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Annual Awards Reception


Each spring, ELC hosts an awards ceremony and reception to honor individuals and organizations for their commitment to public education. The reception is also an important fundraising event; contributions and proceeds from ticket sales help maintain ELC as a champion of educational equity.

This year, ELC’s annual fundraiser was held on Thursday, May 18. Hilary Pennington, Vice President of the Ford Foundation; John Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education; and Chris Daggett, President and CEO of the Dodge Foundation, kicked off the event with a panel discussion at the Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick. Their remarks focused on the role of philanthropy in ensuring educational equity and opportunity, as well as the challenges facing the nation’s public schools.

Following the talk, ELC hosted a food and wine reception attended by over 140 guests at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.  

Two awards were presented at the reception: the Morheuser Humanitarian Award and the Education Justice Award:

  • The Morheuser Humanitarian Award honors dedication to the advancement of the educational rights of students in New Jersey’s public schools and is presented in memory of the late Marilyn Morheuser, ELC’s long-time Executive Director and advocate for education justice. This year, the award was presented to the Dodge Foundation.
  • The Education Justice Award honors commitment to expanding equal educational opportunity for public school children across the U.S. This year, the award was presented to both the Ford Foundation and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Previous winners have included Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund; Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education; Wade Henderson, former President of the Leadership Conference for Human and Civil Rights; Diane Ravitch, noted educator and New York University Professor; Benjamin Todd Jealous, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the NAACP; and Kurt Landgraf; former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Educational Testing Service.

For more information about the event, please contact Nicole Ciullo, ELC Fundraising & Event Coordinator, at 973.624.1815, ext. 12, or