On a chilly Fall evening in Washington D.C., Jobs With Justice gathered for our first in-person annual Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration since 2019. The October gathering was a time to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and celebrate our honorees’ incredible work. The event began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction, where attendees could bid on dozens of auction items.
From there, the event moved to the auditorium, where 200 of us eagerly proceeded to watch the main event take place. The show started with a fantastic performance by Georgia-based MC Linqua Franca, who performed their song “Wurk.” After that, the event’s emcee, the talented Krystal Ramseur, moved us through the program, introducing presenters and setting the stage for the honorees. Ramseur, a DC-based improv artist, called Executive Director Erica Smiley on stage to participate in an improv session in one of the event’s highlights.
But the event’s true center was our honorees. We honored the US Women’s National Team Players Association for their courageous victory fighting for equal pay. We also presented an award to Starbucks Worker United for their incredible success in unionizing Starbucks employees across the country. In honor of their tireless commitment to social justice, we presented an award to the US Steelworkers. The Discount Legacy Award winner Wendy Meléndez Garcia for her extraordinary leadership organizing workers in Boston.
It was also inspiring to watch longtime Jobs With Justice board member Denise Bowyer honored for her outstanding career supporting and building relationships that bolstered the power of labor. Hearing speeches from our honorees, as well as the amazing presenters of these awards, affirmed our faith in our work.
Overall, the 2022 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards Celebration was a significant success. We can’t wait to do it again next year.