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
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
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.