One of our greatest strengths as a Network is working together to spread impact and know-how. In that spirit, the Eddies!—advocate-nominated and voted awards—provide an annual opportunity to feature outstanding policy and advocacy wins from the past year, telling the story of how education policy was advanced one community and campaign at a time. Eddies! winners are announced at the annual PIE Network Summit during an evening ceremony where advocates can laugh together and learn about and celebrate powerful campaigns across the country.
Redesigned in 2021 to better reflect the breadth of work happening across the Network, advocates are nominated in seven categories:
- Game Changer Campaign of the Year recognizes local, state, or national advocacy campaigns that tackled a big problem and achieved a new, game-changing policy or protected an existing critical policy. Sometimes a policy window opens quickly, and advocates move fast; sometimes, the window opens after years of sustained advocacy efforts. Either way, nominees in this category pushed the envelope to make a significant impact for students and families—paving the way for others to replicate or adapt this strategy in their communities.
- Best Collaboration features coalitions of leaders and organizations who worked together to achieve a significant impact for students and families. Working in coalition can be incredibly powerful—and incredibly challenging. This category honors the hard work of coalitions that organized artfully to respond to unique opportunities or challenges in their states and communities, contributed to a policy win, and inspired others to take up similar efforts. Leaders and organizations in this category not only advanced or protected critical policy to impact students—they did it in partnership and across lines of difference. This category was previously called the Best Ensemble Cast.
- Best Defense highlights campaigns that strategically defended important policy; sometimes, the most significant wins are actually holding the line. Nominees in this category provide models for how to deploy sharp strategies to defend policies or efforts that benefit students.
- Most Actionable Research spotlights resources or tools that shed new light on pressing and widespread problems or solutions and that state and local advocates across the Network leveraged to make a compelling case for policy change and achieve breakthroughs.
- Power to the People Campaign features grassroots policy and advocacy campaigns at the local level that responded to community needs, grew from community power, and transformed opportunities for students and families in their community. This is the first time work has been recognized in this category.
- Breakthrough Advocate of the Year features state or local leaders who took bold actions–and succeeded–in advancing innovative policies and solutions that support their states’ and communities’ needs. Breakthroughs don’t happen overnight–being an advocacy leader is about being prepared for opportunity, and this category honors leaders who drew from deep experience and hard fought wisdom to act fast and nimbly seize a window of opportunity to advance longstanding priorities. These leaders continue to bring fresh perspectives to complex challenges.
- Suzanne Kubach PIE Network Weaver of the Year honors local, state, or national leaders who consistently go above and beyond their job description to connect and support peers advancing state and local advocacy policy. This category recognizes advocates who thoughtfully and intentionally support the leadership and work of others, strengthening the Network and the sector. This category was previously called Network MVP.
Who is eligible for an Eddie!?
PIE Network members and partners are eligible to be nominated, as well as thought-leaders and friends that worked in conjunction with a member or partner on a key advocacy campaign.
How are winners selected?
After PIE Network members and partners make nominations, a selection committee made up of Network leaders identifies finalists in each category. The Network is then invited to select a winner in each category. Anyone that works on staff at a PIE Network member or partner organization is eligible to vote.
When does the Eddies! process typically start each year?
PIE Network begins accepting nominations each summer. Network-wide voting generally happens in early fall.
What is required of Eddies! Winners?
We will ask winners and finalists in each category to share best practices and lessons learned on what made their work successful, strategies that could be replicable in other places, and what they would do differently if they could.