The Berger-Marks Foundation logo Organizers discuss ideas at Berger-Marks conference

Dedicated to helping women organize into unions

Organizers involved with Berger-Marks

April, 2011 News

Last updated: April 17, 2011

 

New $10,000 Edna Award

For a young woman leader in the social justice movement
Winner to be announced this fall

The Edna Award will honor a young woman leader in the social justice movement who has made an extraordinary contribution early in her career, and whose achievements indicate that her work will continue to significantly improve the lives of working women and men.

The $10,000 award is named after Edna Berger, the foundation’s namesake and an early organizer at The Newspaper Guild-CWA. Applicants either applied for the award themselves or were nominated by others.

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Smiling young woman with her baby
Young woman in the Vermont Workers' Center

 
Support for young women
helps groups & organizers win
$122,193 in grants

Grants boost organizing & training around the world

The 15 grants that Berger-Marks  awarded this March support exciting projects for organizing, solidarity and skills building among women activists and workers, from Vermont to Georgia to California, and even reaching as far as Canada, Honduras and Indonesia.  This year we gave priority to organizing projects that not only support women organizers and/or organizing women workers, but that also focus on younger women and help them get involved and take on leadership.

Record number of applications reaps record payout

We got what we asked for — 33 applications from groups, institutions and individuals — and we awarded a  grand total of $122,193 to 15 of them, a record number. Some involve organizing campaigns for janitorial, preschool, restaurant and plantation workers, while others offer valuable training and help get more women involved in the skilled trades, workers centers, union educational  opportunities, and leadership.

 


Grants to groups in '11

 

Check Your Head:

Young people trained to teach thousands of others about unions

Artwork of children holding banners saying

Website


 

Vermont Workers' Center:

Solidarity schools help women organize for health care & unions, involve young women

Young women presenting workshop ideas

Website


 

Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota:

Building bridges across generations at the Union Women's Leadership Retreat

Two women at the school arm in arm

Website


Two happy women, one with a sign & one in a workshop

 

Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD):

Getting young women primed for leadership, & organizing for domestic workers’ rights

Website


Woman working with flowers
On Mother’s Day ILRF has publicized the plight of working mothers around the world

 

International Labor Rights Forum:

Research & organizing to empower women working in Honduran melon plantations

Website


Conference banner that says, Women Building California & the Nation

 

Tradeswomen, Inc.:

Helping women break into the skilled trades and thrive as union leaders

Website


Fair Eats logo

 

9to5, National Association of Working Women, Atlanta chapter:

Fair Eats campaign stands up for restaurant workers

Website


 

Interfaith Worker Justice:

Local women organizers get help to attend & participate in national conference

Woman in crowd with sign: Religions Believe in Justice

Website


 

CWA, 4320:


 

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades:

Five union craftswomen get schooling opportunity to lead skilled trades courses

Young woman doing construction work
W.V. Women Work

This grant helps the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) confront the low representation of women and female role models by attracting more young women to the construction trades, and encouraging their advancement.

The painters union is using the grant to train five outstanding craftswomen members to become effective instructors in their occupations. This will not only promote workplace equality but also present role models to young workers and potential craftswomen. Becoming an instructor has traditionally been a career path for advancement in the union, and the project will show males in the Finishing Trades that women are capable of becoming successful leaders.

The instructor training involves a curriculum of courses, taught by women, in teaching techniques and OSHA at the International Training Center (ITC) in Hanover, Maryland, where participants can also get college credit. In addition, they will get ongoing support from union staff during and after the instructor training.

Website


 

Pride At Work, AFL-CIO:

Training to help women lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers organize & advance

Workers with signs like

Website


 

Solidarity Center:

Website


 

Teamster Women's Committee, Local 638:

Calendar to feature union women & the union advantage, not pin-ups

Women rallying with banners: Jobs! & Workers Yes, Wall Street No!

Website


 


Academic/ Research grants in '11

 

Mills College:

Study guide for workshop “Why Women Should Join Unions,” is based on new book

Cover of book with photo of Roosevelt


 

Hesperian:

Workers' Guide to Health and Safety, will feature chapter on Work Hazards in Electronics Factories

Drawing of women working in Asian electronics factory


 

Institute for Women's Policy Research:


 


Grants to organizers in '11

 

Alberta Glover:

Encouraging people to join South Carolina's Young Workers Committee

S.C. AFL-CIO


 

Emily Petrie:

Organizing for a living wage & fighting exploitation at Northwestern University

Northwestern Living Wage Campaign
Photo of Petrie outside with bullhorn

Emily Petrie stands up for underpaid workers in her job for the Living Wage Campaign at Northwest University, where she is Director of Research, Education, Alumni and Donor Development. She has helped win benefits for subcontracted workers, helped janitorial staff get the wages they were owed, and organizes the university community to support a living wage.

Petrie is using this Berger-Marks grant to help food service, housekeeping and janitorial workers unite against exploitation by the companies the University has subcontracted with. To rally support for this largely minority and immigrant workforce, she continues to work for the goals of the living wage campaign, and to organize among students and student groups, faculty, staff and community folks.

Petrie is also reaching out to some 2,000 university donors and alumni. She is helping plan a Living Wage Activist Conference and preparing materials for a student-organized seminar on organizing techniques.


 

Intern Intern:

Amalgamated Transit Union


 

Renada Jackson:

CWA , Local 32035



Thanks to all applicants

We’d like to thank all who submitted proposals, including those that our limited funds can’t cover.

More information about Berger-Marks grants.

* The free Adobe Acrobat program is needed to view pdf documents.


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More about our grants


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Isabel in group with signs

"When I found WILD, I found 'la horma de mi zapato' — a support for my life — emotionally, professionally and as an activist. This is especially important for those of us who find ourselves in this country, far away from our families.”

— Isabel Lopez,
WILD website


 

“Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most admired women in the world, was a member of The Newspaper Guild for over twenty-five years and a staunch advocate for union women. Her leadership provides a human rights framework for women organizing and leading today.”

— From the book: She Was One of Us: Eleanor Roosevelt and the American Worker


 

Grants approved in the Spring of 2011


For groups:

Check Your Head:
Young people trained to teach thousands of others about unions

Vermont Workers' Center:
Solidarity schools help women organize for health care & unions, involve young women

Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota:
Building bridges across generations at the Union Women's Leadership Retreat

Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD):
Getting young women primed for leadership, & organizing for domestic workers’ rights

International Labor Rights Forum:
Research & organizing to empower women working in Honduran melon plantations

Tradeswomen, Inc.:
Helping women break into the skilled trades and thrive as union leaders

9to5, National Association of Working Women, Atlanta chapter:
Fair Eats campaign stands up for restaurant workers

Interfaith Worker Justice:
Local women organizers get help to attend & participate in national conference

CWA, 4320:

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades:
Five union craftswomen get schooling opportunity to lead skilled trades courses

Pride At Work, AFL-CIO:
Training to help women lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers organize & advance

Solidarity Center:

Teamster Women's Committee, Local 638:
Calendar to feature union women & the union advantage, not pin-ups


Academic/research:

Mills College:
Study guide for workshop “Why Women Should Join Unions,” is based on new book

Hesperian:
Workers' Guide to Health and Safety, will feature chapter on Work Hazards in Electronics Factories

Institute for Women's Policy Research:


For organizers:

Alberta Glover:
Encouraging people to join South Carolina's Young Workers Committee

Emily Petrie:
Organizing for a living wage & fighting exploitation at Northwestern University

Intern Intern:

Renada Jackson:


More news

More about our grants