2016 Old Awards Page


The Midwest Academy’s Board of Directors and Gala Host Committee will hold an evening of celebration and recognition of some of our nation’s most acclaimed progressive activists.

We dedicate this year’s Academy Awards to carrying the legacy of Abner Mikva. His influence on social change extended from the streets of Chicago to the White House and beyond. Among the early staff of the Academy, were many of the Mikva “kids” from Ab’s early campaigns. It is surely one of the reasons the Academy began with such strong values and talent, and now passes that on.

We will come together at the Midwest Academy Awards to pause and recognize the outstanding contributions of some of our most dedicated leaders. More than 250 of the most recognized organizers and activists of the national progressive community will join us for a time to celebrate, re-energize and of course, organize!

Buy a Program Ad

sposnor red 2014

Created with flickr slideshow.


The Midwest Academy’s Board of Directors and Gala Host Committee invites you to join us for an evening of celebration and recognition of some of our nation’s most acclaimed progressive activists.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Cocktail Reception – 6pm
Awards Program – 7:30pm

The Sphinx Club at Franklin Square
1315 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Directions and parking


Carmen Berkley, AFL-CIO
Jeff Blum, Center for International Policy
Michael Brune, Sierra Club
Margie Fine
Democracy Partners
Anna Galland and Ilya Sheyman, MoveOn.org
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, U.S. Congress
Donna Hall, Women Donors Network
Wenonah Hauter, Food and Water Watch
Carlos Jimenez, DC Metro Labor Council
Gara LaMarche, Democracy Alliance
Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Congress
Mary Beth Maxwell, Human Rights Campaign
Heather McGhee, Demos
Greg Moore, NAACP National Voter Fund
Erin O’Neill, American Cancer Society
Karen Nussbaum, Working America
Douglas Phelps, The Public Interest Network
Marvin Randolph, Southern Elections Fund
Miles Rapoport
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Lee Saunders, AFSCME
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Congress
Roger Smith, American Income Life
John Stocks, National Education Association
John Taylor, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Teresa Vilmain
Billy Wimsatt, Solidaire


Chair Heather Booth
(Democracy Partners)
Jacky Grimshaw (Center for Neighborhood Technology)
Paul Booth (AFSCME)
Robert Creamer (Democracy Partners)
Jackie Kendall (Democracy Partners)
Mike Lux (Progressive Strategies)
Eddy Morales (Morales Public Relations)
Alicia Ybarra (SEIU)
Executive Director Judy Hertz


We recognize these very special 2016 Academy Award Honorees.

Wade Henderson
Lifetime Achievement Award
President and CEO
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Mary Kay Henry
Progressive Leadership Award
International President
Service Employees International Union

Joel Silberman
Progressive Leadership Award
Media Strategist and Trainer
Democracy Partners

Janice Crop
Janice Fine
Progressive Leadership Award
Associate Professor
Rutgers University


Sponsorship donations may be made by credit card online here or click the graphic below to download our Sponsor form:


Please join us in honoring these remarkable leaders with a gift to the Academy Awards.
We would like to give you this special opportunity to become a sponsor of the Academy Awards and have your name on our website, and in the program book.
The benefits of sponsorship are detailed as follows:

New – Presenting Sponsor – $25,000
· Exclusive naming rights as presenting partner
· Premiere logo placement across all event promotion platforms
· Recognition and exclusive signage placement at event
· 15 VIP tickets and premier table seating
Title Sponsor – $15,000
· 12 VIP tickets, premier table seating and signage
· Recognition and premier signage at the event
· Logo and full page color ad in program book
· Listing and Logo on website
Direct Action Sponsor – $10,000
· 10 tickets, premier table seating and signage
· Premier signage at the event
· Logo and half page color ad in program book
· Listing and logo on website
Strategy Chart Sponsor – $5,000
· 8 tickets, table seating and signage
· Listing and quarter page color ad in program book
Progressive Sponsor – $2,500
· 6 tickets to the event
· Business card ad in program book. Listing on website
Friend of Academy – $1,000
· 4 tickets to the event
· Listing in program book and website