Cross Class Bridge Builder Award Winners

Class Action is excited to announce the winners of the 2014 Cross Class Bridge Builder Award. The award has been presented to non-profit organizations in select cities who are working for social justice and who model the ideals for cross-class organizing presented in Missing Class.

Winners, who have been nominated and selected by local individuals, demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • actively pursuing participation by people of diverse classes and races

  • raising the voices and support the leadership of working class and poor people

  • demonstrating an organizational culture that draws on the strengths of all class cultures

Boston, MA: The City School and Sub/Urban Justice

CITYSCHOOOLThe City School works with youth from across racial, class, gender, and geographical boundaries in Boston to work together to make positive change. Sub/Urban Justice, a program of Boston Mobilization, engages youth to work together to advance youth leadership, community organizing, and personal leadership skills in and around Boston. The two organizations work together to sponsor The  Summer Leadership Program, for which they won the Cross Class Bridge Builder Award. The Summer Leadership Program is a program for high-school age students from across the Boston area who participate in a seven week intensive seminar and carry out service work and community action projects. The program provides teenagers with a summer of community building, leadership building, and personal challenges as they grow to be activists and catalysts of change.
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Western Massachusetts: Haydenville Congregational Church

Haydenville Congregational Church is an open and affirming faith community in Haydenville, MA. The Church’s Peace & Social Justice Committee provides opportunities to for education and action around local, national, and international issues of social justice. Haydenville Congregational Church provides a space in the community that is welcoming of people of all race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class status, language, and mental ability. The Church has made a commitment to do all within their power to end oppression and continue working towards a more just world.
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Minneapolis, MN: Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change is a member-led, grassroots organizing nonprofit committed to building power for low- and moderate-income Minnesotans. NOC puts special emphasis on leadership development and grassroots community organizing to empower the disempowered and marginalized and build powerful, active campaigns to improve public schools, stop the foreclosure crisis, increase civic engagement, and make corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. Currently, they are working on a transit equity campaign.
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Philadelphia, PA: Put People First! PA

IMG_0966Put People First! PA is an organization made up of people struggling to meet their basic needs who are fighting to give themselves a voice. Put People First! PA believes that only by joining together will there be power to create change.  They are building a statewide movement to work towards a system that doesn’t discriminate or divide by race, age, faith, gender, politics, geography, ability, gender, or sexuality. Most of the members of Put People First! PA have never been politically involved before, but understand the injustice that poor and working people face, and set out to give those people a voice.
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New York City: Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

JFREJJews for Racial and Economic Justice is a coalitional organization that has taken on a range of projects and served as a progressive voice since its founding over two decades ago. Through educational fora, workshops, grassroots political campaigns, and a weekly radio program, JFREJ is committed to revitalizing the Jewish ethic of social justice, cooperation and mutual struggle for human dignity. In coalition with communities of color and labor organizations, JFREJ works to achieve economic equality and an end to all forms of oppression by organizing for social programs, housing, education, fair labor practices, accountable policing, and immigrants’ rights. Its programming has actively sought connections between anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination and oppression.
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Durham, NC: Student Action with Farmworkers

photo (1)Student Action with Farmworkers aims to bring students and farmworkers together for a mutually beneficial learning experience, to develop leaderships skills in organizing, and improve the working and living conditions for farmworkers. Founded in 1992, SAF has worked with thousands of students and farmworkers to create a more just agricultural system. SAF has made it an explicit goal to empower farmworkers to take on leadership roles and become advocates for social change. By bridging the gap between college students and farmworkers, SAF has created a powerful network of people committed to working, interacting, and understanding across different backgrounds.
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Bay Area: East Bay Meditation Center

The East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) is an independent center located in downtown Oakland. They offer meditation training and spiritual teachings from Buddhist and other wisdom traditions, with attention to social action, multiculturalism, and the diverse populations of the East Bay and beyond. Some of their programs are specifically for people of color or the LGBTQQI community, providing a safe space for individuals who daily confront the effects of oppression, racism, or homophobia and heterosexism in their lives. All programs are offered free of cost. They offer meditation classes, daylong retreats, sitting groups, workshops, and classes. EBMC has had positive impacts on the people it serves as well as the community at large.
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 Seattle, WA: Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project

Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice. By meeting people where they are at, Real Change helps homeless and low-income people meet their immediate needs while we work for the structural change that offers longer term solutions to poverty.
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 Madison, WI: Madison Area Urban Ministry

Madison-area Urban Ministry was formed in 1971 and incorporated as a non-profit agency in 1973. As Pilgrim United Church of Christ was preparing to close their doors as a congregation, they imagined a community presence that would continue to minister to the near east side of Madison. Out of this venture came the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center (housed in the old Pilgrim UCC Church) and Madison-area Urban Ministry. Since 1971 MUM has evolved into an interfaith social justice organization that has spurred social change in and around Dane County. MUM’s staff and board understand our mission to be “a prophetic voice for justice, neighbors working together for social change.”
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