Honouring Ethel Grodzins Romm and Joe Romm

Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit: Jerry Speier

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(left to right) are: Ann Toback, Executive Director; Ethel Grodzins Romm, Honoree; Joe Romm, Honoree; and, Peter Pepper, President Photo Credit Jerry Speier

Over 200 guests attended the Annual Winter Benefit by The Workmen’s Circle on December 1, 2016 at The Loft, Midtown New York, to honour two incredible people for their outstanding services, a mother and son duo, Ethel Grodzins Romm, chair of the Lyceum Society of the New York Acadeny of Sciences, and son Joe Romm, advocate for Climate Change.
Special appearances by creator and executive producer David Gelber( Years of Living Dangerously); Mark Levine, New York City Council Member; James Rogers, NY State Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner; and Brendan Griffith, NY Central Labor Council Chief of Staff.
The honourees were congratulated by two surprise videotaped messages from former Vice President Al Gore and Titanic Director James Cameron.
“I’ve very pleased to join you all in honoring my great friend Joe Romm and his mother Ethel Grodzins Romm,” said Gore. “The enthusiasm you both so clearly have in your hearts to make our world more sustainable and equitable is truly inspiring.”
 The Workmen's Circle 2016 Winter Benefit
“When the Workmen’s Circle chose to honor Joe and Ethel Romm for their social activism, they couldn’t have made a better choice,” said Cameron. “They fight hard with enormous dedication to make a better, fairer, and more beautiful world for us all.”
 The Workmen's Circle 2016 Winter Benefit
“Taking action to make the world a better place for all is at the fore of the Workmen’s Circle’s mission and vision, from our founding around 1900, when we served as an immigrant rights organization, and through succeeding decades when we worked to help build the union movement in America, especially the garment industry,” said Peter Pepper, President of The Workmen’s Circle. “Changing the world is also a core value for our two honorees.”
The Workmen's Circle 2016 Winter Benefit
About Ethel Grodzins Romm
Ethel Grodzins Romm has dedicated her life to advancing gender equality in the workforce. A former Environmental Technology CEO, journalist, and best-selling author, Chair of the Lyceum Society of the New York Academy of Sciences and member of the Roosevelt Island Resident Association Common Council, Ethel is the author of several books and has written for Editor & Publisher, the American Bar Association Journal, Esquire, the New York Times Op-Ed page and New York Magazine.
Since World War II, when she was civilian drafting supervisor at Westover Army Air Base, MA, Grodzins Romm has ran drafting, engineering, and construction groups.  She was president and CEO of Niton Corp (now part of Thermo Scientific) when it was a start-up.
About Joe Romm
Joe Romm is a world-renowned climate change expert, author, physicist, and chief science advisor for the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, which won the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Series. (Season 2 is currently airing on the National Geographic Channel.)
In reference to the results of the past election, which have left so many in the progressive movement anxious as to the future, Romm said,
“My main message today, is that the sixth stage of grief is activism. Now more than ever, we are tied in a single garment of destiny. So the need for activism, the need to speak out, is as great as ever. What we do now will determine U.S. history, world history, Jewish history for the next thousand years. Every single person in this room has the time, the passion, and the money to make a difference.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman dubbed Joe Romm’s Climate Progress “the indispensable blog,” Rolling Stone magazine has named him one of the top 100 people changing America, and Time magazine has called him a “Hero of the Environment” and “the Web’s most influential climate-change blogger.”
He has served as acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Department of Energy, where he oversaw $1 billion in low-carbon tech development and deployment.
The author of nine books including Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln and Lady Gaga and Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, he is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and holds a PhD in physics from MIT.

About The Workmen’s Circle

For more than 100 years, the Workmen’s Circle has been at the center of Jewish culture and social action.  Today, we’re continuing that journey in bold and exciting new ways. Through social justice campaigns, holiday celebrations, cultural traditions, educational programs and more, we connect Jewish adults, kids and families of all affiliations with their cultural heritage. Together, as we always have, we are working to build a shenere un besere velt far ale – “a better and more beautiful world for all.”
Learn more at www.circle.org.
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