Connecticut Activist of the Year



CGA Watch



Conn. Activist of the Year

The American Atheist Connecticut Activist of the Year Award

In 2013 I established the American Atheist Connecticut Activist of the Year Award for the Atheist activist in Connecticut who's done the most for the cause. Here are the winners.

2016: Jerry Bloom

The town of Shelton had for years allowed a religious display on town property every Christmas season, and when Bloom objected he was rebuffed. When he requested that he be allowed to erect nonreligious display along side the religious one, he was denied. So, together with Freedom From Religion Foundation, he sued the the town. A settlement was eventually reached in which all viewpoints may now be represented.

What especially impressed me about Jerry Bloom's actions, is that he took them without knowing that there's an Atheist community in Connecticut to draw on for help. He stood up for what was right and prevailed, even though he thought he was alone in his efforts. Since then, the Atheist community and he have discovered each other, and we are now proud to call him one of us.

2015: no award

2014: Bryan Winkler

In 2012 the first Camp Quest New England was held over a weekend. However, in 2013 it was not repeated, and it was beginning to look like it was an idea which would not be able to fulfill its promise. The initial director had to resign due to personal obligations, and in order to succeed the camp needed another dedicated and resourceful director to replace him. Bryan Winkler stepped into that role, and, as a result, a successful week long Camp Quest New England took place last summer. Because of this, Bryan Winkler has been named the 2014 American Atheist Connecticut Activist of the Year.

2013: Tanya Rogers Barrett

When I first decided, in the fall of 2012, that the region was ready for a secular convention (which eventually came to be known as The Secular Assembly for the North East (SANE)) one of the very first things I did was recruit Tanya Barrett, because I knew she would be very organized, I knew she would have a lot of great ideas, I knew she would put in a lot of work, and I knew she would light a fire under my ass if there was something I needed to get done. And I was right on all counts. In fact, she far exceeded my expectations. She worked tirelessly on all aspects of the convention pretty much for a whole year. She also, at the same time, made significant contributions to both Connecticut Valley Atheists and the Connecticut Coalition of Reason. Because of all she's done, she was the obvious choice for the first ever American Atheist Connecticut Activist of the Year Award.