Silme Domingo & Gene Viernes Scholarship in Labor Studies

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$5,500 scholarship for students entering or transferring
into the University of Washington

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington and the Inlandboatmen’s Union, Region 37’s Alaskero Foundation are proud to announce the creation of a new scholarship in honor of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two inspiring leaders of the Seattle labor movement. Gene grew up on a farm in the Yakima Valley and began working in the Alaska salmon canneries at the young age of 16. Gene was a state wrestling champion and attended Central Washington State College on a full ride athletic
scholarship. Silme graduated with honors from the University of Washington and went on to found the Seattle chapter of the Union of Democratic Filipinos. Together, they formed the Alaska Cannery Workers’ Association and fought the brutal working conditions and racist management of the industry.

Despite opposition from all sides, Gene and Silme founded the Rank and File Committee in 1977 to struggle for union democracy and fair working conditions. They were elected to the leadership of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 37 in 1980, and worked hard to build links and solidarity with the people of the Philippines. Tragically, both were murdered on June 1, 1981. Corrupt former Local 37 President Tony Baruso and Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos were later implicated in the assassination. The memory of Silme and Gene lives on as inspiration to workers and students striving for justice.

Who should apply?

The scholarship is awarded yearly to students entering or transferring into the University of Washington who are committed to the principles of justice and equality and have demonstrated financial need. Students with an interest in labor studies or a family background in labor and social justice are encouraged to apply. You must have demonstrated financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) to qualify. Low-income, non-citizen students unable to file a FAFSA due to immigration status may instead complete the free Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). More information can be found here.

Those who do not meet FAFSA requirement are highly encouraged to consider other scholarships offered by the Bridges Center. Application is due by Monday May 18, 2015! More information is available here.

Questions can be directed to:

Andrew Hedden, Program Coordinator
Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
University of Washington
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195-3530
(206) 543-7946, pcls@u.washington.edu

 

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