2018 Honorees

Herb Silverman Lifetime Achievement Award

The Herb Silverman Lifetime Achievement Award is given in honor of our founder and President Emeritus, Professor Herb Silverman, to an individual who has dedicated their life to protecting the foundation of a secular government as our founders intended. Unlike other awards, this award is given to a member of the general public – not an elected official – who has worked to advocate the two tenets of the Secular Coalition for America: To work toward the separation of church and state as the greatest guarantee of freedom for all; and to increase the respectability and visibility of the nontheistic community throughout the United States.

Barry W. Lynn

Former Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Excellence in Journalism Award

The Excellence in Journalism Award is given to journalists and members of the media whose work conveys a respect for the secular community, an appreciation for our perspective, and a thoughtful analysis of the issues we care about. The award expresses our gratitude to those who strive to be inclusive in their media coverage and elevate the voices of nontheistic Americans into the national conversation.

Emma Green

Staff Writer and Religion Reporter, The Atlantic

National Respect Award

The Respect Award is given to elected officials who have shown a deep level of respect for the nonreligious community in their words, actions, and in legislation they have sponsored or co-sponsored. The award conveys the secular community’s respect for those individuals who, religious or otherwise, have consistently included the non-religious community when talking about issues pertaining to religion. It is also awarded to individuals who have made it their personal mandate to ensure that public policy is derived from sound reason and logic, and not religious belief.

Senator Mazie Hirono

U.S. Senator from Hawaii

Representative Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. Representative for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District

National Visibility Award

The Visibility Award given to officials who have gone out of their way to ensure that the nonreligious community is reflected in public life, or who – themselves – have proudly proclaimed that they are nonreligious. The recipient has inspired the secular community to recognize that people in elected office are fighting for them, regardless of the recipient’s belief system.

Representative Jared Huffman

U.S. Representative for California's 2nd Congressional District

Representative Brian K. Sims

State Representative for Pennsylvania's 182nd Legislative District

Gayle Jordan

Executive Director, Recovering from Religion