Megan Phelps-Roper – Henry Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism Award

Megan Phelps-Roper is a speaker, advocate and author of the new bestselling book Unfollow: On Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church.

Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBTQ community, Jews, other Christians, the military and countless others. Starting at five-years-old, she participated in the picketing almost daily and spearheaded the use of social media in the church. Dialogue with “enemies” online proved instrumental in her deradicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise — especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines. In addition to her new book, Phelps-Roper gave a powerful TEDTalk on her experience leaving the grip of the church, which has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Phelps-Roper received the $10,000 “Henry Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism” Award.

Freedom From Religion Foundation