'Not for Ourselves Alone:' The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award

'Not for Ourselves Alone:' The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award honors those women who have provided throughout their careers significant service and leadership to their local and state affiliates, as well as to the labor movement.

The 2016 honorees are Lorna Baptiste of the United Federation of Teachers and Dr. Cecelia McCall of the Professional Staff Congress..

Lorna Baptiste
United Federation of Teachers


Lorna Baptiste came to the UFT 32 years ago and began a career that has grown over the years to become assistant director of the UFT Welfare Fund until her recent retirement. Serving as a member services representative at the fund, she distinguished herself early on as an incredible advocate for the union's members and, their dependents.

The UFT Welfare Fund provides supplemental benefits to more than 300,000 people, and Baptiste has personally helped thousands of UFT members and their families. She is unstoppable when advocating for these members.
All the staff, who often refer to her as the "resident mother, psychiatrist, and preacher", admire Baptiste's work ethic. Her goal is to see everyone in the world "do the right thing."

Dr. Cecelia McCall
Professional Staff Congress


Cecelia McCall, Ph.D., has been involved in the PSC for 45 years and in progressive politics even longer. Since her retirement in 2007, she has been even more active than she was as an "active member." Throughout her long history of progressive union activism, McCall has exemplified the motto "Not for Ourselves Alone." Every part of her work, from her scholarship to her teaching, from her civil rights activism to her work as an officer of the PSC, and now her leadership in the Social Safety Net campaign, has been premised on the idea that we do not and cannot exist "for ourselves alone." She has been a leader in several different organizations, inside and outside the academic
workplace, all with a focus on expanding collective rights and opportunities.

About the Leadership Award

The "Not for Ourselves Alone" Outstanding Leadership Award was renamed in 2006 in honor of former AFT and UFT President Sandy Feldman. Feldman succumbed to breast cancer in September 2005. In the spirit of Sandy Feldman and all those female pioneers within NYSUT who have been recognized with the award since it was first presented in 2002, the award will continue to celebrate the contributions of NYSUT's largest constituency group - women.

A lifetime achievement award, it honors those women who have provided throughout their careers significant service and leadership to their local and state affiliates, as well as to the labor movement. In making a selection, the NYSUT Women's History Committee will consider length, breadth and depth of service. The selected honoree(s) will be recognized at the annual NYSUT Representative Assembly. All nominees will receive a certificate acknowledging the submission of their name for this honor.

About the Leadership Grant

The Sandy Feldman Leadership Grant in the amount of $2,000 has been established as a result of the generosity and vision of Sandy's husband, Arthur Barnes. READ MORE...

About Sandy Feldman

sandy feldman

A teacher and unionist, Sandy Feldman (1939-2005) had a groundbreaking career as a union leader in NYSUT, the AFT and her home local, the UFT in New York City. Her career in education and labor spanned more than four decades. From her beginnings as a second-grade teacher on New York’s Lower East Side in the early 1960s, Sandy rose quickly through the union ranks, organizing staff on her first job. Shortly thereafter, she took a job as a full-time field representative for the UFT, handling grievances, contract negotiations and a range of issues. She eventually took over the reins of the union, becoming its president in 1986. She was elected to head the AFT in 1997. In the process, she became a staunch advocate for civil rights and social justice, participating in the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and the historic 1963 March on Washington, evolving into a proponent of civic education and democracy in the international arena and a leading voice in the national and international labor movement.

Hall of Fame















Inaugural Honorees

Saluting Additional Pioneers

A woman’s place is in the union ... particularly in New York State United Teachers