The American Ethical Union Distributes the Following Awards:
For questions about these awards, contact the AEU office at email@example.com or 212-873-6500.
Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award
The Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award recognizes a lay member of an AEU-affiliated ethical congregation in good standing for his or her significant volunteer contributions to the success of that ethical congregation and, therefore, the success of the AEU, or volunteer contributions on behalf of the AEU itself.
Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931) was a social activist and feminist icon. She was the first woman ordained in Rhode Island, became a founder of the NAACP, promoted child labor laws, and worked for equal rights for women. She was also the first woman Ethical Culture leader and her life-long work embodies the spirit intended by this award.
Click here for criteria and nomination details. Nominations for 2021 awards will be due in early Spring. Download the AGS Volunteer Award nomination form (doc) here. The Anna Garlin Spencer Volunteer Award is presented at the AEU Assembly by the AEU Board on behalf of the AEU and the nominating congregation.
The Elliott-Black Award is given in recognition and tribute to an individual or organization in the larger community who has made a significant positive impact on society and the achievement of ethical ideals. It was established in 1971 to honor two long-term and highly esteemed Leaders of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, the late John Lovejoy Elliott and Algernon D. Black. Both were known for their personal courage and for going beyond the usual limits in their commitment to social justice. See previous award recipients here.
Algernon D. Black (1900-1993) received his B.A. Magna cum Laude from Harvard in 1923. His achievements include lifelong activism in race relations and housing discrimination. He served as Ethics Teacher at the New York Society and was also the founder of Work Camp for Democracy 1939, Work Camps for American 1940-1941, and the Encampment for Citizenship in 1946.
John Lovejoy Elliott (1868-1942) worked with boys’ clubs until he had established a center for clubs and inter-clubs activities and families. Hudson Guild Neighborhood House (incorporated in 1896) was the first result of his social work. He enabled people of the neighborhood to organize and empower themselves, established the League of Mothers’ Club among the settlements (1913) and founded the School for Printers’ Apprentices (1912). One of his last acts, at the age of 70, was to rescue two Leaders of the Vienna Ethical Society who had been imprisoned under the Nazi terror. He traveled to Germany, met the Nazi authorities and obtained the release of his associates.
Individuals or groups are nominated and voted on by Ethical Societies during the Winter. Nominees must be available to receive the Elliott-Black Award during a presentation at the AEU Assembly in the Spring.
Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award
The Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award officially recognizes our members who have stimulated the growth of the Ethical Culture Movement during their many years of active participation in their Society, an AEU Affiliate, and/or an AEU Committee or Board.
Previous recipients include:
2019 Edward L. Ericson, for his dedication to growing the Ethical Culture Movement and substantial influential through his writings, lobbying, and collaboration with other leaders
2011 Dr. Howard B. Radest, for over seven decades of active involvement in the Ethical Culture Movement, during which time he has served as a Leader, educator and author
2010 Rose L. Walker, for her extraordinary volunteerism and her intrepid spirit in promoting a long-standing and close mutual relationship between the American Ethical Union and the United Nations
The Felix Adler Lifetime Achievement Award is determined and presented by the AEU Board.
The Mossler Fellowship provides funding for a project that contributes to the spread of the Ethical Culture Movement nationally. The fellowship is made possible by an endowment established by Adele Mossler, a member of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and can range from $6,000-$8,000 per year. Recipients must be members of minority groups and/or women who are recommended by an Ethical Society member and have volunteered on behalf of an Ethical Society or the AEU. Recipients will be responsible for producing three progress reports during the life of their fellowship.