Clear It with Sidney | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

The best of the week’s news by Lindsay Beyerstein

Clear It with Sidney

Sidney's: Picks: Bread and Roses & A Digital Bounty Hunt Goes Awry

Photo credit: 

NwongPR, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: James Turns Up the Heat on Trump

Photo credit: 

UFT/Sidney Hillman 

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • New York AG Tish James announced that her office is joining a criminal probe into the Trump Organization, a rare cooperation between the AG and DA Cy Vance. (CNN, NPR)
  • The trustees of UNC took the extraordinary step of refusing tenure to distinguished journalist and Hillman Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, a move a board member attributed to “politics.” (NC Policy Watch)  
  • Amazon tells workers to chill out from the crushing pace and constant surveillance with the AmaZen meditation program. (Vice)
  • A $9/hr job as a port-a-potty attendant pulled Dawn Woudenberg out of homelessness and helped her save lives from ODs. (WaPo)
  • The Supreme Court is gearing up to kill Roe v. Wade. (

Sidney's Picks: Amazon's Straw Bosses are Having Second Thoughts

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • Dispatchers are the straw bosses of Amazon, and some have had enough.  (NYMag)
  • Company promises formerly incarcerated workers a second chance, but puts them in horrifying danger. (NBC)
  • What happens when Republicans simply refuse to certify Democratic election wins? (Washington Monthly)
  • Texas’s governor is expected to sign legislation banning abortion at 6 weeks, before many women know they’re pregnant. (Texas Tribune)
  • How anti-vaxx operatives infiltrated online parenting communities. (Mother Jones)

Sidney's Picks: Crooked Cops & Pro Sports for the PRO Act

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Countdown to the Hillman Prizes!

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Workers' Centers, Filming the Police, and Virtual 2021 Hillmans on May 4th

Sidney’s Picks:

  • John Sweeney and workers’ centers. (American Prospect)
  • Hillman judge Jelani Cobb was in Minneapolis for the murder verdict against Derek Chauvin. (New Yorker)
  • Exercise your right to film the cops…safely. (WaPo)
  • The Penn Museum hoarded the bones of children killed in the MOVE bombing, and then lost them. (BillyPenn)
  • The Hillman Prizes for Journalism presentation will stream online on Tuesday, May 4th at 7pm ET with host Danny Glover. Join us! 

Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Hillman Prizes for Journalism

Today the Sidney Hillman Foundation announced the winners of the 71st annual Hillman Prizes, recognizing outstanding investigative journalism that exposes abusive palm oil plantations, police brutality, the long-term detention of immigrant children, and our government’s negligent pandemic response. The winners also provided lucid analysis of politics and culture and a fresh accounting of the economic and political history of this country.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation will host an online virtual celebration on Tuesday May 4 at 7pm ET/4pm PT [#Hillman21]. The award ceremony will feature presentations and conversations with our winners and judges and is free and open to the public.

The winners of the 2021 Hillman Prizes are:


Zachary D. Carter: The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes, Random House


Rick Perlstein Reaganland: America’s Right Turn (1976-1980), Simon & Schuster


Margie Mason and Robin McDowell, Fruits of Labor, Associated Press: For exposing the rampant exploitation of workers on the vast palm oil plantations of Southeast Asia


David Dayen “Unsanitized,” The American Prospect: For his daily report of news and analysis about the coronavirus pandemic


Aura Bogado and Melissa Lewis, The Disappeared, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting:For their deep dive into the story of a Honduran girl held in the U.S immigration system for six years


Tony Plohetski, Lights. Camera, Violence, KVUE-TV and the Austin American-Statesman: For exposing lethal police brutality and the intrusion of reality TV cameras into policing in Williamson County, Texas

Opinion & Analysis

Jamelle Bouie, The New York Times: For his lucid analysis of politics and culture through a deep understanding of American history

The Officers of the Sidney Hillman Foundation also elected to honor Robert Parris Moses, a civil rights leader and founder of The Algebra Project, who has made it his life’s work to teach math literacy to students of color.

This year’s prizes were judged by bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates, the New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb, Reuters’ Alix Freedman, the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg, the American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson and The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Reporting by this year’s prize winners has had significant positive impact, including: the cancellation of the exploitative reality show “LIVE PD” and the indictment of a Texas sheriff and two deputies, the reconnection of a family separated by the U.S government for six years, the naming and shaming of companies that sell “sustainable” palm oil products made by exploited workers, and the contextualization of economic and political history from WWI to Reaganomics and the 2020 election. 

“We have been living with this pandemic now for more than a year and the losses have been staggering,” said Hillman judge Katrina vanden Heuvel, “But the pandemic has not stopped journalists who despite so many difficulties and dangers, persisted in bringing us the news and information we so badly needed and held those in positions of power to account. This year’s Hillman Prize winners remind us that public-interest journalism can still change lives and spur desperately needed reforms.”

Since 1950, the Hillman Prizes for Journalism have honored the legacy of Sidney Hillman, an immigrant who dedicated his life to a “better America.” Hillman believed that a free press was essential to a fair and equal society. The Sidney Hillman Foundation has sought to carry on his legacy by honoring journalists who illuminate the great issues of our times—from the search for a basis for lasting peace, to the need for better housing, medical care, and employment security for all people, the promotion of civil liberties and the battle against discrimination based on race, nationality, or religion.

Allison Dikanovic wins the The Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting

The Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting goes to Allison Dikanovic. Each year, this award goes to an outstanding recent graduate of the Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY

Allison graduated in December 2020 from what was then called the Social Journalism program (now Engagement Journalism).

While in J-school, she developed a rent and eviction-focused newsletter for THE CITY. She is currently helping lead THE CITY’s Civic Newsroom project and newsletter. 

Sidney's Picks: Cops for Kyle Rittenhouse & the Amazon Post Mortem

Photo credit: 

Chris Kolak, Creative Commons 2.0

The Best of the Week’s News:

Sidney's Picks: Counting the Amazon Votes; Saving Local Journalism?

Photo credit: 

Phil Hearing, Creative Commons.

The Best of the Week’s News:

  • Can Biden’s infrastructure plan save local journalism? (TNR)
  • Votes are being counted in the Amazon union election, Amazon leads 2-1, but many ballots remain. (NYT, CNET)
  • Congressman and union organizer Andy Levin explains why the NLRB election system is rigged against workers. (twitter)
  • The strongest anti-union campaign in Canada: How cosmetics giant Lush is trying to crush a union drive. (Vice)
  • Organized labor steps up to encourage COVID vaccination. (Politico)
  • Joel Greenberg’s lawyer is taunting Matt Gaetz about the plea deal his client is poised to sign. (Vanity Fair