Mildred Tudy-Johnston

Mildred Tudy-JohnstonIn June 1953 Mildred Tudy-Johnston moved into Cooper Park Houses with her three young children. She helped to form the Cooper Park Houses Tenant Association and served as President for many years advocating for issues including fair treatment and racial equality, housing maintenance and better services in the property, better jobs for teens, modern and clean recreational facilities at Cooper Park and holding elected officials accountable to the community. She was also active pushing for better health care in the community, including the building of Woodhull Hospital to serve the Williamsburg and Greenpoint communities. She was also an activist working for youth who had fallen prey to the criminal justice system.

In 1974 she was principle in the founding and incorporation of Crispus Attucks Community Council of Williamsburg where she served as Executive Director until she retired in 1994 at the age of 73. Through this organization she worked tirelessly with others writing city, state and federal proposals to fund a wide variety of neighborhood programs. In 1984, she married Edwin Johnston, also a Williamsburg community activist and the family had 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Well into her 80’s Mrs. Tudy remained an activist, demonstrating, protesting and participating in civil disobedience for justice and equality—including last being arrested an detained for civil rights when she was 78 years old. Even when she moved into the Cobble Hill Health Center due to health problems in 2008, she immediately began a voter registration campaign among the other residents and worked with staff developing enrichment activities and programs about current events and African American history and participating in talent shows and entertainment such as dancing. She is featured in the book Women Activists: Challenging the Abuse of Power by Anne Witte Garland published by the Feminist Press and in the documentary film Metropolitan Avenue. Her lifelong motto is “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!” Mildred Tudy-Johnston strongly believed in living life the fullest.

The building at 28 Kingsland Avenue, Neighborhood Women Houses, honors activists Jan Peterson and Mildred Tudy for transforming Williamsburg-Greenpoint through their work as community leaders.

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