Social Actions Initiative Awards

Submit applications through the SWS Member Portal.

You do not need to be an SWS member to apply or nominate someone for these awards, but you need to use the portal. 

You will need to log in as a SWS Member or create a new account.

Social Actions Initiative Award

Deadlines for Submission:  October 1, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET and April 1, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET.

Email Social Action Committee Chair with any questions: Please put: “Social Actions Initiative Awards” as part of the subject line.

Co-Chairs of the Social Action Committee: Evonnia Woods: and Heather Hlavka:

Selection Subcommittee: Amber Powell, Christina Chica, and Jinsun Yang

History and Overview

In 2016, SWS Council approved the Social Action Committee’s (SAC) proposal to support more direct social action of SWS members.  The Social Actions Initiative Awards is SAC’s efforts to directly support and encourage the social activism of SWS members.  Awards are given out twice per year on a competitive basis until funds are fully dispersed.  The social actions represented by this initiative are central to advancing the mission of SWS.

Nature of the Award

IMPORTANT: Please note that expenses will be reimbursed only when itemized receipts have been submitted to the SWS office. Awards will not be paid in advance. Please contact the Executive Officer, Barret Katuna, at  if you have any questions about this arrangement.

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’s gender identity.

Current SWS members can apply for social action funds in the amount of $500 to $1000 to support efforts to undertake social action broadly defined (e.g., advocacy, public education, organizing, movement-building).  Funds can be used, for instance, to sponsor a teach-in on reproductive justice or to collaborate with community projects (we discourage campus speaker events without a clear community or social action component). Be creative!

SAC’s Social Actions Initiative Awards is given out twice per year on a competitive basis.  Information about the awardee and related actions will appear in Network News and the SWS website.

Eligibility and Criteria for Selection
Applicants must be current members of SWS.

Preference will be given to those actions that involve collaboration with students, directly-affected persons, area advocates and activists and to applications from members who work in environments where funds and other support for such effort are extremely limited or non-existent; where heavy workload limits the time to identify and complete more extensive applications; and spaces/places where feminist social action is particularly needed. Priority will be given to projects that are creative and visionary with anticipated long-term impact.

Proposed actions must advance the mission of SWS and be in compliance with the IRS regulations connected to the 501 (c)(6) non-profit status of SWS. Please click the IRS constraints on activity and spending document to confirm compliance.

Review process

An evaluation committee of SAC members will review applications two times per calendar year.

Submission Procedure

Applicants are required to submit their proposals via the SWS Membership Portal that can be accessed at:

The application requests the following information about the proposed social action.

Follow-Up and Documentation

Upon completing the social action, applicants will be required to submit the following information within 30 days of completed action:

    • All expense receipts associated with proposed action to the SWS office.
    • One paragraph summary of the action, including links to any related materials (e.g., photos, media coverage); this summary will be shared publicly on the SWS website or in Network News;
    • A 1-2 page report including a brief description of the action or activity, the outcome/result of the action, the lessons learned (“if I had to undertake this action again, here is what I would do differently…” i.e., not schedule my reproductive rights event at my Catholic college on Ash Wednesday), and any other related materials (e.g., photos, media coverage).


SWS Social Actions Initiatives Award Reporting Form PDF

SWS Social Actions Initiatives Award Reporting Form Word Doc

Previous Award Winners