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We think Greta & Marsha are Amazing!

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At each Annual Conference, the Secular Student Alliance presents 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 our core values of civic engagement, community, cooperation, critical inquiry, humanistic ideals, and inclusion.

MarshaThis year's recipient of the SSA Backbone Award is Marsha Botzer. Marsha has spent her life advocating for the rights of LGBT people with a heavy emphasis on Trans rights. Although Marsha's activism has been in LGBT areas, she's long been an atheist.  She played a central role in making sure there was an expanded and highly visible secular presence at Creating Change this year and has set the stage for an expanded presence in future years. She has been someone whose secular values have inspired a lifetime of activism.

Marsha also served as co-chair of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2009-10, a position that she also held in 2005-6. She is a founding member of the Out In Front Leadership Project, creating a Leadership Training Program for the LGBTQ Community, and currently serves on the World Professional Association for Transgender Health board of directors. Marsha founded Seattle’s internationally known Ingersoll Gender Center, and continues to serve the organization.

This year, we're also debuting the SSA Ambassador Award for the first time! The Secular Student Alliance Ambassador Award is an annual award 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.

We recognize someone for giving in a manner that is personally significant while simultaneously pounding the pavement to make the SSA’s Vision a reality.

The award is bestowed by the SSA Board of Directors, in consultation with our staff. Winners receive a commemorative award, a Lifetime Membership (if they have not already earned one), and an acceptance speech at a major SSA event.

Our inaugural awardee of this award is someone we have known and loved for many years: Greta Christina. greta

Greta Christina holds a variety of titles with the Secular Student Alliance: popular and frequent speaker, Advisory Board member, and a donor at the Lifetime Membership level.

Greta is a tireless advocate for both secular students and the leading organization that supports them. She has written books that are popular with students, amplifies and refines student-focused ideas through her blogging and speaking, and meets with students personally while traveling. At the organizational level, she is a repeat donor, frequently gives much-needed perspective to the SSA’s staff members, and encourages others to give to the SSA through a variety of means.

We are so thrilled to be able to present Marsha and Greta with our awards! Thank you both for all that you have done.

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