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SSA Awards


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

Award for Outstanding Activism

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.

Affiliates or individual secular students who have received the Award for Outstanding Activism in the 2015-2016 academic year:

Secular Student Alliance at Morehead State University
For holding a very successful Ask an Atheist panel in their university lobby, and being covered by a local radio station as well as the Trail Blazer, their campus newspaper.

La Verne Secular Student Alliance
For participating in, and building bridges through, Better Together Day and Ask an Atheist Day on on their campus by holding an Ask an Atheist booth alongside an Ask a Muslim booth, as well as Baha'i, Christian, Mormon, and Buddhist booths.

Amanda Scott
Amanda Scott, and the non-profit that she founded called Mobile Equality, successfully lobbied against Alabama HB 56, the Alabama Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act. This bill would have allowed state probate judges to refuse solemnizing marriages if they had a personal religious objection, and could potentially have harmed same-sex, interracial, and interfaith marriages. Amanda was able to increase the outreach of the LGBT advocacy non-profit she founded, Mobile Equality, by applying for an SSA Project Grant.

Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University
For holding a creative event called a Free-Speechathon on their campus' quad. They successfully invited several other organizations and individuals to come and speak about topics that they are passionate about and were even covered in their campus newspaper.

Secular Student Alliance at Florida State University
For hosting the first annual Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference, coordinating great speakers and content, and for working to foster connections and networking between SSA groups in Florida and nearby states.

Baylor Secular Student Alliance
Even though the Baylor SSA is not officially recognized or supported by their campus, they thrive in this less-than-tolerant environment. They have hosted a series of speakers including Matt Dillahunty, Russell Glasser, and local professor Dr. Kearney. They also work with the Waco Humanist Society to engage the greater community, among many other great activities.

Secular Student Alliance at University of Texas-San Antonio
For a year of fantastic activities and ideas, such as hosting an interfaith panel, bringing in several great speakers, running voter registration drives, volunteering at the Pets Alive animal shelter regularly, building ramps for those in need with The Texas Ramp Project, and running fundraisers.

Secular Alliance at Lakeridge High School
For volunteering with their local Oregon Food Bank to help sort food for needy members of the community.

Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University
For holding a toy drive to benefit the Jacksonville Regional Medical Center. As a result of their donations, the RMC will open a toy closet so that other organizations can also donate toys for children that celebrate a holiday or their birthday in a hospital bed.

Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics at UW Madison
For holding a creative "Blasphemy Bake Sale" in order to raise money for the Women's Medical Fund.
Read more about it here.

A T Still University Secular Student Alliance
For putting on an awesome Carl Sagan Day Party that drew over 100 people to attend from their Medical and Dental School.

Freethinkers and Skeptics at Missouri State University
For joining with Generation Action to stage a counter-protest against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in their state. Read more about it here.

University of Cincinnati Secular Student Alliance
For showing their support of women's basic rights to healthcare by supporting Planned Parenthood amidst attacks from the Religious Right.  Read more about it here.

University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists & Agnostics
For speaking to their County Comission on the problematic existence of an ichthus symbol on a monument, on public land, outside the Boone County Courthouse. Read more about it here.

Photo courtesy of the Columbia Daily Tribune

Be sure to check out previous years' winners as well!

Affiliation Renewal Gift Card Winners

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.

SSA Scholarships for Student Activists Winners

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!

SSA Backbone Award

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.

SSA Ambassador Award

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.

SSA Best Awards

Best Awards

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:

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