Perkins Center to honor AFL-CIO senior executive and child advocate

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 3:00pm

    The Frances Perkins Center will honor two women who exemplify Perkins’ inspiring leadership and commitment to social justice and economic security at its annual Garden Party: Liz Shuler, current secretary-treasurer and chief financial officer of the AFL-CIO, advocate for the welfare of working Americans, and Maria Mossaides, the director of Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, defender of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

    “We’re delighted to recognize Liz Shuler and Maria Mossaides for their decades of work in advancing the causes championed by Frances Perkins,” said Perkins Center Executive Director Michael Chaney.

    Liz Shuler, the second top-level officer for the AFL-CIO, the first woman elected to the position, and the youngest woman to sit on the federation’s Executive Council, will receive the Intelligence and Courage Award. In addition to overseeing the federation’s operations and finances, Shuler chairs both the AFL-CIO Executive Council Committees on Finance and Women Workers, and represents the AFL-CIO on the boards of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, the International Trade Union Confederation, the National Women’s Law Center, Global Fairness Initiative, and the Solidarity Center, among many others.

    Maria Mossaides, who has worked over the past 40 years in both the public and independent sectors as an attorney and senior executive, will receive the Steadfast Award. Prior to her time at the Office of the Child Advocate, Mossaides worked for the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, first as the executive assistant to the chief justice and then as the administrative assistant to the justices, the first woman appointed to the position. She currently teaches a course in law and ethics for non-profits at Suffolk University, is active in numerous civic and business organizations, including serving as current president of the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association, and was recently honored by the Massachusetts Law Weekly at their third annual “Top Women of Law” event.

    The Perkins Center Board of Directors will present Shuler and Mossaides with their awards at the Center’s 11th annual Garden Party, which celebrates the 84th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark.

    Garden Party guests will be shuttled from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle via old-fashioned trolley to the Perkins Homestead, where attendees can enjoy wine, refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and the Homestead’s beautiful landscape.

    The Garden Party will run from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $75, and can be purchased online at, by phone at (207) 563-3374, or in-person at 170A Main Street in Damariscotta.

    Perkins was the first woman to serve in a U.S. Cabinet position. She was the Secretary of Labor under Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was one of the principal architects of the New Deal. Perkins’ grandson Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall founded the Perkins Center to educate the public about Perkins’ life and work, and to promote her legacy.

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