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Best Professional Antagonist 

Judy Ancel

Outspoken Judy Ancel prefers to be called a professional troublemaker. She relishes confronting the status quo in all of her public roles. "There aren't very many role models for young people anymore, of people who visibly fought the system and won," Ancel says. The Chicago native is the director of labor studies for both the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Longview Community College, and the co-founder and coordinator for KKFI 90.1's Heartland Labor Forum radio program. She's been raising hell since high school, when she joined a civil rights demonstration led by her rabbi. "At first, I felt embarrassed holding a picket sign and walking down the street," she says. "But I guess I got used to it." Ancel has held plenty of picket signs since then, boldly taking on retail giants from Hallmark to Wal-Mart. "What I do is help people, whose rights are being violated, find the way to getting respect." Ancel worries that people are afraid of speaking out because they've gotten the message that it doesn't do any good. So, damn it, she's going to prove that it does.

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