"Jim was educated at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology, Drew School of Theology, and Union Seminary in NYC. He spent his early career during the 1960's as Chaplain at a number of renowned U.S. universities including Brown, Princeton and Harvard. In 1972 Jim became director of the Southern Appalachian Ministry in Higher Education until 1978. From 1978 until 1981 Jim was the Executive Director of Southerners for Economic Justice, from 1981 to 1990 he was Executive Director of the Commission on Religion in Appalachia, and from 1994 to 1999 he was Executive Director of the Highlander Research and Education Center. Jim has extensive organizing experience and has been a consultant to a variety of groups and organizations committed to social and economic justice. He has also written extensively on these issues, especially in relation to the South. He serves or has served on the Boards of over a dozen national and Southern organizations and groups such as the Southern Regional Council, the Union Community Fund, Windcall, and the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. He is the organizer in East Tennessee of the regional Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and the Workers Rights Board. Jim is married to University of Tennessee Law College teacher, Frances Lee Ansley and has two grown children." 
- Former Director, Organizers’ Forum
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- ↑ Wade Rathke, Organizers’ Forum, accessed September 29, 2009.