Our Work | Annual Conference | 2007 | Speeches | Heritageaward

2007 Humanist Heritage Award speech

2007 Humanist Heritage Award, given to Lloyd Morain
Presented by Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association

There's a person here today who has contributed more to Humanism, in more ways, than any other, since our movement's very beginnings.

Most significantly, he contributed his incredible talent for leadership.

Yes, he was one of our organization's seventeen past presidents, but more than that, he was the only one called upon to return to the presidency after leaving office, in order to rescue the organization from a difficult time.

Yes, he was also editor of the Humanist magazine. But it was his editorial focus on implementing solutions to the problems of the world, that led the magazine to establish a continuing policy of reporting on Positive Humanistic Revolutions that change society for the better.

Yes, he's been supportive of bringing Humanism to its logical global role. But it was his efforts, along with those of Mary Morain and the likes of Gilbert Murray and Julian Huxley, that founded the International Humanist and Ethical Union. 

Without Lloyd Morain's leadership, the American Humanist Association would not exist today, and the entire organized movement might have faded away, but when it comes to adding his voice to the chorus of bright literary lights of Humanism, Lloyd is no slouch either.

From winning an essay contest as a young man, to becoming an accomplished author, Lloyd has contributed his writing to Humanism.

He wrote for the Humanist magazine about issues as diverse as: general semantics, scientific Humanism, international cooperation, affordable housing, humanistic justice, developing countries, health care, Indian Humanism, African Humanism, and Humanism in the Far East. He also wrote a compelling book, called the Human Cougar, about working drifters and how their independent spirit makes America strong.

Now, during the past month, the AHA has added over 1,000 new names to the ranks of voting members. Each one of these members will receive a book that speaks to where they are coming from. This volume helps people grow and provides them with an evolutionary advancement in their thinking. I'm talking about Lloyd and Mary Morain's Humanism as the Next Step.

When first released, Humanism as the Next Step, outsold every other book from the Unitarian publishing house, Beacon Press, and was so popular that the Unitarian leadership discontinued it, as they were a little afraid it was making too many Unitarians become Humanists.

Lloyd's literary contributions continue to make an impact. But he knows that building a more Humanist society doesn't happen over night, and doesn't happen for free. He's also generously putting his funds toward the cause he holds dear.

Over his many decades of support, Lloyd has contributed over a million dollars to the American Humanist Association to make things happen. To give a few examples, his support put the Humanist magazine in thousands of libraries across the country. His support launched the Humanist Essay Contest for Young Women and Men of North America. And his support made possible the Lloyd and Mary Morain Humanist Center. Without this impact, Humanism wouldn't have the enormous potential it does today.

Now Lloyd's modesty about his accomplishments shouldn't hold me back too much from expressing my appreciation and conveying the appreciation of others for all that he's done, is doing, and will do to make the world a more Humanistic place.

Movements like ours require thousands of people doing their part in order for organizations to remain standing and be successful in their missions, but some people hold such critical roles that without their presence the whole structure would come tumbling down.

 

For years, Lloyd, you've been such a person for Humanism.

 

Thank you.

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