Rothman Award for Structural Change

2024 Recipients

Awarded in 2024 to two social workers creating structural change in Florida and Pennsylvania. Alexis Tsoukalas, MSSA/MSW from Florida Policy Institute’s Protecting Florida’s Working Children Against All Odds and Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch, ACSW from The Strong Families Commission from Pennsylvania were the 2024 Winners.

Protecting Florida’s Working Children Against All Odds

This legislative session, Florida Policy Institute (FPI) led partners in a policy fight few thought they would ever have to revisit—protecting children from labor exploitation. Through 6 months of nearly-nonstop advocacy and policy work, FPI was able to heavily water down the child labor rollback bill HB 49 before its passage, which originally would have allowed employers to schedule older teens for unlimited hours, overnight, and without breaks (even on school nights).

The Strong Families Commission

After eight years of organizing citizens across the state of Pennsylvania advocating the importance of fathers in the well-being of children, the Strong Families Commission, Inc. witnessed members of the House and Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unanimously voting to pass H.B. 1731, Printer’s 2953, creating a Pennsylvania Advisory Committee to promote greater father-family involvement. Signed by Governor Tom Wolf on November 3, 2022, this legislation is known as ACT 114 OF 2022, establishing for the first time, the Commonwealth policy to end institutional barriers and provide support to enhance the ability of fathers to assume healthy and beneficial parenting roles and responsibilities.

This award was established through the generous donation from Jack and Judy Rothman to the Special Commission.

2023 Recipient

Awarded in 2023 to social workers Melissa Draughn and Tam Perry for Senior Housing Preservation- Detroit (SHP-D). Offering academic and practitioner social work perspectives on the history and accomplishments of the coalition in raising awareness of housing concerns of older residents in Detroit, the presentation will address various examples of collaboration including co-publishing and innovative dissemination approaches.

2022 Recipient

Awarded in 2022 to social worker Bobbi Sackman for NY Fair Pay Campaign and lifetime of aging justice. Established through the generous donation from Jack and Judy Rothman to the Special Commission