The Action for Equity Award aims to recognise and reward the crucial work being undertaken by civil organisations, campaign groups and activists fighting inequalities around the world. It focuses in particular on celebrating the excellent work achieved by smaller teams.

The Action for Equity Award also aims to extend the reach and impact of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme, which supports dynamic emerging leaders from academia and the third sector, campaign and policy-making organisations to explore the causes of inequalities.

Action for Equity Awards were awarded in 2017 and 2018, and provided a cash prize of £50,000 toward the ongoing activities of the winning organisations.

After a hiatus in 2019, the Action for Equity Awards will resume in 2020.

2018 Winner:

Women on Farms Project

Women on Farms Project (WFP) is a South African NGO working with women in commercial agriculture, mainly in the Western Cape Province.  WFP envisions an engendered society that treats women who live and work on farms with dignity and respect in accordance with the constitutional rights guaranteed to all South African citizens. The project grew out of a 1992 Lawyers for Human Rights initiative aimed at meeting the specialised needs of women who live and work on farms. 


Jury for 2018

The Action for Equity Award jury for 2018 was:

  • Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (chair) Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Internationalisation, at the University of Cape Town.

  • Mr Joey Hasson – Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity. Activist and campaigner against inequality, Co-founder of Equal Education, Senior Fellow at the Tshisimani Activist Education Centre.

  • Prof Mike Savage - Co-Director of the International Inequalities Institute, LSE.

  • Ms Tasneem Essop - Commissioner in the National Planning Commission of South Africa, Founding director of the Energy Democracy Initiative in South Africa. Prior to this, she headed the climate work in WWF International.

  • Mr Dinga Sikwebu - Programmes Co-director at Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, longtime leader in the trade union movement, especially the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

2017 Winner:

The Shannon Trust

The Shannon Trust is an award-winning peer mentoring programme that encourages and supports prisoners who can read to give one-to-one support to prisoners who struggle to read. They want prisoners to leave prison equipped with the life skills they need to live as contributing members of society. Learning to read is the key which unlocks these life skills.



2017 Finalists:

Hope Into Action

An organisation based in Peterborough that encourages church congregations to buy housing, and then let it through Hope into Action to homeless people in the area. Additional support is provided to enable the tenant to progress to a position where they are able to support themselves. Their model is built on the belief that when people have a safe, secure home surrounded by loving, non-judgemental relationships they will find the strength and motivation to make positive life choices.


Participation and the Practice of Rights

Located in Belfast, PPR supports groups in challenging government policy, through action research projects, monitoring work and effective campaign techniques. PPR puts the power of human rights at the service of those who need it most. They support marginalised people to assert their rights in practical ways and make real social and economic change in their communities.

Jury for 2017

The Action for Equity Award jury for 2017 was:

  • George Alagiah - BBC News

  • Omar Khan - Director of the Runnymede Trust

  • Glenys Thornton - Chief Executive of the Young Foundation

  • Lee Elliot Major - Chief Executive of the Sutton Trust

  • Professor Steve Reid - Professor of Primary Health Care at University of Cape Town and Treasurer at Tekano

  • Professor Anne Power - Professor of Social Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science and Chair of Trafford Hall