AWIU is pleased to announce that the Bernice Behrens Founder’s Award will be presented to Marsha Niazmand at the 2018 International Women in Courage Celebration in Los Angeles. Created in 2003, this award is given to an AWIU member, who through extraordinary efforts, has furthered the mission of the organization. Marsha Niazmand is being honored for her dedicated work on reshaping AWIU Grant program to be a vibrant, internationally-focused source of microgrants for women across the globe.

Marsha joined AWIU in 2004 and became an active member in the Chicago chapter. She participated in AWIU’s delegation to Japan. In 2011, Marsha joined the AWIU Board and, a year later, she began working on the Grant Committee. Under Marsha’s leadership, the AWIU Grant Program changed its focus from supporting US- based program to supporting “in country” grants to grassroots groups of women from developing countries. In 2017, the AWIU Grant Program supported 17 organizations, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua to Tanzania in addition to the 13 US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage. The AWIU Grant Program is supported by the Sponsors and Patrons of the International Women of Courage Celebration.