The Domingo-Viernes Scholarship provides $6,000 in financial support to either graduate students or entering freshmen or transfer students to the University of Washington who are committed to the principles of justice and equality and have demonstrated financial need. Students at any of the University of Washington's three campuses (Seattle, Tacoma, or Bothell) are eligible.

Founded through the efforts of the Inlandboatmen's Union, Region 37, this scholarship honors Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two inspiring leaders of the Seattle labor movement. Gene grew up on a farm in the Yakima Valley and began working in the Alaska salmon canneries at the young age of 16. Gene was a state wrestling champion and attended Central Washington State College on a full ride athletic scholarship. Silme graduated with honors from the University of Washington and went on to found the Seattle chapter of the Union of Democratic Filipinos. Together, they formed the Alaska Cannery Workers Association and fought the brutal working conditions and racist management of the industry.

Despite opposition from all sides, Gene and Silme founded the Rank and File Committee in 1977 to struggle for union democracy and fair working conditions. They were elected to the leadership of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 37 in 1980, and worked hard to build links and solidarity with the people of the Philippines. Tragically, both were murdered on June 1, 1981. Corrupt former Local 37 President Tony Baruso and Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos were later implicated in the assassination. Their memory lives on as inspiration to workers and students striving for justice.

 

Deadline to Apply for 2021-2022 Academic Year


Monday, April 12, 2021

 

Who Should Apply

 


The scholarship is awarded yearly to either graduate students or entering freshmen or transfer students to any of the University of Washington's three campuses (Seattle, Tacoma, or Bothell). In their applications, students must show commitment to the principles of justice and equality and demonstrate financial need. Students with an interest in labor studies or a family background in labor and social justice are encouraged to apply.

Students must demonstrate financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify. Low-income, non-citizen students unable to file a FAFSA due to immigration status may instead complete the free Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). More information can be found at the UW Student Financial Aid website. Those who do not meet FAFSA/WASFA requirements will be considered for other scholarships offered by the Bridges Center.

If you have applied to the University of Washington but have not yet received notice from the Admissions Office, you are eligible for the scholarship. However, the award will be contingent on your admittance to the UW.

 

How to Apply


To apply, a student should verify that they have financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (or WASFA, if applicable) and prepare the following materials:

  1. Essay responses. Please prepare written answers to the following questions. We recommend compiling answers into a separate document before entering them into the on-line application. This will ensure your responses are saved on multiple platforms, as answers entered in the on-line application are not saved until they are submitted.

    • Tell us about any social justice, labor, or diversity issues that have impacted you personally. How have you worked to address these issues? Please limit your response to 400 words or less.

    • Describe aspects of your background/identity that exemplify your commitment to social justice, labor, and diversity (Your response may draw upon your answer to the question above). Discuss any personal obstacles or disadvantages you have encountered. If relevant, highlight issues related to waterfront industries or organized labor. Please limit your response to 400 words or less.

    • How will funding from the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies support the goals you have for your education at the University of Washington? How do you plan to engage with the labor movement during your studies here? How will funding prepare you for what you want to accomplish upon completion of your degree? Again, if relevant, highlight issues relevant to waterfront industries or organized labor. Please limit your response to 400 words or less.

    • How do you see yourself advancing the legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes? Please limit response to 400 words or less.

  2. A brief letter of support from a teacher or community member.

  3. A highschool or college transcript (which ever is most recent). Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

  4. Up to date contact information, including e-mail, mailing addresses, and phone number.

  5. Optional: Additional documents demonstrating your commitment to labor or Labor Studies, such as a resume or curriculum vitae, may also be submitted.

 

How to Submit Your Application


The online application for all Labor Studies scholarships and fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year opens in Winter Quarter. A link to the on-line application portal will be posted on the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies website. By submitting the on-line application, you will be considered for all Labor Studies awards you qualify for. Applications are due April 12, 2021.

Questions about the application or scholarship terms? Call (206) 543-7946 or e-mail hbcls@uw.edu.

 

Terms of the Domingo Viernes Scholarship


  1. Scholarship recipients will receive $3,000 per year during their first and second year at the University of Washington ($6,000 total during the two-year scholarship term). The scholarship may be used for any required components of the cost of education at the University, including tuition, books, or materials.

  2. Students will integrate labor studies into their University of Washington education by seeking out labor-related classes during their first and second years. Students will receive advising and support from the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies in order to meet this requirement.

    • Undergraduate students will be required to take one of the two foundational classes of the Minor in Labor Studies (HISTCMP 249/POL S 249/SOC 266: Introduction to Labor Studies or HISTAA 353: Class, Labor, and American Capitalism) and consider pursuing a Minor in Labor Studies during their second year. Exceptions will be considered for students pursuing degrees without room within their requirements for Labor Studies classes.

    • Graduate students will be required to become a member of the Graduate Student Associates of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and demonstrate labor-related content in their coursework.

  3. Students will become engaged with the labor movement either on campus or outside the campus. While the form of involvement is up to the student, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies can advise and support student placements as needed.

    • On-campus undergraduate student groups include, but are not limited to United Students Against Sweatshop (USAS) and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán). Graduate student organizations include Students for Labor and Employment Justice (SLEJ) and the academic employees union UAW 4121.

    • Students may also become involved off-campus in local, national, or international labor activism. This can include, but is not limited to an internship with a local labor organization, which can be arranged by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

  4. Students will participate in events organized by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, including the Annual Awards Celebration in fall and the Labor Studies Social in winter. Graduate students will be expected to regularly attend the Labor Studies Workshare series (three times per quarter). Dates and details of other events will be announced at the beginning of each quarter.

  5. Students will submit their transcripts to the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the end of their first and second academic years.

  6. Students will meet with the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies staff every quarter during the scholarship period to discuss their progress through the scholarship requirements.

  7. At the end of each scholarship year, students will provide a one page report on their activities related to labor activism and labor studies.

 

Previous Scholarship Recipients


2020: Luis Sanchez Arias

2019: Tania Santiago, Genevieve Gray Taylor 

2018: ​Alejandra Pérez, Polly Woodbury

2017: Meron Girma, Kriya Velasco

2016: Alison Hill Steichen

2015: Maria Blancas, Derek Dizon

2014: Dimitri Groce

2013: Isaura Jiménez Guerra

2012: Mayra Alcaraz-Rangel, Felisha Palomera

2011: Stephanie Velasco