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

Dedicated to helping women organize into unions

Organizers involved with Berger-Marks

Welcome to the web site
of the Berger-Marks Foundation!

Organizing retreat 2004If you want to help workers -- and especially women workers -- join labor unions, you've come to the right place.

The Berger-Marks Foundation was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Edna Berger, the first woman organizer for The Newspaper Guild, and her husband, successful songwriter Gerald Marks. The Foundation, whose mission is to help organize women into unions, provides both financial support and resources to people and organizations doing that work.

Rest of the group from organizing retreat 2004 Why focus on women?   As academic expert on union organizing, Dr. Kate Bronfenbrenner, puts it: “Women now make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force.  And women are significantly more likely to join labor unions than men – especially if the lead organizer is a woman.” 

Through this site you can apply online for grants, and learn about the organizations who have received grants.  The site also features useful resources for women organizers -- facts and links to useful sites on women workers and organizing in various occupational groups, helpful tips from women organizers, full-length reports and inspiring stories of women and organizations that have used grants from the foundation to advance organizing efforts.

We hope you find the information helpful, and will come visit us again. More important, we hope you will put your energies into more and better union organizing, helping to bring the union advantage to women workers.

How to contact us

Phone: (202) 243-0133


Address: 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008

Where we came from

Edna Berger & Gerald Marks

The Foundation is inspired by Edna Berger -- a pioneer for women's rights and the first woman lead organizer for The Newspaper Guild-CWA. It is named after her and her husband, the legendary Tin Pan Alley song-writer Gerald Marks who bequested his fortune to set up the Foundation.

Berger was a feisty, remarkable woman and first-rate organizer of newspaper unions who paved the way for other women, including members of our Foundation board. Find out more about Berger.

When Berger died in 1996, Louise Walsh, a reporter who had evolved into a union activist and educator herself, set up a scholarship fund in Berger's name, aiming to honor this "decades-long mentor." Walsh invited other pioneering women unionists to serve on the board, and they launched the fund by kicking in $2,000, plus small donations from a few Newspaper Guild activists.

Berger's widower Gerald Marks was impressed and invited Board member Linda Foley, then president of The Newspaper Guild, to visit him in NYC. Meeting her impressed him even more; when he died shortly thereafter, he left three-quarters of his estate to the group, and the Berger-Marks Foundation was born. It was funded by royalties from Marks' prolific Tin Pan Alley catalogue, including his most famous song, "All of Me." Hence, the musical note in our logo. Most of the catalogue was recently sold to Sony; and the proceeds will enable the foundation to support more organizing and research.

Edna Berger

Meet Edna Berger -
You would have enjoyed knowing her

"All of me"
Hear the song that made it happen

Annual returns and exemption application are available for inspection upon request from the Berger-Marks Foundation, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008


The Berger-Marks Foundation Trustees:

Louise Walsh
Louise D. Walsh, Chairperson.
Special Assistant to the Executive Director for Global/Outreach (retired), AFL-CIO/ Solidarity Center


Linda Foley
Linda Foley, President.
Former President, The Newspaper Guild-CWA


Carolyn Jacobson
Carolyn Jacobson, Secretary-Treasurer.
Director, Cervical Cancer Prevention Works, Coalition of Labor Union Women


Yvette Herrera
Yvette Herrera, Trustee.
Senior Director, Education and Communications, Communications Workers of America


kitty smiling
Kitty Peddicord, Trustee.
Vice President Emerita,
American Federation of Government Employees


Gladys Cisneros
Gladys Cisneros, Trustee.
Senior Program Officer for the Americas, AFL-CIO/ Solidarity Center


Anna Fink, Trustee.
Senior Advisor on Philanthropy and Innovation, AFL-CIO



Site designed by Nancy Brigham, UAW Local 1981 member & former Newspaper Guild member