Game Changer Awards

Honoring Champions Who Put Families First

In honor of champions who have put families first and changed the game for all of us in the fight for paid leave.



mood-portrait-bid-webOver the 13 years since Family Values @ Work began, the 25 state coalitions in our network – with your help and support – have had significant wins with more to come. We’re celebrating these wins and supporting the ongoing work with the Game Changer Awards.

Please support our efforts by giving to our campaigns or by bidding on this great work of art, a special gift to Family Values @ Work from Linda Stein (artist-activist, lecturer, performer.) This amazing limited edition fine art print (size 12″x9″, mounted on board within an acetate sleeve) would make a great addition to your home or office.

Bid can be submitted by clicking here or by texting “FVA$amount” to 201-548-3834.


Policy Champion: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro is a long-time fighter for women and families. Rosa serves in the Democratic Leadership and is the ranking member on Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee. With a masters in international politics and several years of community organizing, DeLauro was the first Executive Director of EMILY’s List and became campaign manager and then chief of staff for Sen. Chris Dodd. A bout of ovarian cancer brought her face-to-face with the need for family and medical leave. In 1990, she ran for Congress where she has been an outspoken champion for affordable time to care, becoming the chief sponsor in the House of both the Healthy Families Act (paid sick days) and the FAMILY Act (paid family and medical leave insurance). Rosa DeLauro has just been re-elected to serve her 14th term in Congress where she will continue to take on special interests and fight tenaciously for women, families and the nation.

Labor Champion: Sukoya Charles, SEIU Fight for $15
Sukoya Charles is a home care worker for 1199 in New York who became a leader in the Fight for $15 and in the fight for paid family leave. Like many people, Sukoya was tired of living paycheck to paycheck, dealing with rising bills and pay that didn’t budge. But having more money per hour doesn’t help if you have zero dollars per hour when you take time to care for a loved one. Sukoya’s father lives in Pennsylvania. She wanted to be there for him when he had to have knee surgery but she couldn’t afford to take the financial hit. “That’s when reality hit,” Sukoya says. “If my father could not take care of himself, I would not be able to take care of him. You should never have to pick between paying bills and taking care of a loved one.”

Business Champion: Spotify
First Spotify expanded its own paid leave policies to 26 weeks at full pay for parents of any gender, the time available for use over a two-year period. Then they worked with Family Values @ Work to create a paid leave playlist. An email accompanying the playlist gives listeners resources to support and advocate for paid leave in the United States. And the music streaming company didn’t stop there. They spoke in support of a paid family leave program in New York state, and now have done so publicly for the FAMILY Act, which would establish a federal program. Spotify recognizes that paid leave makes them a more attractive employer – and their staff agree. “This is the fourth place I’ve worked,” said one of the team that worked on the paid leave playlist. “It has the best policies, and by far the highest morale.”

Community Partner: Forward Together
Forward Together is a leading reproductive justice organization led by women of color that focuses on creating cultural and policy change so all women, youth, and families have the resources to thrive. Forward Together and Family Values @ Work teamed up in several collaborations throughout 2016, including the development of a multi-issue “Lifting All Families” civic engagement tool, member engagement for the National Day of Action on Paid Sick Days, and several joint workshops for the We Won’t Wait Summit. Forward Together has played a pivotal role on the Design Team for the cross-movement Family Justice Network, working with FV@W and A Better Balance to host webinars on the importance of inclusive family definitions and co-create a report on the subject along with Center for American Progress.

Special thanks to our host committee:

Ai-Jen Poo
Chris Owens
Elaine Reuben
Elizabeth Shuler
Gloria Steinem
Holly Fechner
Karen Nussbaum
Linda Meric
Lisa Guide
Mary Kay Henry
Mary Lassen
Rinku Sen
Rodell Martineau
Sarita Gupta
Saru Jayaraman
Sheryl Sandberg
Teresa Younger
Will Robinson