Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland was given the Atheist and Feminist of the Year award at the 2019 International Days of Atheism conference in Warsaw, Poland, this weekend. Armin Navabi, founder of Atheist Republic, was named individual Atheist of the Year, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in USA got the group award.
Jane was given the award for her work with Atheist Ireland on secular issues including human rights and education, culminating last October in the successful referendum to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution, and for her work on promoting women’s rights, including abortion rights, in Ireland and internationally, including in Poland.
Armin Navabi won the individual Atheist of the Year award as the founder of Atheist Republic, the world’s largest online atheist community, which has hundreds of branches around the world including in countries where atheists are repressed and persecuted. He is an Iranian Canadian ex-Muslim atheist, who co-hosts the podcast Secular Jihadists for a Muslim Enlightenment.
Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker accepted the group award as co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in USA, which with 30,000 members is the largest American organisation promoting non-theistic viewpoints. It has a team of lawyers that defend the legal rights of atheists in America by promoting the constitutional principle of separation of state and church.
The International Days of Atheism are organised every year in Warsaw, Poland, by Nina Sankari and her colleagues in the Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation and other groups. They include an international conference on atheism and secularism, and an annual commemoration of the execution for Atheism of 17th Century Polish philosopher Kazimierz Lyszczynski for writing a treatise arguing that god does not exist.