The Ethical Humanist of the Year Award was established in 1975 by James S. McDonnell in honor of James F. Hornback, who led the Ethical Society of St. Louis from 1951-1980. He was also the first recipient. The award recognizes each year an individual or group in the St. Louis community that has provided courageous and dedicated service to maintaining the rights and dignity of their fellow human beings in some aspect of life-religious, social, political, economic, medical, educational, ecological, recreational, and artistic. The award currently carries a $1,000 honorarium.
Anyone can nominate an individual or group in the greater St. Louis community for this award, and anyone — not just candidates who identify themselves as ethical humanists — is eligible. Humanistic work as a job or profession will not be considered a qualification unless the candidate is shown to have given services above and beyond what the job or profession calls for. To make a nomination, please read our nomination instructions and selection criteria (PDF, 1KB).
Joan Suarez is founder of Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates and cofounder of Harriet’s List. Retired from a career as a union official, Ms. Suarez has gone on to a dedicated second career of advocacy for workers and immigrants, serving on the Executive Committees and Boards of such organizations as St. Louis Pro-Vote, Consumers Council of Missouri, Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants, and Jobs With Justice; while making significant service commitments to organizations such as the Peace Economy Project, the Community Arts and Media Project and the Interfaith Committee on Latin America. This mentor, leader, and organizer is recognized by many, in the words of nominator Lynda Callon, as a person whose "personal tenets of moral and ethical integrity are steadfast."
2010: Leon "Bud" Deraps is a force for peace to be reckoned with! Whether holding the US military responsible for the hidden casualties of war, taking up a collection to help Haitian earthquake victims, acting as the vice-chairperson (or "chairman of vice," as he is fond of saying) for Ethical Action Committee, or delivering our canned goods to Operation Food Search to be distributed to St. Louisans in need, Bud's unceasing energy makes the Ethical Society of St. Louis proud to say he's "ours."
2009: Kingdom House is the oldest settlement house in the metropolitan St. Louis area serving immigrants and other low income families in the near south side since 1902. Kingdom House provides broad-spectrum social services including day care, after school and youth programs, crisis assistance, job training, a food bank, social service referral, respite care, social activities and senior companion care without regard to religion or cultural heritage.
2008: Judge Richard B. Teitelman is one of seven judges who sit on the Missouri Supreme Court. He was appointed to this position in February 2002 following four years of service as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District. His legal career prior to becoming a judge was devoted to providing access to high quality civil legal services for the poor, first as the managing attorney of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s consumer law unit and then, for 18 years, as the executive director of the agency.
2007: Joan Lipkin, is a playwright, director, teacher, activist and social critic who has established several theater groups, including That Uppity Theatre Company and the DisAbility Project. Her work is devoted to creatively portraying the life dimensions of everyday people, including the lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, gay and questioning (LBTGQ) population, cancer survivors, those with disabilities, the indigent and racial or cultural minorities.
2006: Dr. Fred Rottnek's life integrates the practice of medicine with his love of teaching, commitment to social justice, spirituality, and theology. His patients are the homeless and those incarcerated in St. Louis County. Dr. Rottnek works with many local homeless shelters and nonprofit agencies, providing direct, on-site health care services to people in shelters and other locations where they go to obtain goods and services needed for their day-to-day survival.
2005: Dr. Suzsanne H. Singer for founding the Singer Institute for severely disturbed adolescents and for founding Community Cares, a program to train senior volunteers to become companions to elderly people in a nursing home.
2004: Rev. Ted and Linda Schroeder for their extraordinary efforts and leadership to enable people who are incarcerated or ex-offenders to lead a better life.
2003: Chris Krehmeyer, for his ten years of work as Executive Director of Beyond Housing, an outstanding non-profit organization providing homes and support services to low income families.
2002: Eddie Mae Binion, for her 40 years of work as a staunch advocate for people on public assistance.
2001: David A. Lander, for his ongoing work identifying and working to solve social justice problems.
2000: Ann Carter Stith, for her long-term dedication to criminal justice, legislative reform, and child abuse prevention.
1999: William Ramsey, for his efforts to call attention to and actively protest human rights violations in the United States and around the world.
1998: Jeanette Mott Oxford, for her leadership in combating poverty and injustice and for helping people with low incomes become their own advocates.
1997: Arthur and Marian Wirth, who pioneered support groups for parents and families of gay children and advocated parents' support of gay rights.
1996: Richard and Kaye Parvis, for helping disadvantaged people achieve their educational and social goals.
1995: Peter DeSimone, a leader in social justice.
1994: Blanche M. Touhill, for leadership in education for the whole community.
1993: Janet Becker, an activist in promoting housing for low-income families.
1992: B.J. Iassacson-Jones, for courageous leadership in founding Common Ground, a coalition to mitigate the polarization of and around abortion issues.
1990/91: Julia Goldstein, for her work in helping children at risk develop self-esteem in order to secure a successful future.
1989: ACLU/Eastern Division, for their defense of civil liberties.
1988: Hedy Epstein, for activism in peace and justice.
1987: Bertha Gilkey, a tenant management organizer.
1986: Thomas Engelhardt, an editorial cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
1985: Marion Jenkins Brooks, for efforts in the education of disadvantaged students.
1984: International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis, for service to foreign-born residents.
1983: Kay and Leo Drey, environmentalists and conservationists.
1982: Paul Dewald, M.D., a psychoanalyst, educator, and author.
1981: Eldora Spiegelberg, for activism for peace and justice.
1980: Deverne and Ernest Calloway, for education and leadership in the St. Louis black community.
1979: Senator Harriett Woods, for leadership in promoting the rights of the elderly and nursing home patients.
1978: Frank E. Nutt, for leadership in election reform.
1977: Frank Susman, for his support, as an attorney, in representing the rights of women to seek abortion.
1976: James F. Hornback, in recognition of his 25 years of leadership in the Ethical Society of St. Louis