The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice nomination request

Salem Award Nominations are open! 

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 opposition 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 continue 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 issues, we publicly 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 through their work to human rights and social justice issues particularly within the two years preceding their nomination; 
  • Demonstrate courage in the face of bigotry and intolerance; and, 
  • Demonstrate that their efforts further the cause of human rights and social justice for an individual or group of individuals.


Nomination Form

The Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice is awarded annually to an individual or organization that meets criteria established by the Salem Award Foundation. It is anticipated that the work and achievements of nominated individuals or organizations are in keeping with the mission of the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice: to keep alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and to make known and honor the heroic work of those who speak out and take action to alleviate discrimination, promote tolerance, and achieve justice for contemporary victims of social injustice.

The Salem Award Foundation welcomes nominations from the public at large. The annual deadline for nominations is September 15th of each year.  Nominations may be submitted electronically by 12 midnight on September 15th or by hard copy that is postmarked September 15th of the given year. The nominations are screened by a Salem Award Foundation committee with final decisions made by a vote of entire the Salem Award Foundation Board of Directors. 

Persons or organizations selected for the Award are typically notified by mid-November. A ceremony honoring the recipient is scheduled for the spring of each year, held in Salem, Massachusetts and open to the public. The Award recipient is usually invited to speak on a topic pertinent to the reasons they have been selected to receive the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice.

Please note instructions on the electronic nomination form. While it is extremely helpful for the Salem Award Foundation to have as much information as possible on a nominee, please also note that not all items on the nomination form are required. However, we do need reliable contact information for any potential Award recipient and sufficient documentation of achievements in order to fully assess the extent to which the nominee meets the Award criteria. Persons who nominate and support a nomination will be notified of the decisions made by the Salem Award Foundation; for this reason, we also need reliable contact information for nominators. 

Thank you very much for your interest and taking the time to nominate a worthy recipient for the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. Additional information about the Award, including a list of previous recipients, and the Salem Award Foundation is available on our website:

If you would like to make a nomination for the Salem Award, please download and complete the following form, which is available in the Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this format and is available for free. 

If you have questions or problems with the application form, please contact Carolyn McGuire at