Teaching Awards

Teaching awards expand the local and national "footprint" of the Center.

The Jackson Center Award for Teaching Justice recognizes outstanding educators who teach about the concept of justice in innovative ways.  The Center gives two awards a year, a local award and a national award. The local award is given at the annual Robert H. Jackson Center Society dinner in July. The national award is the product of a partnership between Jackson Center and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The national award is given during the NCSS national conference.


  • The educator has made a significant effort to teach the concept of justice in creative, inspiring ways. This might include, but not be limited to, teaching about civil liberties, human rights, international justice, the Holocaust, genocide studies, and local issues of justice.
  • For example, nominees may design a special lesson, course of study, create a school or district project, or lead their students in some way to follow in the footsteps of Robert H. Jackson.
  • Close attention will be focused on applicants who follow the “spirit” of Justice Jackson in their classroom; namely, those who possess the ability to expose injustice while at the same time inspiring their students to repair the world through justice, service, or advocacy.
  • The Award winner will be asked to receive the award in person and give a short acceptance speech of 3-5 minutes on what the award means to them.
Local Award Winner, Becky Newman with Education Director Drew Beiter, July 2014
Credit: The Robert H. Jackson Center

Eligibility for the Local Award

  • Minimum 3 years’ teaching experience.
  • Teach at the secondary level.
  • Will continue to teach a minimum of one year after receiving the award.
  •  Be employed in good standing by a school district located in Western New York.

Eligibility for the National Award

  • Minimum 3 years’ K-12 teaching experience.
  • Upon acceptance of the award, the winner must be a member of NCSS.
  • Will continue to teach at the K-12 school level a minimum of one year after receiving the award.
  • Be employed in good standing by an elementary, middle or secondary/high school located in the United States.