Ana Maria Archila, co-director of Make the Road New York (MRNY), is the winner of the first-ever Berger-Marks Foundation’s Edna Award for social justice. The $10,000 award recognizes young women whose leadership in the social justice movement has already fueled social change.
The non-profit MRNY works to empower and bring economic justice to low-income Latino residents and other New Yorkers. Archila, 32, immigrated to the United States from Colombia when she was 17. Inspired by her own struggle to adapt to an unfamiliar culture, she serves Latino immigrants and other low-income working families in some of New York City’s poorest communities.
More than 400 people from the United States, Canada and other countries were nominated. Berger-Marks President Linda Foley says:
The range of activities of the applicants to further social justice was remarkable—from union organizers and leaders, programs to end inner-city violence, and immigrant rights advocacy, to fundraising to help African children orphaned by AIDS.
The award is named after Edna Berger, the foundation’s namesake and an early organizer at the Newspaper Guild-CWA. The foundation, named for Berger and her husband, composer Edward Marks, seeks to bring to women the benefits of unionization through training, research and other resources.
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.