Irene Etkin Goldman sums up what drives her to seek fairness and truthfulness in five simple words: "If it’s unfair, it’s unfair."
That principle –– that everyone, regardless of who they are, what they look like or what they believe, is entitled to fairness –– is at the core of what she does in her life. Accordingly, she tackles one situation, one problem, and one person at a time, whether it’s someone imprisoned wrongly in the former Soviet Union for revealing state secrets, rescuing "misappropriated" Russian artwork, or bringing together people of all faiths to enjoy Muslim and Jewish comedians, if it needs doing, Goldman gets it done.
In honor of her lifetime spent defending fairness, justice, and human rights, Goldman has been named a 2011 Tribute to Women honoree and recipient of its Fannie Floyd Racial Justice Award.
"Irene has had a distinguished career as an advocate for peace and human rights," said event chair Linda Richter, founder and president of Personal Paperwork Solutions and More Inc. "Irene currently serves as board chair and NGO representative to the United Nations for the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action, where she has dedicated her time for two decades working in support of global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy, and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad."
Additionally, Goldman has led countless initiatives to bring individuals together on issues of peace, disarmament, and empowerment. Post 9/11, in conjunction with the YWCA Princeton, she led Unity Day parades and culture events, spurred conversations with the Muslim community, and helped create the Central Jersey Interfaith Gathering. She is a graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, and resides in Ewing Township.
"I am honored to receive both awards, but particularly touched to be receiving the Fannie Floyd Racial Justice Award," Goldman said. "I knew and admired Fannie Floyd. It’s humbling that my efforts toward racial justice are put in the same category."
This is the 28th anniversary of the Tribute to Women Awards Program. Funds generated will support many YWCA Princeton programs and classes, including summer camps, aquatics, dance, gymnastics, martial arts, adult education, nursery school, after school programs, English language training, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, women’s and racial justice programs, community events and more.
Other 2011 Tribute honorees include: Beth Ogilvie-Freda of Princeton, Ogilvie Appraisals LLC; Debra Joy Perez of Newtown, Pa.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Elizabeth Gray Erickson of Princeton, community volunteer; Jessica Durrie of Princeton, Small World Coffee; Maria Falca-Dodson of Ewing, N.J. Air National Guard; Mika Ryan of Titusville, Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission; Sandra Baumann of Pittstown, Tyco International; Susan Pikaart Bristol of Rocky Hill, Susan Pikaart Bristol Architect; and Terri Harris Reed of Princeton, Princeton University.
The event will be held March 3, 5:15 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, and is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased at www.ywcaprinceton.org/tributetowomen or by calling the YWCA Princeton at 609-497-2100 ext. 333. See display ad on page 25.
YWCA Princeton, Tribute to Women Program, c/o Development Office. 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton. 609-497-2100, ext. 333. www.ywcaprinceton.org