The Legacy Fund supports special projects that enrich the work of Journalism and Women Symposium and honor the trailblazers of JAWS.

Our organization was founded by women who were determined to promote equality in newsrooms and to open opportunities for subsequent generations of journalists. This fund sustains the principles of JAWS leaders and remembers their individual lives and contributions.

In 2015, the Legacy Fund partnered with faculty at Morgan State University in Baltimore to train its multimedia journalism educators in visual reporting and editing. Participants reflected on the value of the training in teaching their students.

Future Legacy Fund endeavors may include other outreach and education work, such as a journalist-in-residence or a traveling speakers’ panel. Growing the Legacy Fund through gifts and bequests will allow us to expand this work and advance the mission of JAWS.

Legacy was created in 2014 from the combined assets of predecessor funds. JAWS thanks the trustees of the Eileen Shanahan-Kay Mills Fund and the Joan Cook Fund for providing the seed money to launch Legacy.

  • Eileen Shanahan, a world-class journalist, champion of social justice and founding director of the Journalism and Women Symposium, was a legendary figure as a reporter and mentor for other women and people of color. Obituaries in the New York Times and the Washington Post chronicled her achievements as a reporter and editor, bulldozing past the obstacles of gender with relentless, creative career management. She was a named plaintiff in the sex discrimination suit Boylan v. the New York Times.
  • Kay Mills was a journalist and historian of women in journalism and civil rights, a loyal mentor and an inspirational member of the Journalism and Women Symposium’s founding board of directors. She wrote a number of books, including, “A Place in the News: From the Women’s Pages to the Front Page,” a widely used text for two generations of journalism students, and “This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer.”
  • Joan Riddell Cook was a founding director of JAWS, a journalist, a union leader, a moral leader and generous friend to three generations of people engaged in the work of making the world a more just place. She was a named plaintiff — and a moving force — in the class action sex discrimination suit against the New York Times filed in 1974.

We invite you to help the Legacy Fund grow. Make a gift in honor of an exemplary woman to acknowledge her work. Celebrate our organization for carrying forward the gifts of courage, action and commitment.

In addition to general contributions to Legacy, your support can be directed toward special projects, speakers and events that advance inclusive journalism and leadership. Donations may be made online, designating Legacy Fund through the form. Checks should be made out to Journalism and Women Symposium and noted for Legacy. Mail to JAWS:

2885 Sanford Ave. SW, #29226
Grandville, MI 49418-1342

Donate today!