The Sarah S. Brown Innovation Award

About the Award

The Sarah S. Brown award, named after the founding CEO of Power to Decide, was established to recognize innovative leaders who have been strong, smart, and bold in making significant contributions to our mission. 

2019 Awardees

Our 2019 awardees are Democracy Forward, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Public Citizen Litigation Group. These national organizations were recognized for their successful litigation, which prevented the Trump administration from circumventing Congress and abolishing the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPP).

Since peaking in 1991, the teen birth rate has declined 70%, as a result, in part, of bipartisan policies and programs, such as the TPP. The program provides high quality evidenced-based sexual health information to young people most in need. Yet, despite its proven success, the administration tried to abolish the TPP by cutting short all of its existing grants. In response, the awardee organizations joined efforts and filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to challenge the administration’s actions. Specifically, 11 lawsuits were filed by these litigants and their plaintiffs against the shortening of grants, including one class action suit. All 11 lawsuits were won by the plaintiffs, and the government has since dropped its appeals in all 11 cases.

“We are proud to honor these three organizations with the 2019 Sarah S. Brown Award for championing a critical cause on behalf of youth across the country,” said our CEO, Ginny Ehrlich. “These organizations demonstrated tremendous courage and unwavering commitment in fighting against actions that would have adversely impacted the most vulnerable among us. By not backing down, they stood squarely on the side of science and successfully defeated an effort that would have reversed the progress we have made in reducing unplanned pregnancies.”

2018 Awardee

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Andrea Kane, Vice President for Policy and Strategic Partnerships at Power to Decide, received the 2018 Sarah S. Brown Award. The award recognizes Kane’s distinguished career, and her on-going work on behalf of women, youth, and working families. Kane has successfully identified systems failures among vulnerable populations, such as youth in foster care, and helped to initiate policy and programmatic efforts which specifically met the needs of these populations. In addition, Kane played a key role in maintaining support for the TPP Program.

“Andrea is a fearless and bold advocate who has made a difference in the lives of millions of youth and families throughout her distinguished career. It gives me great pleasure to recognize our esteemed colleague and friend Andrea Kane with the 2018 Sarah S. Brown Award. During her distinguished and ongoing career, Andrea has been a leading force in bringing forth smart and innovative policies that help to ensure all young people have the power to decide, if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child,” our CEO, Ginny Ehrlich, said.

2017 Awardees

Since peaking in 1991, the teen birth rate has declined 70 percent, as a result, in part, of bipartisan policies and programs, such as the TPP program. The program provides high-quality, evidenced-based sexual health information to young people most in need. In 2017, we celebrated two of our founding board members, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow, Dr. Isabel Sawhill. Each was awarded the inaugural Sarah S. Brown Award for Innovation in Pregnancy Planning & Prevention.

“It has been a tremendous personal honor and pleasure to have worked with Governor Kean and Dr. Sawhill. Power to Decide has been extraordinarily fortunate to have had these distinguished and dedicated leaders of our Board for so long,” said our CEO, Ginny Ehrlich. “There is no doubt that the unprecedented declines in the teen and unplanned pregnancy rates in this nation are partly due to the historic and significant work of Governor Kean and Belle Sawhill.”

A headshot of Kean and Sawhill

Questions about the The Sarah S. Brown Innovation Award? Please reach out

To become a supporter of the award or to donate to help give young people the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child, please contact us or visit our donation page.