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Sackler Center First Awards

Honoring extraordinary women who are first in their fields.

The Sackler Center First Awards is an annual event honoring extraordinary women who are first in their fields. Presented by Elizabeth Sackler and Gloria Steinem, the award is designed by Judy Chicago. Honorees have included Marin Alsop, Connie Chung, Johnnetta B. Cole, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, Sandy Lerner, Lucy R. Lippard, Chief Wilma Mankiller (posthumous), Toni Morrison, Linda Nochlin, Jessye Norman, Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), Judith Rodin, Muriel Siebert, Susan Stroman, Julie Taymor, and Faye Wattleton.

2012
Inaugural Program

Presented by Elizabeth Sackler and Gloria Steinem, this inaugural Sackler Center First Awards program in 2012 honored fifteen remarkable women: Marin Alsop, Connie Chung, Johnnetta B. Cole, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, Sandy Lerner, Lucy R. Lippard, Chief Wilma Mankiller (posthumous), Toni Morrison, Linda Nochlin, Jessye Norman, Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (Ret.), Judith Rodin, Muriel Siebert, Susan Stroman, and Faye Wattleton – with a special award presentation to Gloria Steinem.  

2013
Julie Taymor

Presented by Elizabeth Sackler and Gloria Steinem, the 2013 Sackler Center First Awards honored Julie Taymor, who became the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and won a Tony for Best Costumes, for her production of The Lion King (1998). Taymor's theater credits include Juan Darién: A Carnival Mass, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Green Bird,Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads, and Liberty's Taken. Taymor's feature films include Titus; Frida, which earned six Academy Award nominations, winning two; the Beatles-inspired Across the Universe; and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Taymor is a 1991 recipient of the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.

2014
Anita F. Hill

Presented by Elizabeth Sackler and Gloria Steinem, with special remarks by NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, the 2014 Sackler Center First Awards honored Anita F. Hill for Speaking Truth To Power. 

Anita F. Hill is Senior Advisor to the Provost, Professor of Law, Public Policy, and Women’s Studies, Heller Graduate School of Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Of Counsel at Cohen, Milstein, Sellers and Toll, Washington, D.C. The youngest of thirteen children of an Oklahoma farm family, Anita Hill received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980 and began her career in private practice in Washington, D.C., where she also worked at the U.S. Education Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1989, Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Currently, at Brandeis University, she teaches courses on gender, race, social policy, and legal history. As counsel to Cohen Milstein, she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases. Hill’s latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011). Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Ms. magazine have all published Hill’s commentary, and she has made numerous appearances on national television. She is the recipient of many awards, grants, and honorary degrees. Hill’s professional and civic contributions include chairing the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association and membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center, the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center, and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.