Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize

Debra E. Bernhardt (photograph by Jane Latour, 1995)

The Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize is an award of $500 given to an article that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. Click here to enter for 2018.

We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Award winner is Garret Keizer for his article “Labor’s Schoolhouse – Lessons from the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913,” in Harper’s Magazine, July 2017.

The prize was awarded at the Third Annual Bernhardt Labor Journalism Forum on Thursday October 12, 2017 at Tamiment Library, with investigative journalists and labor activists Ginger Adams Otis(NY Daily News);  Michelle Chen (The Nation); and Ed Ott (CUNY) participating.

The prize is given to insightful work that contributes to the understanding of labor history, shows creativity, demonstrates excellence in writing, and adheres to the highest journalistic standards of accuracy.  The work should be published – in print or online – in a union or workers’ center publication or by an independent journalist.

By sponsoring this award we hope to inspire more great writing for a general audience about the history of work, workers, and their organizations.

We are guided by the vision of the late Debra E. Bernhardt, who worked in so many different realms to share the hidden histories of working people.  As head of the Wagner Labor Archives she reached out to an astonishing number of people and organizations, to document undocumented stories and unrecognized contributions, and to make links between past and present.

The award is co-sponsored by LaborArts; Metro New York Labor Communications Council; the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU’s  Tamiment Library.


Previous winners:

2016    Chloe Kent, for her article “The Women of New York’s Bravest” in Enchantress magazine, May 2016.

2015    David Kameras and Emily Harris for their May, 2014 article in the United Mine Workers Journal:  “From Tragedy to Triumph – 100 Years Later, Workers Benefit from Ludlow’s Legacy.”