ALIGN announces the honorees for the
2023 Movement Builders Awards, October 11
Striking workers of SAG-AFTRA and WGA East
Public Power NY coalition
Maritza Silva-Farrell, former ALIGN Executive Director
New York, NY (September 7, 2023) – ALIGN is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Movement Builders Awards (MBAs), annually recognizing leaders in social, economic, and environmental justice who make New York a national model for progress.
2023 has been a historic year for the labor movement, with unions nationwide standing up to corporate power with something even stronger—worker power. From NYSNA to UPS Teamsters to SAG-AFTRA and WGA, workers have secured historic contracts and built worker power by withholding their labor or threatening to; thus, the 2023 event’s theme is STRIKE!, celebrating the power of collective action.
ALIGN is proud to stand in solidarity with workers rising up to fight for fair wages, safe working conditions, and a just transition to a green future. This year’s honorees include SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America East, who have shut down Hollywood, striking to protect their members’ livelihoods and win a fair contract in the face of a changing industry; Public Power NY coalition, who built a grassroots campaign that won the Build Public Renewables Act, so New York can lead the nation in building publicly owned, 100% renewable energy while creating green, union jobs and making energy affordable for working families; and Maritza Silva-Farrell, who has left an indelible mark on New York’s movement for worker and climate justice as ALIGN’s longtime Executive Director and a current leader in the Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) program.
The event will be held on Wednesday, October 11 at the People’s Forum NYC.
“In 2023, New York has weathered smoky skies, ruthless storms, and scorching heat, as the brutality of our climate crisis and corporate greed reach a pinnacle,” said Lucas Shapiro, Interim Executive Director for ALIGN. “But our movement has fearlessly forged ahead. Together, this year’s Movement Builders honorees demonstrate the tenacity of the labor and climate justice movements and the transformative power of collective action. And their achievements remind us of what we’re fighting for—a better world is possible! ALIGN is proud to lift up our colleagues and allies SAG-AFTRA, WGA East, Public Power NY, and Maritza Silva-Farrell and celebrate their impact as we continue the fight alongside them for clean air, green jobs, and dignity and justice for all workers.”
All proceeds from the Movement Builders Awards benefit ALIGN in its nonprofit mission to address the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions and developing policy solutions that make an impact. Tickets are available now; for more information about sponsorship, please contact Nina Terhune at email@example.com.
About the Honorees
Maritza Silva-Farrell is a program officer with the Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) Program. As the former executive director of ALIGN, Maritza spearheaded coalition building, strategic organizing, and policy interventions in New York for over 12 years and played a key role in winning transformational policies and forging powerful alliances that benefit workers, immigrants, women, low-income communities of color, and the environment. As a movement catalyst working with labor unions, Maritza has led successful coalitions to prevent Walmart’s low road jobs expansion and Amazon’s attempts to build its headquarters in New York City. She has been instrumental in key policy passage to transform industries at the city and state level, including some of the most ambitious climate laws in the country, including: the Climate Leadership Community Protection Act, Local Law 97, Commercial Waste Zones, the Warehouse Workers Protection Act, and the NY HERO Act. Maritza is a member of the New York City Sustainability advisory board and the statewide Climate Action Council’s Just Transition working group. She serves as a board member of the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills and a member of the Cornell Worker Institute Advisory Council.
Public Power NY coalition
Public Power NY is a statewide, grassroots movement of over 20 of New York’s most effective climate, community, and advocacy organizations that passed the historic Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) in May 2023. As the biggest climate and green jobs bill in the nation, the BPRA shifts power back from corporate control into the hands of the people. The BPRA will unleash the power of public funding to build publicly owned, 100% renewable energy, create a new era of green union jobs, slash rising energy bills for those who need it most, and make New York a national leader in the fight to build a future we’d be proud to pass on to those to come. Our movement is made up of over 20 of New York’s most effective climate, community, and advocacy organizations, and thousands of volunteers who have taken action everywhere from Brooklyn to Buffalo. Our campaign is also endorsed by labor unions representing over one million members in New York, including 1199SEIU, NYSUT, UUP, PSC-CUNY, and UAW 9A.
The Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA unites two great American labor unions—the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—that joined to preserve their hard-won rights and to continue the struggle to extend and expand those protections into the 21st century and beyond. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond.
The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing more than 7,000 writers in film, television, news, podcasts, and online media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit wgaeast.org.
ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) is a longstanding alliance of labor and community organizations united for a just and sustainable New York. ALIGN works at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity to make change and build movement. Our model addresses the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions, shaping the public debate through strategic communications, and developing policy solutions that make an impact.