NJEA is accepting nominations for the 2021 Judith M. Owens Spirit Award. This award honors members who have been champions of ethnic-minority rights/issues and have significantly impacted education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their ethnicity.


Must have been an NJEA active or retired member in good standing for the past three years. Must complete application form below and submit by the deadline.


  1. Impacts ethnic-minority NJEA members.
  2. Performs one of the following activities:
    • Establishes programs that engage and involve the community in the improvement of public education for all students.
    • Promotes the inclusion of diversity and social justice education in in-service and pre-service programs as well as in association training.
    • Works in partnership with other agencies/groups to promote ethnic-minority educational issues within their community.
  3. Demonstrates leadership in ethnic-minority issues.

Nomination procedure

  1. Nominees must be an individual who has worked in the area of ethnic-minority rights/issues.
  2. Nominations will be accepted from individual active or retired members or NJEA local and county affiliates.
  3. Nominations must be accompanied by appropriate documentation which may include: newspaper clippings, newsletters, online reports, programs, certificates,citations, pictures, etc.
  4. Nomination applications, photos, and supporting documents must be received via email by Oct. 30, 2020.
  5. The award recipient must be available to attend the awards ceremony at the Human and Civil Rights Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.
  6. The Minority Leadership & Recruitment Committee will make the final selection with the approval of the NJEA Executive Committee.

Questions? Email Gary Melton below.

Judith M. Owens Spirit Award



  • Nominee Criteria Verification Form

  • Explain how the nominee meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • 2. Performs one or more of the following activities:

  • Upload supporting documents

  • Drop files here or

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