NSS opens nominations for Secularist of the Year prize
Posted: Thu, 20 Dec 2018
The National Secular Society has called on supporters to submit nominations for the 14th Secularist of the Year award, which will be presented at its Secularism 2019 conference.
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 2018 it was won by Phil Johnson and Graham Sawyer, who were rewarded for their work campaigning on behalf of the victims of child abuse in the Church of England.
The previous year Yasmin Rehman, a women's rights campaigner who has highlighted the dangers Islamists pose to ex-Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims, won the prize.
Other previous winners include Charlie Hebdo magazine, for its courageous response to the 2015 attack on its offices, and Turkish politician Şafak Pavey, who has promoted secularism internationally.
The prize has been awarded since 2005. This year it will be given out at the NSS's major one-day conference on reclaiming religious freedom, which takes place in central London on Saturday 18 May.
Tickets to the conference are currently on sale.
Keith Porteous Wood, the NSS president, said the award was "a chance to celebrate some champions of genuine religious freedom".
"Politically-motivated religious groups are increasingly trampling on the human rights of others and passing this off as an assertion of religious freedom. And too often politicians are conceding ground to these arguments.
"The secularist cause needs a strong response to this based on the consistent application of human rights, freedom and equality before the law. The Secularism 2019 conference will bring together a wide range of people who advocate these principles. We're sure our supporters will be able to suggest a variety of worthy nominees for recognition and financial support."