Oct 17, 2013
The Berger-Marks Foundation has awarded Jennifer Epps-Addison, the executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now and vice-president of the Milwaukee Workers Organizing Committee, the 2013 Edna Award.
The Edna, which carries a $10,000 prize, recognizes young women who have distinguished themselves as leaders of the social justice movement. It is named for Edna Berger, a women's rights pioneer who started as a Philadelphia Inquirer receptionist and rose to become a writer, editor and the first woman organizer for The Newspaper Guild. The Berger-Marks Foundation works to bring the benefits of unionization to working women and to assist organizations committed to those principles.
With nearly 15 years of organizing experience, Epps-Addison used her organizing and communications expertise to play an integral role in winning campaigns on issues such as community economic development policy, paid sick days, and in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.
Epps-Addison was the lead organizer behind Milwaukee's historic MORE Ordinance, which set community benefit standards for economic development projects that use public funds. In 2010, the MORE Ordinance won a City of Milwaukee prize in the National League of Cities' Cultural Diversity Awards.
“I fundamentally believe that the most effective way to increase economic security for women is to organize them into unions, and I would like to thank the Berger-Marks Foundation for its commitment to expanding opportunity for women across the county," said Epps-Addison.
Three women also received Awards of Distinction, a $1,000 prize. They are Cristina M. Tzintzún, executive director of the Workers Defense Project in Austin; Rachel L. Micah-Jones, executive director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. in Baltimore; and Andrea Cristina Mercado, campaign director of National Domestic Workers Alliance in Weston, Fl.
The winners will be honored at an Oct. 23 reception at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.