Fighting Discrimination

Announcing the 2024 David Norr Youth Activist Award winner

  Alicia Johnson

Last week, we shared that one of the highlights of the Summit for Religious Freedom was hearing from emerging young leaders advocating for separation of church and state. I’m excited to share more about one of those young leaders: Sanchi Rohira, the 2024 David Norr Youth Activist Award winner! Named in honor of the late David Norr, a staunch advocate and supporter of Americans United and church-state separation for over 25 years, this award goes to an individual or group who goes above and beyond to advocate for the separation of church and state.

As a senior at Georgetown University, Sanchi has organized students around issues of equality and justice on her campus and beyond. She is committed to building communities where all people can live as themselves and believe as they choose, where people of all religions and none are able to thrive.

An advocate of freedom for all

Sanchi has been a vocal advocate against racism on campus and has organized for justice for students in the Muslim, Jewish and Dharmic communities who were the targets of hate crimes. She is also a leader within the Dharmic Ministry at Georgetown and helped start a nonprofit to support Dharmic ministries at universities across the country – and has done so much more to advocate for freedom and equality for all. Click here to learn more about Sanchi and watch her acceptance speech from the Summit for Religious Freedom.

We also selected four young people as honorable mentions for the award due to their notable accomplishments and advocacy for church-state separation: Mikah Dyer of Peoria, Ariz.; Luke Fisher of Littleton, Colo.; Maddy Niziolek of Washington, D.C.; and Chloe Serrano of Buena Park, Calif. Click here to read more about the honorable mentions.

If you know a young person who, like these incredible activists, is a passionate advocate for church-state separation and wants to get even more involved as a leader and advocate in their community, please spread the word about another opportunity: AU’s Youth Organizing Fellowship – applications are open until June 30.

Photo: Sanchi Rohira accepts the David Norr Youth Activist Award during the Summit for Religious Freedom. Also pictured are (from left) Amy Norr, daughter of David Norr, and AU President and CEO Rachel Laser. By Chris Line.

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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