MORAL FUSION LEADERSHIP AWARDS
Once a year, we take time to celebrate the movement-building work of Labor-Religion Coalition and honor remarkable leaders from across the state who are making tremendous contributions to the struggle for economic, racial and social justice in New York.
Please join us for this year's Virtual Moral Fusion Leadership Awards as we honor leaders who were on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting critical needs in our communities and fighting for justice, equity, and protection for workers.
Mark Emanatian (Capital District Area Labor Federation) and Sister Betsy VanDeusen (Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany)
Mark Emanatian and Sister Betsy VanDeusen have partnered with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to coordinate hundreds of drive-through mass food distributions throughout the Capital Region during the pandemic. They built a coalition of labor, faith and community groups that have distributed more than 1.7 million pounds of food to more than 169,000 people. These food distributions have been a critical lifeline for those thrown into deeper economic precarity by the pandemic. At the same time, Mark and Sister Betsy share a commitment to ending poverty and continue to do organizing and advocacy so that one day no family will go hungry.
Workers at Pindar Vineyards (RWDSU/UFCW Local 338)
On September 27, 2021, workers at the Pindar Vineyards winery in Peconic became the first group of farmworkers in the state to unionize under the 2019 Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act. The history-making group of workers met with Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW organizers throughout the pandemic and decided that it was time to fight for the rights and protections they were entitled to but not receiving. The Pindar Vineyards workers are asking for basic respect and dignity on the job, worksite safety standards, and benefits like sick pay and paid time off, all things not guaranteed under their current working conditions. They are proud to be part of a union and to use their collective voice to pave the way for future farmworkers interested in winning the rights and workplace protections they know they deserve.
Albany Medical Center Nurses (NYSNA)
Like their colleagues around the world, nurses at Albany Medical Center responded heroically to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing compassionate and life-saving care in incredibly difficult circumstances. When COVID-19 hit, AMC nurses were also in the midst of a difficult fight for their first contract at a notoriously anti-union hospital. On July 1, after three years, many negotiation sessions, a pandemic, a strike, and countless regulatory agency findings against AMC for improper behavior, Albany Med NYSNA nurses won a fair first contract that offers them a stronger voice in patient care, as well as union and financial security.
School Related Professionals (NYSUT)
Public schools were a critical hub for responding to COVID-19 across New York. While navigating the challenging shift to virtual and hybrid learning, schools met other immediate needs of students, families, and communities, including distributing countless free meals. School-related professionals (SRPs) - including food service workers, bus drivers, custodians, teachers aides, school nurses, and more - were central to these efforts.
Reserve a ticket or become a sponsor using the form below. If you prefer to pay by check, please email your name, address and number of tickets and/or sponsorship amount to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may mail your check made out to
NYS Labor-Religion Coalition to 85 Chestnut St., Albany, NY 12210. Please write "Moral Fusion Awards" in the memo line.
Thank you for your support!
Thank you to our sponsors! (List in formation)
Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW
Hunger Action Network of NYS
Rev. Sandy Damhof
Capital District Area Labor Federation
New York State Council of Churches
UUP, Albany Chapter
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany
Rev. Heather Kirk-Davidoff