We are thrilled to recognize and celebrate 9to5 and District 925 SEIU for their powerful economic justice work for the last 50 years. In 1973, 9to5 was started by women who were fed up with unequal pay, harassment, and discrimination. They organized and won big victories from the beginning. One of the organization’s earliest wins included a class-action suit filed against several Boston publishing companies that awarded the plaintiffs $1.5 million in back pay for the unequal pay and discrimination experienced by women and people of color. They helped pass the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Their tenacity and powerful organizing inspired a movie and a song. District 925 SEIU brought thousands of women into the labor movement and charted new directions for worker power.
Today 9to5 is one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations on the frontlines working for women’s rights through a gender and racial justice lens.
We are honored to be joined by Ellen Cassedy, Karen Nussbaum, and others from 9to5 and District 925 SEIU who will be accepting the award.
Ellen Cassedy was a graduate of the Midwest Academy’s first summer session in 1973. She was a founder and longtime leader of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, as well as a speechwriter in the Clinton Administration and a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, where she wrote a column on “work from the worker’s point of view.” Her new book is Working 9 to 5: A Women’s Movement, a Labor union, and the Iconic Movie, with a foreword by Jane Fonda.
Karen Nussbaum has been an organizer for more than 50 years. She was the founding director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women; District 925, SEIU; the AFL-CIO Working Women’s Department; and Working America, the community organizing arm of the AFL-CIO. Nussbaum served as the director of the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, the highest seat in the federal government devoted to women. She is an advisor to Working America.
To read about the other honorees, click below:
For their visionary and powerful climate justice work:
- Sunrise Movement, accepted by Executive Director Varshini Prakash
- Climate Justice Alliance, accepted by co-director, Ozawa Bineshi Albert
For their life-changing reproductive freedom work:
For their tireless work to enact economic justice:
- 9to5 & 925 SEIU, accepted by Ellen Cassedy, Karen Nussbaum and other leaders from 9to5
- Starbucks Workers United
Direct Action Sponsor
Champions of Justice Sponsors
Friends of the Academy Sponsors
Jeff Blum & Ellen Cassedy
Mike Lux and Barbara Laur
David Medina* & Tim DeMagistris
Eddy Morales* & Hugh Harris
Nick Nyhart & Kathleen McTigue
*Current Board member
**Former Executive Director