Nominations open for Secularist of the Year prize
Posted: Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:14
The National Secular Society has called on supporters to submit nominations for the 13th Secularist of the Year award.
Nominations for the 2018 award have now opened. Each year the prize, which is worth £5,000, is awarded to an outstanding group or inspiring individual who has advanced the cause of secularism and related human rights.
In 2017 it was won by Yasmin Rehman, a campaigner for women's rights who has aimed to raise the Government's awareness of the dangers Islamists pose to ex-Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims.
Other previous winners include: the group Educate Together, which challenges religious discrimination in Ireland's state school system; Charlie Hebdo magazine, for its courageous response to the 2015 attack on its offices; and Southall Black Sisters, which campaigns for the rights of women within ethnic minority communities.
The prize has been awarded since 2005. This year it will be presented at a lunch in central London on Saturday 24 March 2018. Tickets are now on sale.
Keith Porteous Wood, the NSS president, said this year's prize came at "a critical juncture for the secularist cause".
"Religious fundamentalists of many different stripes are becoming increasingly assertive and powerful both in the UK and globally. And too often mainstream politicians and policy makers concede ground to them, even in supposedly democratic and liberal countries such as our own.
"The Secularist of the Year event will be an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to those who refuse to take the easy path and instead stand for human rights, freedom and equality before the law. These are simple principles, but often - in the face of religious bullying - defending them takes a great deal of courage.
"We urge our supporters to take this chance to raise the profile of the often unsung heroes who refuse to shirk the challenge."