, Acuff relocated to Atlanta and became executive director of the Georgia State Employees Union/SEIU Local 1985. Acuff was elected president of the Atlanta Labor Council in 1991, where he served for nine years. He led the successful effort to unionize workers at the 1996 Olympic Games.

In 2000, he joined the AFL-CIO staff as deputy director of field mobilization for the Midwest region. He served as deputy director of organizing, and, in October 2002, became the AFL-CIO's Director of Organizing, coordinating strategies to help working men and women join and form unions across the federation’s 53 member unions. From 2008, he served as assistant to the AFL-CIO's then-president, John Sweeney.

Subsequently, Acuff was Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), and then Organizing Director for the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees 1199.

Acuff writes and speaks extensively. His books include Getting America Back to Work, co-authored with economist Richard Levins (2010), and a memoir, Playing Bigger Thank You Are: A Life in Organizing (2012).


3.75 Linear Feet (in 3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Former president of the Atlanta Labor Council, Stewart Acuff later served as Director of Organizing for the AFL-CIO. his papers consist of speeches, agendas, manuscripts and drafts, and notes from 1998-2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Stuart Acuff, March 2012.

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials in This Repository

  1. Stewart Acuff Oral History Interview, Voices of Labor Oral History Project, 1995 (L1995-12-01, available in Digital Collections)

Processing Information

This collection is unprocessed. It has not been prepared for use by being organized, housed archivally, or screened for restricted materials or private information. This guide is based on information gathered at the time of accessioning by Special Collections staff, 2012.


Stewart Acuff
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Hal Hansen
April 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)