Taube Philanthropies executive director Shana Penn received the European Solidarity Centre Medal of Gratitude on Aug. 31, 2021 in recognition of her groundbreaking research on the role of women in the Solidarity movement that led to the end of communism in Poland. “Her work influenced other scholars, activists, cultural actors and politicians to look at the legacy of Solidarnosc from that perspective,” said the European Solidarity Centre. Her award-winning book is “Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland.”
Penn conducted pioneering research on the role of women in the Solidarity movement that began with historic shipyard strikes in Gdansk, Poland, in the summer of 1980. With the Medal of Gratitude, the European Solidarity Centre, located on the site of the Gdansk shipyard, hopes "to express how deeply we appreciate your long-standing commitment to the democratization of Poland in the spirit of solidarity and American-Polish dialogue."