The Berger-Marks Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to supporting women who organize for social justice and promoting the leadership and participation of women in the labor movement.

Find out more about our mission and where we came from.


Each year, the Berger-Marks Foundation recognizes outstanding young women for significant contributions to social justice and workers’ rights with the Edna Award for Social Justice, the Edna Awards of Distinction, and the Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Awards.

2017 Edna and Kate Winners and Finalists with Berger-Marks Trustees and Judges
2017 Edna and Kate Winners and Finalists with Berger-Marks Trustees and Judges

$10,000 Edna Award for Social Justice

The Edna Award honors an outstanding young woman who has made significant contributions to social justice early in her career and whose leadership is creating and inspiring social change. The Award is named after Foundation namesake and organizing pioneer Edna Berger. The Award is open to women age 35 and under from labor unions, women’s groups, workers’ rights organizations, immigrants’ rights groups, and other areas of social justice. Each year, the Foundation awards other exceptional nominees with a $1,000 Award of Distinction.

The 2017 Winner of the Edna Award is Angelica Clarke, Executive Director of the Albany Social Justice Center.

The two runners up, receiving the 2017 Award of Distinction, are:
  • Jessica Carmona Cabrera, the Central California Regional Coordinator for the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, and
  • Cathy Dang, the Executive Director of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities.
In addition to the Award recipients, the Foundation honors the seven other women who were finalists for the Edna Award: Suhad Babaa of Just Vision, Diana Colin of the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles, Maria Noel Fernandez of Working Partnerships USA, Manisha Mashaal of #DalitWomenFight and the Swabhiman Society, Edwina De’Ree Patterson of Laborers Local #563, Diana Robinson of Food Chain Workers Alliance, and Yasmin Vafa of Rights4Girls.

$1,000 Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award

The Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award honors young women, age 35 or younger, who have stood up for workers’ rights and organized their own workplaces in the face of overwhelming opposition. The award is named for Kate Mullany, an inspiring young laundry worker who, more 150 years ago, organized one of the first women’s unions when she was just 19 years old. The Kate Mullany Awards were first given in 2014.

The 2017 Winners of the Kate Mullany Courageous Young Worker Award are: 
  • Jessica Ellul, a unit coordinator on the oncology ward at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, CT;
  • Angela Melvin, a call center worker at the Wichita, Kansas T-Mobile call center; and
  • Allysha Shin, a former Registered Nurse at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA.
Read more about the 2017 Edna and Kate Award winners here.

Read and listen to stories on this year’s Awards: