David Norr Youth Activist Award

Nominate a Youth Activist

Celebrating Youth Activism

Americans United seeks to celebrate the youngest generation of activists for freedom without favor and equality without exception with the 2024 David Norr Youth Activist Award.

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.

Now accepting nominations

Nominations for the 2024 David Norr Youth Activist Award will be accepted through January 12, 2024. See below for more details.

Americans United is now accepting nominations of young people 25 years old or younger (or groups) who have taken action for inclusive religious freedom, church-state separation, and/or the issues that depend on them like LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, protecting public schools, strengthening our democracy and more. Nominees could be grassroots activists, student leaders, plaintiffs, elected officials, storytellers, or another young person (or group) who has demonstrated leadership and courage in taking action to protect and advance church-state separation in their community.

Nominations must be submitted by 11:59 PM PT on January 12, 2024 and can be submitted on behalf of oneself or by someone else.



  • Nominees must be 25 years old or younger at the time of nomination.
  • A nominee can be an individual, a group of people, or an organization (as long as it is majority youth-led).
  • Nominees do not have to be a member or otherwise affiliated with Americans United.
  • Americans United employees and board members, and members of their families, are not eligible to participate.

Nomination Process

  • All nominations must be submitted through this form by 11:59 PM PT on January 12, 2024.
  • Nominations can be submitted on behalf of oneself or by someone else. If you are nominating someone else, we ask that you notify them before submitting them for consideration. Both nominators and nominees will receive a confirmation of submitted nominations.
  • A committee of Americans United staff and youth leaders will evaluate the nominations and select the winner.
  • All nominators and nominees will be notified if they were selected by February 9, 2024.
  • The winner will be announced at the Summit for Religious Freedom (SRF) on April 14, 2024.

The Award

  • The winner will be announced and receive an award live on stage at SRF.*
  • The winner(s) receive a paid trip to attend SRF in Washington, DC from April 13-16, 2024. Covered expenses are travel (flights, train, or mileage reimbursement for car travel), a hotel room for up to 4 nights, and registration for SRF. These expenses are covered for the individual winner and one additional person of their choosing; or up to 2 members of a group.**
  • The winner will also be announced on AU’s website and social media, via email, and in an issue of Church & State magazine.

*If circumstances prevent the winner from attending SRF in-person, we can arrange to present the award virtually.
**If a group of more than two people is selected, then additional travel grants will be considered pending the availability of funding.


The Youth Activist Award is named in honor of the late David Norr, who staunchly backed the principle of church-state separation and generously supported Americans United for more than 25 years.

Our most recent award recipients include Ramya Sinha, whose outspoken support of AU client Gregg Tucker was instrumental in shining a light on discrimination at Ramya’s school, and AU client Irish 4 Reproductive Health, a student-led group that challenged the University of Notre Dame’s denial of birth control coverage.

Nominations will be accepted through January 12, 2024.

AU knows it’s crucial for our movement to train, equip, and learn from the next generation of leaders. But it’s also important that we honor their courage. Rachel Laser, President and CEO

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