Skip to main content
HomeSocial Justice / Public Policy Award

Social Justice/Public Policy Award

The nomination material is reviewed by the three-person Social Justice / Public Policy Award Subcommittee. The Committee Chair and members of the Subcommittee are not eligible to win the award. The Subcommittee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval. If a member of the Board is nominated for the award in that year, that Board member will abstain from the vote.

Established in 1985, this award is given to an individual or organization for outstanding achievement or major impact in areas such as:
  • Promoting public awareness of sexual issues
  • Public advocacy
  • Professional practice by educators, therapists, or health specialists
  • Legislation or public policy formation

Not a SSSS Member? JOIN TODAY!

In the year the award is presented, the recipient receives: 

  • Commemorative plaque (awarded to recipient organization)
  • $500 award (awarded to recipient or chosen representative of the organization)
  • Up to $1,000 reimbursement for travel to the SSSS Annual Conference to attend the conference, accept the award, deliver a plenary address, and engage with the attendees*
  • Two nights' accommodation at the conference host hotel*
  • Complimentary conference registration*

*If travel is not required to attend the conference (e.g., the winner lives in the conference city or SSSS holds a virtual conference), travel and hotel will not be provided, but complimentary conference registration will remain in place.

Conditions on Accepting the Award

Attend the SSSS Annual Conference to receive the award, deliver a plenary address, and engage with conference attendees. Note: In the case of an organizational winner, the organization must send an appropriate representative to deliver the plenary address.

Nomination Period

The nomination period is open from January 1 - March 15 each year.

Nominator Guidelines and Process

Because the award is presented to an individual or an organization for outstanding achievement or major impact in areas of social justice / public policy, it is not necessarily restricted to members of SSSS. However, the nominator must be a SSSS member. 

The nominator bears responsibility for recruiting individuals who support the nomination and for collecting and submitting the complete evidence file for the nominee. 

The nominator must complete an online form and attach the following documents (pdf):

  • Nominee's current CV (in the case of an individual)
  • Two letters of support describing the nominee's contributions to social justice and/or public policy. The letters of support can be from two SSSS members or from a SSSS committee and one additional SSSS member.

Primary Review Criteria
  • Recent and long-term contributions to the advancement of sexual health and wellness, sexual and reproductive rights and justice, and/or public knowledge of sexuality issues.
  • The extent to which the nominee acknowledges, includes, values, and/or amplifies diverse voices and strengths in sex science.

Secondary Review Criteria

The following secondary criteria will be used if the Subcommittee cannot come to consensus based on the primary criteria:

  • The nominee's membership status and active involvement in SSSS.
  • The nominee's likely ability to effectively present their scholarly work in a clear and engaging plenary talk at the SSSS Annual Conference.

Contact SSSS at

Social Justice/Public Policy Award Recipients

     2023  Leo Wilton, PhD, MPH            
     2022   Madeline Sutton, MD, MPH    2009    Mariela Castro-Espin    1993   Edward Brecher
    2021   Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, JD    2005    Sol Gordon, PhD     1992   Faye Wattleton
     2020   SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change
   2004    Beverly Whipple, PhD     1991   Michael A. Carrera, EdD
     2019   JoAnne G. Keatley, MSW
   2000    David Satcher, MD      1989   Michael Barrett, PhD
     2018   Angel M. Foster, DPhil, MD, AM    1999    Robert Francoeur, PhD      1987   Harriet Pilpel, LLB
     2017   M. Joycelyn Elders, MD    1998    Founders of the Mattachine Society and ONE, Inc      1985   Bill Baird 
     2014   Jessica M. Xavier, MPH
   1997    Virginia Prince, PhD        
     2012   Mark Schoen, PhD     1996   Phyllis Lyon, EdD & Del Martin       
  Betty Dodson, PhD     1995    Theodore McIlvena, MDiv, PhD      
     2010   Carol Cassell, PhD   1994    Debra Haffner, MPH        

Copyright © 2020 The Society For the Scientific Study of Sexuality, INC.