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Twelfth Annual Clara Lemlich Awards

May 12 @ 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm


LaborArts and the Remember The Triangle Fire Coalition

Announce The

Twelfth Annual
Clara Lemlich Awards
For Social Activism

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 6pm
On Zoom (Register Here)


The Clara Lemlich Awards for Social Activism celebrate the lives of incredible women whose many decades of brilliant activism have made real and lasting change in the world.

The 2022 honorees are 107 year old civil rights activist and educator Dorothy Burnham, celebrated people’s poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan, labor pioneer Dolores Huerta, community health pioneer Reverend Jeannette Phillips, and feminist women’s health and abortion rights advocate Kathie Sarachild.

Thursday May 12, 6 – 6:30pm VIRTUAL (don’t be late or you’ll miss it!) Register here.

Founded in 2011, the Awards honor the memory of  famed union activist Clara Lemlich by celebrating women today who have been working for the larger good all their lives.  They are organized by LaborArts and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition and generously sponsored by the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Foundation, the Puffin Gallery for Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York and Tamiment Library, New York University.

Read more about the award and about previous honorees here.


Dorothy Burnham, human rights activist, educator and activist, celebrated her 107th (!) birthday on March 22, 2022.  Born in Brooklyn, she graduated from Brooklyn College with a biology degree.  With no jobs available in the Depression she and her future husband Louis Burnham moved to Birmingham to work in the civil rights with Paul Robeson in 1941.  Back in Brooklyn in the 1950s she worked as a lab tech, got a degree in microbiology and joined the faculty at Hostos Community College.  Widowed suddenly in 1960, she cared for their four children, worked to support the family, and continued to fight for equal rights for many decades.Introduced by Rosslyn Wuchinich, president of Philadelphia’s largest UNITE HERE local, representing food service workers Maria Mazziotti Gillan,  known as the people’s poet of Patterson NJ has done a remarkable job of bringing poetry to broad audiences.  She is an American Book Award recipient for All That Lies Between Us  and author of twenty-four books.  She founded the Poetry Center in Paterson, NJ, is editor of the Paterson Literary Review and Professor Emerita of English and creative writing at Binghamton University- SUNY. Her newest poetry collection is When the Stars Were Still Visible.

        Introduced by Bronx poet Tanya M. Beltran.

Dolores Huerta – Co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association, Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement.  Despite ethnic and gender bias, Huerta helped organize the 1965 Delano strike of 5,000 grape workers Later Huerta worked as a lobbyist to improve workers’ legislative representation. During the 1990s and 2000s, she worked to elect more Latinos and women to political office and has championed women’s issues.

      Introduced by Amazon Union organizer Natalie Monarrez.

Reverend Jeannette J. Phillips has been a pioneer in securing access to health care for the disenfranchised for over five decades. In the early 1970s, the African American women of Peekskill, New York chose Rev. Phillips to lead their effort to start a community health center that would provide access to affordable health care. Through her extraordinary efforts, the first Sun River Health site, then called the Peekskill Area Ambulatory Health Care Center, was opened in 1975. Forty-five years later, that health center has grown into Hudson River Healthcare, the largest network of federally qualified community health centers in New York and third largest in the United States

     Introduced by Jennifer Maine, health care worker and community advocate.

Kathie Sarachild – born in 1943, Kathie Amatniek adopted the matrilineal name form Kathie Sarachild in 1968 as part of her rising feminist consciousness. A civil rights activist during Freedom Summer in 1964 she worked to register voters in Mississippi.  A pioneer in the Women’s Liberation Movement, she fought against restrictions on the lives of women, helping to found New York Radical Women in 1967, and Redstockings, which in 1969 hosted the first public speakout on abortion, shattering the taboo on the subject. A theoretician of the women’s movement, Sarachild is known for her article, “Consciousness-Raising, A Radical Weapon.”  She remains active with Redstockings as director of its Archives for Action.

     Introduced by writer and reproductive rights activist Teddi Welch.

For more information about the Clara Lemlich Awards, visit www.laborarts.org


May 12
6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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