Ron Sable Award for Activism

A living representation of the progressive ideals he so adamantly promoted, the late Dr. Ron Sable was a model donor/activist. In his lifetime, Ron worked for gay and lesbian liberation, women’s liberation, reproductive rights, just treatment of prisoners, and national health care. He helped develop services for individuals with HIV/AIDS at Cook County Hospital, was an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and pioneered a position as one of the first openly gay candidates for alderman in Chicago. Ron was a founder of Chicago’s AIDS Foundation and served as a member of the Crossroads Fund board for ten years.

His death in 1993 was a great loss to the progressive philanthropic community. However, Ron’s legacy lives on. The Ron Sable Award for Activism is a living memorial to the man whose clarity, wisdom, honesty, and leadership continues to guide Chicago’s community members. Each year, awards are distributed to a grantee organization and an individual or group who has made a significant impact on Chicago's communities. We are proud to honor Ron and his lifelong commitment to social change. He was an inspiring example for us all!

Ron Sable Award for Activism Recipients

2017

Mariame Kaba and Project NIA

2016

Invisible Institute

2015

Ben Joravsky

2014
March on Springfield for Marriage Equality
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance 

2013
Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union
Blocks Together

2012
Chicago Freedom School
Barbara Ransby

2011
Whittier Parent Committee
Dr. Quentin Young

2010
Long Term Prisoner Policy Project
Deborah Harrington

2009
Chicago Workers’ Collaborative
Kartemquin Films

2008
Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization
Dr. Cathy J. Cohen

2007
Chicago Women's Health Center
Lisa Fittko and the Lisa Fittko Memorial Internship Committee

2006
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center
Girl's Best Friend Foundation

2005
Beyondmedia Education
Senate President Emil Jones, Jr.
Senator Carol Ronen
Representative Larry McKeon

2004
Coalition of African, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAELII)
Kristin & Handy Lindsey

2003
Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty
People’s Law Office
Neris Gonzalez

2002
Jane Addams Senior Caucus
Susan Kaplan
Richard O’Brien

2000
Chicago ADAPT
Insight Arts
Ann Christophersen
Nancy Myers

1999
Affinity Community Services
Pintig Cultural Group
Esther Nieves

1998
Homeless on the Move for Equality
National Committee to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and POWs
Francisco Ramos

1997
Centro Comunitario Juan Diego
Coalition for Positive Sexuality
Susan Lloyd & Tom Rehwaldt

1996
Prison Action Committee
Mary Powers

1995
Garfield/Austin Interfaith Action Network
Women in the Director’s Chair
Dan & Carol Swinney

1994
Mardge Cohen
Jean Hardisty
Camile Odeh
Faith Smith