Day: May 3, 2024

The Sidney Prize

sidney prize

Since 1950, the Sidney Prize has recognized journalists who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling to further the public good. Each month, its foundation selects one submission that best displays reportorial excellence and social justice impact – this competition is open to book (nonfiction), newspaper/magazine articles/broadcast/opinion journalism pieces as well as opinion/analysis journalism pieces.

Winners are chosen annually based on their dedication to seeking truth in service of public interest as defined by our founder, Sidney Hillman. He was dedicated to uncovering injustices that affected both individual lives and wider society – his tenacity and passion for justice were incomparable.

The Sidney Prize has been bestowed upon many prominent journalists and authors, such as Hilton Als of The New York Times and Ed Yong of The Atlantic. Undergraduate college newspaper writers who earned this accolade also were recognized with an award intended to encourage them in pursuing excellence and integrity in their own works.

Sidney has awarded many writers for their contributions to southern literature and culture, including the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize competition open to Overland subscribers and readers who will be judged blind. The winner will receive both cash award as well as two runners-up awards; their work will then be published in our Summer 2023 issue.

Additionally, the foundation has established the Hillman Prize in Canada to honor journalists who focus on stories that improve lives. This prize is open to Canadian writers whose works help bring about change for the better in Canada’s social and economic injustices.

The Sydney Peace Prize, named for a Dartmouth philosophy professor, was recently given to Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and other members of the Black Lives Matter movement for their commitment to peace with justice and human rights. Additionally, other prizes may also be distributed by this foundation that promotes social justice.

In 1985, the committee started designating Notable Books–books which did not win a prize but are considered deserving of recognition–at the same time they announced prize winners. Each year this list is published along with those winning prizes. Notable Books lists from 1985 through 2011 can be purchased, with pdf versions also being made available for download. The Hillman Foundation is funded by Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America labor union – an early precursor of Workers United SEIU. The Hillman Foundation board of directors includes members from this union as well as left-leaning celebrities and media figures, with Bruce Raynor serving as president emeritus of Amalgamated Clothing Workers serving as its selection committee chairman and leading its selection process. The foundation has long been at the center of union-related controversy. They have given generous grants for scholarships, research projects and lecture series on college campuses; while also supporting liberal candidates and causes.

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