$10,000 Award for a Young Woman Leader in the Social Justice Movement

Press Release for Immediate Release

April 19, 2011

Contact: Sarah Massey, sarah@massey-media.com, 202 445-1169

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The Berger-Marks Foundation Announces The Edna Award

$10,000 Award for a Young Woman Leader in the Social Justice Movement

(Washington, DC) — Today, the Berger-Marks Foundation announces a new award of $10,000 for a young woman leader in the social justice movement. The Edna Award will spotlight significant contributions to social justice and bestow a significant honor to a young woman whose leadership has already fueled social change. The Berger-Marks Foundation brings the benefits of unionization to women. The foundation is accepting applications online now through July 15, and the award will be presented in the fall.

The mission of the Edna Award: “The Edna Award is given to a woman who has made an extraordinary contribution to social justice early in her career. The recipient’s outstanding achievements to date indicate that her ongoing work will significantly improve the lives of working women and men.” The award is named after Edna Berger, the foundation’s namesake and an early organizer at The Newspaper Guild-CWA.

“With the Edna Award, the Berger-Marks Foundation is expanding its commitment to young women. We want to spotlight their important contributions to social justice,” says Linda Foley, President of the Berger-Marks Foundation. “Women are organizing unions; women are leading campaigns for universal health care; and women are demonstrating to young people what social justice means. Our vision for this award is to highlight one young woman’s remarkable work for social change.”

Women can apply for the award themselves or be nominated by others. The application requests a short essay, resume and two letters of recommendation from each nominee. All applications should be submitted online at http://bergermarks.org/news/2011/EdnaAward_apply.php. Nominees must be 35 years or younger on 12/31/2011. Applications will be accepted through July 15 and finalists will be notified in August. Young women from labor unions, women’s groups, workers’ rights groups and other areas of social justice are encouraged to apply.

“The Berger-Marks Foundation and the Edna Award honor the vision of a social justice movement where all workers have an opportunity to lead. I encourage all young women to apply for this award and become involved in shaping a just future,” says AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler. Secretary-Treasurer Shuler is working to engage the new generation of workers both within and outside of the labor movement through the AFL-CIO Young Worker Outreach Program and its “Next Up Young Worker Summit.”

Last year, the Berger-Marks Foundation examined the relationship of young women to the union and social justice movements and issued a report, Stepping Up, Stepping Back: Women Activists “Talk Union” Across Generations. Among many key findings, the project identified the need to foster leadership development by creating pathways for new activists to move up the ranks. “The Edna Award demonstrates the Berger-Marks Foundation’s commitment to further engaging the next generation of social justice women leaders by creating a special honor just for them,” says Louise D. Walsh, Chairperson of the Berger-Marks Foundation.