In 1994 Carla Howery proposed the Feminist Activism Award to annually recognize a SWS member who has made notable contributions to improving the lives of women in society, especially through activism. While scholarship is not unimportant for a nomination, the clear emphasis is on a member's advocacy work that reflects the goals of SWS. The key rationale for the award was that no such award existed in other sociological groups and associations for this critical, but often unrecognized work -work that was consistent with SWS goals. (Much of the information in this history was excerpted from the Proposal for the Feminist Activism Award as published in the 1994 issue of Network News.)
The award was approved by the membership at the winter meeting in 1994 and first awarded in August 1994. At the 1994 SWS summer business meeting, the members in attendance voted to name the award for its first recipient, Pauline Bart. In 2000, Pauline Bart asked that her name be removed from the award and her request was honored. The award will remain unnamed, unless a proposal for naming this or any other award is presented to and approved by the Awards Committee and ultimately the membership.
While there are no set guidelines for a nomination packet, a winning packet tends to have these elements: A document (e.g. curriculum vitae, brief biography) providing an accounting of the activist contributions and their impact, testimonials from those benefiting from or witnessing the activism, and any other supporting documents, such as newspaper clippings. Most importantly, the nomination packet should clearly indicate how these activities have improved conditions for women in society. Packets should be sent to the SWS chair as specified in the award announcement posted in Network News (deadline is March 1st). The SWS award chair will distribute copies of the packets to her/his committee. The committee chair will acknowledge nominations received, notify recipients, and communicate the selection process outcome to all nominees.
The awardee visits two universities, to celebrate and enhance feminist scholarship and social activism on campus. See the Call for Campus Visit Applications for further information.