The Secular Student Alliance seeks to recognize students, groups, and supporters who are particularly awesome and deserve some recognition for their success, support, and activism. This is a listing of awards that the SSA offers in order to do so.
- Awards for Outstanding Activism
- Affiliation Renewal Winners
- SSA Scholarships for Student Activists Winners
- SSA Backbone Award
- SSA Ambassador Award
- SSA Best Awards
The Secular Student Alliance is always seeking new ways to recognize and award both individuals and SSA affiliates for doing awesome stuff at their campuses and in their communities. We offer a way for all affiliates to be recognized for great events, protests, service trips, conferences, fundraisers, and just about anything else that can be done. SSA affiliate groups may submit a description of their event at the Brag it Up! form and include pictures, video, etc that depicts the event being reported. We love hearing from all affiliates, big and small, on what they are doing - students are the most creative, fun, and awesome part of the Movement and we want to help you show off.
Brag it Up! submissions may be recognized in several ways. This includes social media attention, articles on our website, and other avenues of recognition. Outstanding submissions may be given additional recognition in the form of our Award for Outstanding Activism. Groups or individuals who win this Award are also recognized at the SSA Annual Conference.
Groups or students who have received the Award for Outstanding Activism in the 2016-2017 academic year:
|Secular Students at Iowa|
For successfully advocating for a public proclamation of a Day of Reason from Iowa City at a town hall event.
|Arizona State University Secular Student Alliance|
For participating in Arizona Secular Day by working with other secular orgs to lobby their state representatives to represent the secular demographic and secular values. At the event, they also tabled and marketed the group, attended sessions at the State House and Senate, listened to speeches, and protested in front of the capitol.
|Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University|
For celebrating International Women's Day with great events such as hosting a local speaker who works as an escort at an abortion clinic, tabling with educational materials about the UN's objectives for women's rights, and selling flowers while tabling.
|Secular Society of MIT|
For celebrating Darwin Day in style with screening Flock of Dodos, served served a birthday cake, and followed up with a Q&A session with the biologist-filmmaker Randy Olson and biologist Steven Orzack. They later visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History and tabled with bright red colanders, testudine-shaped candy, and a Tree of Life chart.
|Secular Student Alliance at University of Michigan|
For running a very successful tabling fundraiser for Planned Parenthood on their campus.
|University of Montevallo Secular Student Alliance|
For running a fun and creative "Get Caught Reading a Banned Book" photo booth on their campus for Banned Books Week.
|Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University|
For running a great "Send An Atheist To Church" fundraiser on their campus, with their group members visiting several local churches as a result.
|Secular Student Alliance at the University of Texas - San Antonio|
For hosting a very successful Hug an Atheist event in front of the famous Alamo.
|University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers & Inquirers|
For volunteering their Saturday to prepare sandbags to help the city of Cedar Rapids prepare for upcoming flooding.
Be sure to check out previous years' winners as well!
|As part of the Affiliation Renewals process, we now offer a chance to win a gift card to a national pizza chain of a group's choice, for submitting their membership roster with their Renewal.|
Secular Student Alliance scholarships are intended to further empower recipients to participate in secular activism during their academic career. We are interested in students with creative activism plans, ambitious goals, or compelling stories.
So what do we mean by 'activism'? To us, activism is any activity that spreads secular values and normalizes secular identity. While activism can include large-scale projects like spreading the word on social issues, education issues, community building, and similar projects, it can also consist of more personal actions like opening up to your family and being visibly secular within your community and campus. Actions like these have impact, and so we want to encourage these types of activism!
- 2016/17 $2,500 level winners
- 2016/17 $1,000 level winners
- 2015/16 $2,500 level winners
- 2015/16 $1,000 level winners
- 2014/15 winners
At each annual conference of the Secular Student Alliance, we present the SSA Backbone Award to an individual within the secular movement who is a guide and inspiration for secular students and student groups. This person has demonstrated a commitment to the Mission, Vision, and Values of the Secular Student Alliance.
- 2016 - Sikivu Hutchinson
- 2015 - Marsha Botzer
- 2014 - Fred Edwords
- 2013 - Bobbie Kirkhart
- 2012 - Annie Laurie Gaylor
- 2011 - Hemant Mehta
- 2010 - Ellery Schempp
- 2009 - Dan Barker
- 2008 - Lori Lipman Brown
- 2007 - Tom Ferrick
- 2006 - Larry Jones
- 2005 - Herb Silverman
- 2004 - Michael Newdow
The Secular Student Alliance Ambassador Award is an annual award, introduced in 2015, given to a Secular Student Alliance donor (outside of our board or staff) who best serves as an ambassador for the organization. Such an ambassador repeatedly shares the story of why the SSA matters and is worthy of support with as many people as possible.
From 2004-2012, the Secular Student Alliance presented awards to those affiliates that excelled in a particular area. These awards included an attractive plaque, a cash prize for the group to put toward future endeavors, and an invitation to present at our annual conference.
The Best Awards offered mirrored the Secular Student Alliance's four focus areas: Education, Service, Activism, and Community. We also offered an Affiliate of the Year award to one college group and one high school group.
Since then, we have ended this program in order to recognize the achievements of all SSA affiliate groups in a more fair and equal manner. Whether a group is at a small or large school, high school or college, community college or traditional college; all SSA affiliate groups are doing awesome things and should be recognized as doing such.
SSA Best Award Recipients:
- 2012 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2011 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2010 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2009 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2008 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2007 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2006 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2005 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
- 2004 Best Award Winners (all Categories)