Awards 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.
Below are the affiliates or individual secular students who have received the Award for Outstanding Activism in the 2014-2015 academic year:
|Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College|
For their awesome Sex+City event as well as their success in
petitioning their campus for campus-wide gender-neutral restrooms.
Read more about it here.
|Students for Free-thought at UM-Flint|
For participating in many fantastic intersectional events regarding
Social Justice causes, Women's Rights, service projects, and more!
Find more information here!
|Secular Student Alliance of Ferris State University|
For fighting for equal representation and an equal voice in their campus newspaper and
making sure that atheists and other nontheists are represented fairly and accurately
after the newspaper ran an article that attacked all atheists. Check it out here.
James Bartel is the vice president of Secular Student Alliance at University of Central Florida. His group and Secular Student Alliance at Valencia, with support from Central Florida Free-Thought Community, both attended their local City Hall meeting where James delivered the first secular invocation in that community since the Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court decision.
|Iowa State Atheist and Agnostic Society|
For working with their campus LGBTQA group and organizing a large and successful response to a hateful campus preacher. In addition to both groups gaining attention and new members, their response also made it into their campus newspaper because so many students noticed and supported the groups.
For standing up for the separation of church and state at her local county commission, even amidst death threats and endless hate mail.
Below are the affiliates who have received the Award for Outstanding Activism in the 2013-2014 academic year:
|Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Missouri |
For running a fun and creative event that involved handing out eggs on Easter with
candy and condoms inside to promote STD awareness month.
|Secular Student Alliance of University of Nevada Reno|
For running a service project which collected a total of 192 garments, which went to benefit the families of, and people with, cerebral palsy and other disabilities, in association with United Cerebral Palsy of Nevada.
|Secular Legal Society at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law|
For participating in their law school's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) this spring. Students volunteer to help prepare taxes for hundreds of local people who might not otherwise be able to afford any assistance on their tax preparation. Read more here.
|Illini Secular Student Alliance |
For raising over $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society over the semester with several events, including a week long Hug-an-Atheist tabling event, a rock show, and a Light the Night walk around the quad. Find out more here.
For putting on a fun Pastafarian event a and playing a game called 'Prophet or Madman' that was very well attended.
|Secular Student Alliance at Hawaii Pacific University|
For resurrecting their group and working with Hawaii's vibrant Filipino community a very successful fundraising event for the victims of the recent Haiyan Typhoon.
|Secular Student Alliance of Ferris State University|
For a fantastically attended debate on the existence of god at their small, conservative campus.
|University of Michigan-Flint Students for Free-thought|
For creating a scholarship at their school in their group's founder's name and raising money to support it.
|Murray State Free-Thinkers Society and|
Student Organization for Reason and Science
For bringing Jerry Coyne, the nationally acclaimed geneticist and evolutionary biologist, to their university to talk about evolution and the conflict between science and faith. This was an effot to educate their campus and community on evolution, which is wildly upopular in the area.
|Northern Illinois University Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers|
Held a very succesful bake sale and raised money for a local women and families shelter.
|Loyola University Chicago Secular Student Alliance|
For putting on a well attended debate and donating the proceeds to a local food bank for disaster relief.
|Secular Student Alliance at West Virginia University|
For hosting the first ever campus-wide Secular Safe Zone training session.
Below are the affiliates who have received the Award for Outstanding Activism in the 2012-2013 academic year:
|West Texas A&M Secular Student Alliance |
Click here to read more about their great counter-protest to a vitrolic campus preacher.
Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at Louisiana State University
Click here to read more about their rally, Reason on the Bayou
Secular Student Alliance at University of Nevada, Las Vegas
At each annual conference of the Secular Student Alliance, the SSA presents the Freethought Backbone Award to an individual within the freethought movement who is a guide and inspiration for secular students and student groups. This person has demonstrated a commitment to the secular values of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics.
Previous SSA Backbone Award Winners:
- 2004 - Michael Newdow
- 2005 - Herb Silverman
- 2006 - Larry Jones
- 2007 - Tom Ferrick
- 2008 - Lori Lipman Brown
- 2009 - Dan Barker
- 2010 - Ellery Schempp
- 2011 - Hemant Mehta
- 2012 - Annie Laurie Gaylor
- 2013 - Bobbie Kirkhart
- 2014 - Fred Edwords
SSA 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:
2012 Best Award Winners (All Categories)
2011 Best Award Winners (High School Individuals, College Individuals & Groups)
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)