Deadline for Submission: November 1, 2017
Submit Applications to Kristy Kelly (email@example.com) with “SWS USA [nominee’s name]” in the subject line.
History and Overview
The Undergraduate Social Action Award is given annually to recognize a student or team of students making a substantial contribution to improving the lives of women in society through activism. SWS initiated this award in 2003. The work honored by this award is central to the SWS goal to foster activism for women.
Nature of the Award
SWS recognizes that action “for women” does not mean that the work was done “with women” or even “by women.” Substantial need exists for social action working with working with men, boys, LGBTQ communities and other groups where change will benefit women and can be understood as feminist action. Therefore, SWS recognizes work done in this spirit regardless of applicant gender identity.
The Award Reward
The Undergraduate Social Activism Award includes a $700 grant that may be shared among a team of applicants who have worked collectively on a substantial social action project. In addition, each awardee will have her or his registration fees and banquet ticket fees waived and may submit travel expenses to receive up to an additional $300.00 to defray costs of travel and lodging. The award is also accompanied by a plaque or other physical memento. The awardee will be featured in the Winter Meeting Program and will receive a one-year SWS membership and related benefits. The SWS Social Action Committee may select up to three awardees each year.
Eligibility and Criteria for Selection
A candidate for the Undergraduate Social Activism Award must be nominated by an SWS member. The work for which the candidate is nominated must have been undertaken during the undergraduate career. Nominations are acceptable for candidates up to one-year after they complete their BA. The candidate is not required to be a member at the time of nomination. A recipient may be honored for a collection of ongoing activism for women or for a substantial single action that has affected positively the lives of women.
At least one member of a social action team must attend the Winter meeting to retain award eligibility. The awardee will also be asked to prepare and share a short presentation about the activism recognized by the award.
Nomination and Application Procedures
2) Identify challenges in action work and any changes made to address challenges
3) Discusses connections between the action work and educational experience and knowledge
4) Report contribution to women’s lives and/or feminist social change
All materials must be submitted electronically by November 1 to the Chair of the Awards Committee. Please include “SWS/USA: [Nominee’s name]” in the subject heading.
The Chair will forward information to the committee members. The committee chair will acknowledge nominations received and communicate the selection process outcome to all nominees. Award decisions will be made in December allowing recipients several weeks to make plans for travel to the Winter Meeting. Award information will be available ongoing on the SWS website and announced in the Fall Network News.
The Award Presentation
The Undergraduate Social Activism Award is presented annually by the Chair of the Awards Committee at the SWS Winter Meeting. The Awards Committee will share information about the award recipient with the full membership by preparing a short feature article for the Spring Network News.
#Irate8 (Brittany Bibb, Ashley Nkadi, & Alissa Snoddy), University of Cincinnati
For their social media activism work as part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and for making a critical difference for students of color at the University of Cincinnati.
Mikka Mills, St. Ambrose University
For being an inclusive feminist leader on her campus and supporting women in the larger community, which includes raising funds for the local domestic violence shelter.
Itzel Padron Zuniga, Iowa State University
In recognition of her solidarity activism with survivors of sexual assault on her college campus at Iowa State University.
Chasity Thompson, Georgia Southern University
In recognition of her commitment to students of color, including her work with the University’s Multicultural Student Center, where, among other duties, she is a Minority Advisement Program (MAP) mentor to new college students, and a Women of Worth member.
Caroline Burkholder, Florida State University
In recognition of her commitment to women and politics on and off campus, including the development of youth programming and curriculum, gender, and American politics as part of the local Oasis Center for Women and Girls.
Colleen Fugate, Rice University
For her wide variety of activism, on efforts such as transnational migration, reproductive health, and conservation.
Sarah Rose Webber, Southern Utah University
For founding her university’s first feminist club and her commitment to anti-domestic violence work.
Christopher Guido, Florida Gulf Coast University
He founded the campus’ first reproductive rights group in conjunction with the local Planned Parenthood.
For her work in developing the Eating Disorders Recovery and Support Network and a website for women struggling with eating disorders.
For creating an alternative spring break (ABS) service-learning option that sought to advance feminist action by making visible the continued deep-rooted social problems of racism, particularly in the Deep South.
Danielle M. Story, Morehead State University
For her work to revitalize the defunct gender equality student group on her campus.
Stephanie Bonvissuto: in recognition of her activist career, involvement with the LOFT: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, and her work as student coordinator of the UMass-Boston Queer Student Center
Alex Dao: for her work revitalizing the UC Davis Queer Student Union and her involvement in the Occupy social movement
Izzy Pellegrine: for her work with the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, a non-profit organization founded to create tangible change and make schools safer for Mississippi’s queer youth.
Jess Acosta, Colby College, Waterville, Maine
LGBTQI campus and regional leadership
Stephanie Elwood, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Community Gardening Projects
Abigail Lemay, Stetson University, Deland, Florida
AAUW & ACLU campus and national leadership