Announcing the 2019-2020 Heart of Humanism Award winners!


Foundation Beyond Belief is proud of the many individuals and local groups who made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism last year. Their tireless work has improved countless lives in communities throughout the world. Our Heart of Humanism awards recognize some of these dedicated volunteers and we are thrilled to announce this year’s winners, honoring their work in 2019.

Team Awards

Our biggest team award is the Humanism at Work award, going to the Beyond Belief Network (BBN) team with the most volunteer hours. This year our winner is Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) for their incredible 6,225.5 total hours. For this award, the team will receive a grant of $250.

Atheist Community of Colorado Springs takes home our Eat. Sleep. Volunteer. Repeat. award for most volunteer events held: a whopping 62 events in 2019! This award comes with a grant of $100.

The Gimme Food and Shelter award, which recognizes the team with outstanding contributions to causes related to homelessness and food insecurity, goes to Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT), who held an incredible 61 events addressing homelessness and food insecurity in 2019! 

COUNT also nabs the Backbone Volunteers award, which goes to a team that played a consistent and reliable role in a local organization. In fact, COUNT was integral to not one, but three local orgs in 2019: Ronald McDonald House (where the team routinely volunteers as “housewarmers”), Community Shelter Board (where they perform various roles serving people experiencing homelessness) , and Adaptive Sports Connection (where they co-participate in sports with adaptive athletes). COUNT will receive $200 — $100 for each of their awards.

This year’s Rookie of the Year award is a tie between Florida’s Atheist Community of Polk County and Illinois’ Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew. These teams came to BBN partway through the year ready to work, each logging 9 events! Each team gets a $50 grant.

Our Best Photo of the Year award goes to Tri-State Freethinkers in Newport, Kentucky. The pic was snapped during one of the several events the team holds each year to help a food bank assemble boxes of food for seniors in need. It encapsulates some of the things we love about secular volunteering: bringing the whole family together for hard work and serving groups most in need.

2019 Jul 13_BBN_Tri-State_Freestore Foodbank July 13 2019 1 (touched up)

Individual Awards

With our team winners duly recognized, we are excited to announce our individual Heart of Humanism awards.      

2020 Apr 2_BBN_HAPI_Relief Assistance for HAPI Scholars 2Our Outstanding Leader award recognizes an outstanding BBN team leader. This year we are proud to award this honor to Claris Quezon, Executive Secretary of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI). As alluded to earlier, HAPI is a powerhouse organization that performs a wide variety of service events aimed at local people suffering from poverty — sometimes in remote, rural areas neglected by social services. In 2019 this included donation drives; nutrition and medicine giveaways; para schools; meal packing; tutoring; and environmental education. Claris is the main coordinator of HAPI’s nutrition program serving rural Indigenous communities.

The Heart of Humanism, our highest award recognizing outstanding contributions to compassionate humanism, goes to Tina Marshall, Founder and Chief Organizer of Black Nonbelievers (BN) Charlotte, NC chapter. BN is a black-centered organization where African American atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and skeptics are free to discuss their non-belief among like minded people without judgement. Tina additionally works very closely with Atheists Helping the Homeless Charlotte, which sets up monthly giveaways of meals, clothes, and toiletries to people experiencing homelessness. Tina is also active in racial justice, providing bail, legal support, and supplies for arrested protestors, and volunteers with her local Democratic party. She was also an emcee at the first ever Women of Color Beyond Belief Conference held last year. Tina embodies the heart of humanism working tirelessly to address inequity where she sees it through direct intervention, education, and advocacy.  

The Heart of Humanism awards will be presented to awardees during the American Humanist Association’s 79th Annual Conference, held virtually August 8th. 

Thank you to all of our outstanding teams and leaders. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in 2020!