The Berger-Marks Foundation honored six young women social justice leaders with this year's "Edna Award for Social Justice," "Edna Awards of Distinction" and the "Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award."
The Berger-Marks Foundation was established in 1997 to honor the memory of Edna Berger, the first woman lead organizer for The Newspaper Guild-CWA, and her husband, the legendary Tin Pan Alley song-writer Gerald Marks, who bequeathed his fortune to set up the Foundation.
Angelica Clarke, executive director of the Albany Social Justice Center, received the Edna Award for Social Justice, for her work on issues of mass incarceration and prison justice, as well as her work organizing and bargaining for graduate students at the State University of New York. The award includes a $10,000 prize.
Receiving Edna Awards of Distinction were Jessica Carmona Cabrera, Central California regional coordinator for the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, and Cathy Dang, executive director of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in New York City. The awards include a $1,000 prize.
The three Kate Mullany Award recipients receive $1,000 grants. They are:
- Angela Melvin, an organizer and customer service worker at T-Mobile in Wichita, Kans., who has been the driving force to organize T-Mobile workers despite management attacks and pressure.
- Jessica Ellul, a unit coordinator at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut who spent three years fighting for – and winning – a union for service and maintenance staff.
- Allysha Shin, a registered nurse who helped lead an organizing drive at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., and was fired for that work.