Mario Savio Young Activist Award

The Board of Directors of the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture & Young Activist Award, housed at Tides Foundation, invites you to nominate a candidate for the annual Young Activist Award. The award this year carries a cash prize of $6000, divided equally between the prize-winner and his or her organization, and will be given to a young person (or persons) with a deep commitment to human rights and social justice and a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action.  The nominees should have demonstrated leadership ability, creativity and integrity.

This award honors the late Mario Savio (1942-1996), who came to national prominence as a spokesperson for the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964.  His moral clarity, his eloquence, and his democratic style of leadership impelled thousands of his fellow Berkeley students to struggle for, and win, more political freedom, inspiring a generation of student activism.  Savio remained a lifelong fighter for human rights and social justice. 

Nominations for the next award are due by July 1st of the current year.  Nomination forms and additional information are available by going to, or e-mailing

Past Winners

2016 Bryan Perlmutter, Ronnishia Johnson, Samuel Sinyangwe Youth Organizing Institute (Bryan Perlmutter), We the Protestors (Samuel Sinyangwe), The Last 3 Percent (Ronnishia Johnson)
2015 Quentin Savage, Johnnie Turnage, and Bernarda Elizabet Garcia Jaimez Abolitionist Law Center (Quentin Savage), MOSES Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (Johnnie Turnage), Hope CommUnity Center (Bernarda Elizabet Garcia Jaimez)
2014 Hannah Sohl, Zoe Wilmott and Ilecara Velez Community Works West – Project WHAT! (Zoe Wilcott) and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – Los Angeles (Ilecara Velez)
2013 Melvin Willis ACCE Institute
2012 Howard Watts III and Molly Katchpole Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (Watts)
2011 Josh Healy, Christsna Sot, and Ellen Choy Youth Speaks (Josh Healey and Christsna Sot) and Youth for Climate Justice (Ellen Choy)
2010 Reyna Wences and Rigoberto Padilla Immigrant Youth Justice League
2009 Timothy Den-Herder Thomas and Chelsea Chee Summer of Solutions (Timothy Den-Herder Thomas) and Black Mesa Water Coalition (Chelsea Chee)
2008 Julissa Bisono Make the Road New York
2007 Christopher Goodman and Patrisse Marie Cullors Baltimore Algebra Project (Christopher Goodman) and Labor Community Strategy Center (Patrisse Marie Cullors)
2006 Noemi Ramos ACORN, Boston chapter (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now)
2005 Erin Durban American Friends Service Committee
2004 Jason West Mayor of New Paltz, GenerationProject
2003 Rocio Nieves Youth Force Coalition
2002 Harmony Goldberg and Genevieve Gonzales School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
2001 Jim Keady Educating for Justice, The Living Wage Project, Nike Corporate Accountability Campaign
2000 Jia Ching Chen Just Act: Youth Action for Global Justice
1999 Nikki Fortunato Bas Sweatshop Watch
1998 Michael Leon Guerrero Southwest Organizing Project

Nomination Flyer

Nominations for the next award are due by July 1, 2017.

Nomination forms and additional information are available by going to, or e-mailing savio at sonic dot net.