Organization: Sociologist For Women in Society
Undergraduate Activism Award
Call for Applications
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 Action Award includes a $700 cash award 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 at the Winter Meetings. Each awardee will receive a one-year SWS membership and related benefits, including the opportunity to submit Winter Meeting travel expenses for reimbursement 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. The SWS Social Action Committee may select up to three awardees each year.
Eligibility and Criteria for Selection
A candidate for the Undergraduate Social Action 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
At a minimum, an SWS member must nominate a candidate for the award with a letter written to the awards committee. Beyond the nomination letter, a winning application packet tends to have these elements: an overview document (e.g. curriculum vitae or resume, biography) and a 3-5 page essay on the activist contributions and their impact (see below). Nominees may also include testimonials from those benefiting from or witnessing the activism and support documents such as newspaper clippings or an event program.
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
Applicants are encouraged to prepare some or all of the nomination in the form of an “electronic portfolio” while directing the committee to the appropriate URL.
All materials must be submitted electronically to the Chair of the Award Committee. 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 Action Award is presented annually by the Chair of the Award Committee at the SWS Winter Meeting. The Award Committee will share information about the award recipient with the full membership by preparing a short feature article for the Spring Network News.