The Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association is pleased to announce the 2019 recipient of the UUHA Person of the Year Award. This year the UUHA has chosen to award Vanessa Gomez Brake, Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California.
Vanessa receives this award with the distinction of being the first Humanist chaplain at an American university to serve as an Associate Dean. As her USC profile details, Vanessa “works to support and promote university religious and spiritual life broadly conceived, and helps oversee more than ninety student religious groups and fifty religious directors on campus.”
The UUHA board has roundly expressed gratitude for Vanessa’s role in higher learning, which reaffirms the value humanism brings to any spiritually and religiously diverse community. Amanda Poppei, President of the UUHA, frames Vanessa’s work and role on even grander terms. “Vanessa’s work as the first-ever humanist university religious affairs official highlights the growth of humanism as a core part of America’s religious landscape,” Poppei said.
Awarded annually, the UU Humanist Association Person of the Year Award honors individuals whose work affirms, promotes, and advances the ideals of Humanism within the Unitarian Universalist Association or in society at large. It recognizes leadership and effort in promoting values reflected in the UU Humanist Association’s Mission.
Vanessa will receive the Person of the Year award at the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s Annual Meeting, which will take place on Friday June 21 at the UUA’s 2019 General Assembly in Spokane, Washington. The UUHA will maintain a presence for the entirety of this year’s General Assembly as well. We encourage you to stay tuned this week for updates about the exciting programming we have planned.