Louisville Journalist Laura Ungar Wins International Journalism Award
“India has a sixth of the world’s population but about a quarter of the cervical-cancer cases,” writes Laura Ungar, a reporter for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. This staggering fact was the impetus for Ungar’s series on efforts by researchers at the University of Louisville to develop vaccine options for the world’s poorest populations. The three-part article appeared in the November 18, 2007, issue and earned Ungar the Jane Cunningham Croly Print Journalism Award for Excellence in Covering Issues of Concern to Women. The award is given by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs to a journalist who is making significant contributions to the understanding and advancement of women’s issues. Ms. Ungar will accept the award at GFWC’s 117th Annual International Convention on June 30, in Chicago, Illinois.
“GFWC is delighted to recognize the powerful writing and the potent message in Laura Ungar’s articles,” said GFWC International President Jacquelyn Pierce. “Laura’s writing about this issue that is solely female yet entirely human demonstrates the kind of concern for women’s issues that GFWC was founded upon.” Three articles from The Courier-Journal were entered into the Croly Award contest: “Stopping a Killer” (November 2007); “Cervical Cancer: India’s Scourge” (November 2007); and “Every Patient is a Traumatic Experience for Me” (November 2007).
The Jane Cunningham Croly Print Journalism Award honors the founder of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Born in 1829, Jane Croly, writing under the pen name “Jennie June,” began her journalism career in the 1860s in New York City. She held editorial positions on newspapers and magazines for more than 40 years, always focusing on issues of concern to women and on subjects that would raise their intellectual status. In 1868, Croly organized Sorosis, a pioneer woman’s club, and, 21 years later, issued a call to other such clubs around the country to form the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Through early clubs, and still today, women found an outlet for their energies and a way to influence the world around them.
The annual journalism contest, which includes a cash prize, raises public awareness of Mrs. Croly’s contribution to the advancement of women and encourages more print reporters to follow her example. Past winners include: Mariane Pearl for Glamour (2007); Lou Kilzer for the Rocky Mountain News (2006); Sharon Lerner for The Village Voice and The Nation magazine (2005); and Mariko Thompson for the Los Angeles Daily News (2004).
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The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, one of the world’s largest and oldest women’s volunteer community service organizations, was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in Washington, DC. GFWC has more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and over a dozen countries. Visit us online at www.gfwc.org.
In 2007, GFWC and its members raised nearly $20 million on behalf of more than 68,000 projects, and volunteered more than 4.2 million hours. GFWC members and clubs work on projects in six main areas: arts; conservation; education; home life; international affairs; and public affairs.
The President’s Special Project for 2006-2008 is domestic violence awareness and prevention. In the first year of this project, GFWC members initiated nearly 4,000 projects and raised over $1 million to programs related to this cause.
Notable GFWC clubwomen have included: Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”; Jane Addams, founder of Hull House; Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor and the first woman to be appointed Director of the United States Mint; Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, social reformer, columnist, teacher, and political activist; and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to ever be elected to both Houses of Congress, and the first woman to campaign for the presidential nomination of a major political party.