The Dr. Judy Lewis Counselors for Social Justice Award recognizes a person (or persons) who has (have) engaged in social justice and advocacy aimed at making the lives of others and/or communities better through empowerment, community organizing and/or systems change through active engagement.

Background and Purpose

This award was created in honor of Dr. Judy Lewis, a founder of Counselors for Social Justice, a past president of ACA and a visionary social justice leader. Judy was feisty, determined and an advocate for social justice within marginalized communities, working with women and youth, promoting advocacy within the counseling profession and working on national political campaigns. She was a prolific writer and always wove advocacy, social justice, empowerment, anti-oppression, power dynamics, critical analysis and community-based counseling into all of her published works. She was a do-er and creator, and she was always willing to take the lead and challenge the status quo. 


Application Deadline

  •  January 10, 2020, 11:59 PM EST

Award Notification

  • Winners chosen and announced the week of February 18, 2020 


  • ACA Awards Committee and two representatives from Counselors for Social Justice.


  • $500 honorarium, complimentary ACA Conference & Expo registration (travel and lodging not included). Recognition and presentation of the award at the Conference.

Sponsor: The award is supported by the royalties from ACA Advocacy Competencies: A Social Justice Framework for Counselors edited by Manivong Ratts, Rebecca Toporek and Judy Lewis.

Eligibility, Rules and Criteria

The award recognizes a person (or persons) engaged in social justice and advocacy, with a minimum of at least two of the following components:

  • Actively engaged in demonstrated social justice action aimed at making the lives of others and /or communities better.
  • Engaged in empowerment of marginalized individuals and/or communities.
  • Engaged in community organizing and systems change that promote human rights and social justice action.
  • Youth advocacy in local communities.
  • Advocacy for women across the life span.
  • Demonstrated evidence of ongoing inclusive change in the community/communities within which the individual(s) work. This engagement can include academia, but is not solely in academia, and includes active engagement in the community.
  • Nominator and/or nominee are not required to be members of ACA or CSJ.
  • Nominator and/or nominee can be a professional counselor, educator, student in a counseling or related field or a social justice advocate within a community.
  • An individual can only be nominated for one award per year.

Nomination Guidelines

The total submission package for this award cannot exceed 16 pages in length. All nomination materials must be combined into one document (all formats accepted), with the nomination letter first.

Nomination letter: In the letter, identify the nominee and the specific award. Explain why you believe the nominee should receive the award by responding to the specific criteria outlined in the nomination guidelines. Keep in mind that the awards reviewers are relying on the information you provide to choose the most deserving recipient for the award. Please address each nomination guideline and make sure your nominee meets the award criteria and requirements. Brevity, clarity and specificity are most important here.

The nomination letter must be no more than three pages in length (additional appendices and exhibits are welcome). In it, briefly:

  • Describe the programs, activities or accomplishments that qualify the nominee for this award.
  • Describe the influences the nominee’s efforts have had relevant to the criteria of this award.
Include a statement from the nominee describing the nominee’s activities, projects and engagements relevant to the criteria of this award.

Supporting materials: Include a nominee biography and a maximum of two letters in support of the nomination from others familiar with the nominee and her or his accomplishments. If there are additional materials (news reports, journal articles, etc.) that you feel help support the nominee’s achievements, please include a copy of them. You may also include a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume of no more than four pages, highlighting the nominee’s relevant accomplishments, if available. Keep in mind that the total submission cannot exceed 16 pages in length.

Apply for Award


Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.


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Laura Boyd Farmer


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Brandé Flamez

Loretta Bradley, PhD

Dr. Judy Daniels

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