Background and Purpose

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.

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. 

Deadline:  Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
Judges:  ACA Awards Committee and two representatives from Counselors for Social Justice.
Prize: $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

  • 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

A letter of nomination is required from the nominator. 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 on her or his students or graduate program.
A statement from the nominee should describe the nominee’s activities, projects and engagements relevant to the criteria of this award.

Nomination Checklist

  • Nominee Biography
  • Nomination Letter (Include supporting details that correspond to the specific requirements for this award)
  • Supporting Materials
  • Maximum of two supporting letters
  • Nominee statement


**NOTE:  If this is the first time you have submitted a nomination, you must create an account.  The email and password for the awards submission system may or may NOT be the same as your ACA website email and password.  They are different systems, and are not linked.

Submissions must be received by Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

Send questions about eligibility criteria or other parts of the application process HERE

Supported and sponsored by the American Counseling Association Foundation.

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