On May 6th, 2019, the Wallace Global Fund presented the Sunrise Movement with the second Henry A. Wallace award. The youth activists of the Sunrise Movement accepted the award of $250,000. In addition to the $250,000 award, the Fund is committing $750,000 of grants in 2019 to dozens of organizations partnering with the Sunrise Movement to advance the movement for a Green New Deal.
Sunrise is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. They’re building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on politicians, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.
The Henry A. Wallace Award was established in 2017 to commemorate the legacy of the Fund’s donor, Secretary of Agriculture and later Vice President of the United States in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Wallace was an architect of many of the New Deal programs that directly impacted the Heartland. He was also known as the New Deal Philosopher, traveling the country, and later the world, to spread the values of the New Deal. Sunrise activists have embarked on a similar national tour with their Road to the Green New Deal. Tens of thousands of people have gathered in their local communities to learn about the Green New Deal. The spirit of the Sunrise activists is reminiscent of the activism that brought the first New Deal to fruition. When ordinary people demand that government steps up to address environmental and economic perils, transformative change happens.
The award ceremony featured a video that draws parallels between the political moments that led to the New Deal and the Green New Deal. Featured speakers included: WGF Board Chairs Scott Wallace and Scott Fitzmorris; Senator Timothy E. Wirth, Vice Chair of the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors and the Better World Fund and former United States Senator from Colorado; Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO; the Reverend Dr. William Barber II, President, Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign; Varshini Prakash, co-founder and Executive Director, Sunrise Movement, and Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund. The event also featured video remarks from actor Mark Ruffalo and noted environmentalist Bill McKibben, and a performance by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Antonique Smith.
Read the press release here.