Northwest Workers’ Justice Project (NWJP) is being recognized for championing Oregon’s low-wage, immigrant, and contingent community by providing training to workers about employment and organizing rights, litigating major cases, and undertaking policy advocacy. These efforts have led to victories including the recovery of over $6 million in lost wages and damages for low-income workers across the state and policy reflective of comprehensive workplace protections. NWJP has started several collaborations – Oregon Coalition to Stop Wage Theft, Safe Jobs Oregon, and the Low Wage Worker Legal Network – creating pathways towards equitable and systemic change in the workplace.
We are deeply appreciative of this award because it recognizes the impact
that an organization like ours can have by empowering vulnerable workers.
We believe that true, long-lasting systemic change in the workers’ rights
movement must be led by our most vulnerable workers to improve the future
for all working families.
— Corinna Spencer-Scheurich, Director, Northwest Workers’ Justice
NWJP was one of twelve strong nominations for the $10,000 award, which was established to increase awareness within the philanthropic community of organizations working to advance law and social policy for low-wage workers’ rights. Nominees were evaluated on three criteria: significance, collaborative approach, and systemic impact.
A $10,000 award will be given by EOF with support from Public Welfare Foundation annually until 2030 as a part of their legacy investment into the Workers’ Rights field.
To learn more about NWJP Contact:
2022 Law & Social Policy Legacy Award Candidates
Award Runner-Up: Workers Defense Project: Workers Defense Project is a statewide member-based organization building power for low-wage, immigrant workers across Texas. Through education, organizing and direct services, we empower workers to win fair, safe jobs and become effective advocates for themselves and their communities. By creating a community-led organization for workers’ rights, we seek to stop this cycle of negligence and empower construction workers to secure the basic workplace rights they are entitled to, from paid sick leave to humane working conditions. We nurture a community that can protect its own and ultimately change the way the construction industry is run. In doing so, we work each day to create a more just system that recognizes the power that construction workers hold.
Center for WorkLife Law: The Center for WorkLife Law is an advocacy and research organization at UC Hastings Law that seeks to advance racial, gender, and class equity. At WorkLife Law, we address inequality at a structural level by developing and implementing concrete, evidence-based interventions in schools and workplaces and changing public policy at the state and national levels.
Economic Progress Institute: The Economic Progress Institute – formerly The Poverty Institute – is a nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to improving the economic well-being of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders. Since the organization was founded by Linda Katz and the late Nancy Gewirtz in 1999, it has become a respected authority on issues impacting the economic vitality of our residents and our state.
Georgia Justice Project: Georgia Justice Project strengthens our community by demonstrating a better way to represent and support individuals in the criminal justice system and reduce barriers to reentry. GJP promotes innovative change through direct legal representation, policy advocacy, education, and coalition building.
Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California: Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA) promotes self-determination in the Latino community in Southern California politically, culturally, and economically using popular education methodology. IDEPSCA organizes and educates low-income community members who want to resolve problems in their own communities.
Make the Road New York: Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. We have over 24,000 members and operate five community centers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.
National Legal Advocacy Network: The National Legal Advocacy Network (NLAN) is a legal non-profit organization that believes in shifting the balance of power towards greater equity in our economy and society through organizing, empowering systematically marginalized people and challenging entrenched racial discrimination, sexual harassment and exploitative workplace practices and predatory business schemes. NLAN is dedicated to leveraging legal resources to enhance the capacity and sustainability of the low-wage worker movement through community focused lawyering, worker center support and strategic litigation.
New Mexico Worker Organizing Collaborative: The New Mexico Worker Organizing Collaborative (NMWOC) will implement strategies to improve the health and economic security of low-wage workers and their families by designing policy initiatives around Medicaid buy-in or similar affordability plans, and creating a statewide environment that is conducive to earned sick pay and protections for individual workers. NMWOC is led by Somos Un Pueblo.
Public Justice Center: Founded in 1985, the Public Justice Center (PJC) uses legal tools to challenge poverty and racial inequity in Maryland and beyond. The PJC is a civil legal aid office that provides advice and representation to low-income clients, advocates before legislatures and government agencies, and collaborates with community and advocacy organizations.
United for Respect Education Fund: United for Respect Education Fund supports a multiracial and multigenerational movement of working people who are dreaming big, winning big and building an economy that allows us to live and work with dignity. We elevate the voices of those employed in the retail economy to call on industry leaders and policymakers to transform jobs so people can lead safe and economically-secure lives.
What’s Next Washington: What’s Next Washington is an organization of formerly incarcerated individuals and allies working to improve the ability of people with conviction histories to reintegrate into society and achieve longterm economic stability. We believe every person has a right to a life of dignity and the right to full participation in society; those closest to a problem are closest to the solution; and collaboration with stakeholders leads to innovation.
“We are incredibly honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Law & Social Policy Award. This award and the recognition that comes with it will help us continue to draw attention to the plight of migrant workers and the importance of improving their work conditions in the U.S.”
— Rachel Micah-Jones, founder and executive director of CDM
The Law & Social Policy Legacy Award was established in 2020 to recognize organizations defending and advocating for low-wage workers’ rights and to increase knowledge of this work in the philanthropic community. The Public Welfare Foundation spent more than a decade supporting public policy and system reforms to improve the lives of low-wage working people in the United States. This prize will commemorate and build on Public Welfare Foundation’s support to the field and honor the critical role law and social policy organizations play in building an economy that works for all.
EOF is a network of national, regional and local funders working to advance economic equity and opportunity in the United States. A $10,000 award will be given by EOF with support from Public Welfare Foundation annually until 2030 as a part of their legacy investment into the Workers’ Rights field. Awardees will be recognized at EOF’s Annual Budget and Tax Briefing in March.
EOF seeks nominees whose work is:
- Significant: The nominee’s work is critical to improving low-wage workers’ lives and advances best practice in the field. This may be through innovation (testing new tactics or engaging new allies) or a deep commitment to sustained progress over time.
- Collaborative: The nominee’s work is collaborative, engaged in concert with partners and impacted communities.
- Systemic: The nominee’s work will have lasting impact, advancing structural and systems change.
The award is open to any 501c3 organization (or fiscally sponsored project) working in the field of law and social policy to advance low wage workers’ rights in the United States. Nominated organizations may be of any size or budget and work may have just started or occurred over years. Individuals are not eligible. Anyone can make a nomination, and self-nominations are allowed. Nominators may make one nomination per year.
Previous Law & Social Policy Legacy Award nominees ARE eligible to be nominated in subsequent years. Previous awardees are NOT eligible.
The winner will receive $10,000 and be recognized at the EOF Annual Budget and Tax Briefing.
Our 2023 Call for Nominations will open in October 2022.