Student Activist Awards

Micah White – 1999

Ruth Jokinen Memorial

Micah White wrote a powerful op-ed piece, "Atheists Under Siege," published by The New York Times on June 21, 1999, chronicling the difficulties he faced as a high school junior in forming an atheist club at his school as an alternative to Christian clubs. Only through great persistence, and by threatening a lawsuit, was Micah permitted to found the club. His first meeting was attended by more than 40 students. He had since done a series of media appearances, including ABC's "Politically Incorrect." Despite harassment he faced at the school, he counsels: "never be afraid to stand up and say what you believe. Atheism is defensible and logical."

Micah was born in Milwaukee in 1982, and lived in Columbia, Maryland, through his 9th grade year, before his family moved to Grand Blanc, Michigan. At the time he received the award on Nov. 6, 1999, at the 22nd annual convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, Micah was a senior at Community High School.

For the full speech click here

Photo by Brent Nicastro

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