Elaine Gordon's children, grandchildren and family with scholarship recipient, Jordan Guedes
(Front Row l-r): Abbey Gadinsky Snyder, Pam Gadinsky, Jordan Guedes, Isaac Gadinsky, Liebe Gadinsky, (Back Row l-r): Brian Gadinsky, Jonah Gadinsky, Seth Gadinsky
“Trailblazer, feminist and champion of human rights” are just a few of the words used to describe Elaine Gordon.
Ms. Gordon was a person of the highest character and integrity, representing the state of Florida as a legislator for 22 years, during which she was elected 11 consecutive times. Gordon became an advocate for equal rights in 1964 and was one of the founding members of the Miami chapter of the National Organization for Women. She was a champion for Florida’s 1989 hate crimes law, which became a model for the nation, and her many legislative activities and accomplishments have left a legacy of people she has helped.
Consistent over time, Ms. Gordon was the voice and guardian of abused children, victims of sexual assault, the elderly, the indigent and the mentally ill. She continually sponsored and passed legislation for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment; and she protected women and children through child support enforcement and protection from domestic violence. While in the legislature, she also introduced the terms Ms. and Chairperson. She was a woman ahead of her time, being the first woman to chair a standing committee, as well as the first woman inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
The FIU Elaine Gordon Scholarship in Women's Studies was established in 1999 to honor the life and work of Elaine Gordon, a pioneering feminist, legislator, and leading advocate on issues involving women’s rights, health care, mental health and children’s rights. It was one of her final wishes that her work be carried on through a scholarship that would help others.
This year, the recipient of the Elaine Gordon Scholarship in Women's Studies is Jordan Guedes. Jordan is a double major in Women’s Studies Psychology, and he is a member of FIU’s Honors College and will also be earning a minor in Art History and a certificate in Queer Studies. He works as an intern in the Women’s and Gender Studies Center which shows his dedication to the program as well as to women’s issues. He is the type of student that has a passion for learning, a commitment to the university, and a commitment to issues of social justice.
By helping women and minorities counter the effects of inequality, Jordan feels he has found his purpose in life. He would like to follow in Ms. Gordon’s footsteps by helping people in his own way, as a trained therapist. Jordan hopes to work towards making men more aware, and show women that the male population does care. It is in working together that they will strive toward equality. Jordan also works closely with women’s shelters and advocacy groups in order to help women reach equality.
At the luncheon reception and scholarship presentation, both Elaine and Jordan’s family members attended. Ms. Gordon’s family, including Pam, Brian and Seth Gadinsky (children), Liebe Gadinsky (daughter-in-law), and three of Gordon's grandchildren, Abbey, Isaac and Jonah Gadinsky were present at the ceremony. Jordan Guedes' mother, grandmother and family friends also attended, all of whom were very proud of his accomplishments.
Yesim Darici (l) and Suzanna Rose (r) present Gordon Award to Jordan Guedes
(l-r) Pam Gadinsky, Yesim Darici, Suzanna Rose, Seth & Liebe Gadinsky