The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice was established by the Salem Witch Trials Tercentenary Committee and was first presented in 1992. The purpose of the Award is to promote an understanding of the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials in the context of contemporary life.

Selection Criteria

By studying the Salem Witch Trials, we learn that order was restored to the Salem community by the outspoken protests of a few good citizens who spoke bravely and acted courageously in opposi- tion to the prevailing chaos. In Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, certain individuals risked their lives to speak against the oppression of the trials and to call for order and forgiveness. Today, we con- tinue to depend upon those few individuals who will not be silenced by fear and social disorder.

In recognizing and honoring present day champions of human rights and social justice , we pub- licly acknowledge the powerful significance and practical consequence of their work and join them in fostering tolerance, compassion, and reconciliation within our community.

In particular the individual and/or organization to whom the Award is given must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to and efforts towards human rights and social justice issues

    particularly within the two years preceding their nomination;

  • Demonstrate courage in the face of bigotry and intolerance.

    The VAI utilizes Guidestar, Charity Navigator, 990 Finder , YouTube and other sources to do due diligence on each nominee and to ensure to the best of their ability that the nominee has solid managerial skills and exercises appropriate stewardship of their resources.

Specific Requirements
  1. The Salem Award Committee will assess the merits of your nomination based on your responses to the criteria listed on the following pages and on any additional materials you provide. Please list your main sources of information for the facts contained in this nomina- tion. Be as specific as possible, noting persons interviewed, websites, videos, film, articles, and/or print media. It is helpful to provide web links to articles, books, film, and/or videos that document the nominee’s activities. Such web links are most useful if they were recently published and come from a reputable news source.

  2. Two letters of support are required to be secured by and provided to SAF by the nominator. Please provide contact information for each as representatives of the SAF may contact indi- viduals listed to gather additional information about the nominee. Letters of support should address the nominee’s contributions to human rights and social justice and address the crite- ria for the award. Letters of support should also note the nature of the relationship between the nominee and the writer.

  3. If the nominator has a direct relationship with the nominee, please briefly describe the nature of the relationship.

Self nominations will not be considered. Nominations for members of the current honorary or advisory committee or current Board of Directors members will not be considered. The nominee may be an individual or an organization.

Nomination Form
Proposed Nominee
Nominator's Information