Stanley Pozdziak Memorial Scholarship
The Stanley Pozdziak Memorial Scholarship provides funding to help our members attend workshops, conferences, or other educational activities. Our goal is to advance the knowledge base of our chapter in support of our mission. Any SMDSA member may apply for consideration. Applications are reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee. Scholarships may be awarded in full or in part depending on funds available. Recipients will be asked to present what they learned at a General Membership meeting. If you are interested, apply now!
Stanley Pozdziak (1941-2008)
Stanley Pozdziak dropped out of high school to pursue migrant agricultural work before returning to Maine to take a job as a fish cutter on the Portland fish pier. Southern Maine DSA member and former Maine State Legislator Harlan Baker met Pozdziak at an anti-war rally in downtown Portland on April 15, 1970, one month before the Kent State massacre. “There were 7 to 12 of us marching down Congress street; Stan was carrying the banner, and people stood along the side of the road and spit at us,” recalls Baker. The two young men, then in their early twenties, forged a friendship that would last nearly four decades. Baker remembers Pozdziak as a hard worker and self-taught intellectual who could filet a fish with lightening speed – a requirement in an industry that paid by the piece – and who wrote numerous articles and pamphlets for Leftist publications. “He was a voracious reader and wasn’t afraid to challenge you on your opinions,” Baker says.
In 1973 Pozdziak, working alongside writer Michael Harrington and international labor organizer Victor Reuther, helped found the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), a predecessor organization to the Democratic Socialists of America. The first issue of the DSOC’s Newsletter of the Democratic Left (now The Democratic Left) called for more “thought, self-criticism, candor, and communication” among Leftist activists searching for new direction in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
It is in the spirit of these lofty goals and in the longstanding tradition of working class education and self-liberation that we establish the Stanley Pozdziak Memorial Scholarship.