Legacy Fund

The JAWS Legacy Fund honors the trailblazers who embody the spirit and mission of Journalism & Women Symposium by collecting bequests and then using those funds to support programs that enrich the work of JAWS.

Our organization was founded by women who were dogged in their determination to promote equality in newsrooms and open opportunities for subsequent generations of journalists and this fund helps to sustain the principles of those JAWS leaders and remember their individual lives and contributions. Read HerStory here.

A committee set up to advise the Board of Directors this year chose to bring former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin for an inaugural Legacy Luncheon speech at our annual conference, October 25-27. Future endeavors may include speakers, fellowships or videotaping a panel—and programs at other times, such as a journalist-in-residence or a traveling speakers’ panel.

JAWS thanks the trustees of the Eileen Shanahan-Kay Mills Fund and the Joan Cook Fund for providing the seed money to launch this new project.

  • Eileen Shanahan, a world-class journalist, champion of social justice and founding director of the Journalism & Women Symposium, was a legendary figure as a reporter and mentor for other women and people of color. Obituaries in the New York Times and the Washington Post chronicled her achievements as a reporter and editor, bulldozing past the obstacles of gender with relentless, creative career management.
  • Kay Mills was a historian of women in journalism and civil rights, a loyal mentor and an inspirational member of the Journalism and Women Symposium’s founding board of directors. She wrote a number of books, including, “A Place in the News: From the Women’s Pages to the Front Page,” “From Pocahontas to Power Suits: Everything You Need to Know About Women’s History in America,” and others on the civil rights movement. 
  • Joan Riddell Cook was a founding director of JAWS, a journalist, a union leader, a moral leader and generous friend to three generations of people engaged in the work of making the world a more just place. She was one of seven named plaintiffs — and a moving force — in a class action sex discrimination suit against the New York Times filed in 1974. 

We invite you to help the Legacy Fund grow by contributing to this cause and remembering JAWS in your will. All projects underwritten in whole or part by the JAWS Legacy Fund will be marked accordingly—in programs, on video credits, in book acknowledgments and the like. Where possible, names of all honorees of the Legacy Fund will be included.

This is an important way to honor the women of JAWS.  To donate to the JAWS Legacy Fund, contact Executive Director Becky Day at beckyd@jaws.org or click here.