NEWARK, N.J. – On Sunday, March 24, 2019, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez will host his Ninth Annual Women’s History Month event featuring the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards honoring seven New Jersey women for their exceptional achievements, including Marcia Marley of Montclair, President of BlueWaveNJ and Succeed2gether. This year’s event will be held in partnership with Kean University in Union. First Lady Tammy Murphy will deliver the keynote address. Bergen County Freeholder Germaine Ortiz will serve as mistress of ceremonies.


WHAT:                       Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards

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WHEN:                      3:00 p.m.



WHERE:        Kean University

                                    Wilkins Theatre

                                    1000 Morris Ave.

                                                                                    Union, N.J.


The Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards were created in tribute to the Senator’s mother, who came to the United States from Cuba to give her children a better life and who passed away in 2009 after a long, courageous fight with Alzheimer’s disease.   


“My mother, Evangelina, for whom this award is named, showed me the meaning of courage, integrity and the importance of fighting for what’s right, every single day of her life,” said Sen. Menendez. “She blazed that trail for me and I will continue to honor her and all of the women whose strength, wisdom and tireless determination to stand up for the people they serve make our country and our state a better, safer, cleaner place to live, work and raise a family.”   


Marcia Marley, President of BlueWave NJ, Succeed2gether

Montclair, Essex County


Marcia Marley is the President of BlueWaveNJ and Succeed2gether, two non-profit organizations based in Montclair NJ. Through these two organizations, she has devoted her life to advancing progressive policies and candidates as well as improving the opportunities and resources available to income-constrained families in Essex County.


Under Marcia’s leadership, BlueWaveNJ has become a highly respected, effective organization dedicated to direct advocacy. It has mobilized thousands of voters to advocate for universal health care coverage, marriage equality, economic and environmental justice, racial and gender equality, voting rights, as well as the non-violent resolution of conflicts at home and abroad. The organization has helped elect hundreds of progressive candidates in local and national races through grassroots efforts.


Alarmed by the increasing difficulties faced by low-income families, Ms. Marley started Succeed2gether in 2009, an organization committed to reducing the achievement gap and providing for families in need through a multitude of interconnecting free programs. This nonpartisan charity has quickly become recognized as a resource for families in and around Essex County. During the school year, its after-school tutoring program carefully matches dozens of trained volunteer tutors with underperforming students from low-income families. The organization also provides a long list of academic and enrichment workshops throughout the school year including violin, algebra, and coding classes. 


As well as directing the activities of BlueWaveNJ and Succeed2gether, Ms. Marley serves or has served on the Boards of Citizen Action, The Montclair International Film Festival, Ceasefire New Jersey, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspectives, Emerge NJ, National Housing Institute and Essex County Community Land Trust. She is also a member of the Democratic National Committee.


Following graduate school in economics at UC Berkeley, Ms. Marley taught macroeconomics at New York University and wrote research papers on the growing inequality of wealth and income with Professor Edward Wolff. After having children, she worked as a senior emerging markets economist in the financial sector both in New York and London and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, writing and speaking on macroeconomic conditions as well as risk evaluation and return in these countries.  Marcia currently lives in Montclair with her husband.


This year’s ceremony will honor seven pioneering women who have made significant contributions to the Garden State and our country in education, health care, and women’s advocacy:


  • Marie Blistan, President of the New Jersey Education Association
  • Catherine Brienza, Founder & President of JOLT USA
  • Joan Dublin, President & CEO of Metropolitan Family Health Network
  • S. Nadia Hussain, Maternal Justice Campaign Director at MomsRising
  • Elizabeth Meyer, Founder & Lead Organizer of the Women’s March on New Jersey
  • Jennifer Skomial, NJ State Teacher of the Year, Morris County School of Technology


To attend this free event, please visit