Established in 1992, the Salem Award Foundation has endeavored "to keep alive the lessons of the Salem witch trials of 1692 and to make known to our region and the world the unheralded, heroic work of those who bring justice to fruition in contemporary society," according to their mission statement. The Salem Award was one of the many permanent programs established by the Salem Witch Trials Tercentenary Committee. The purpose of the award is to encourage an understanding of the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials in the context of contemporary life.
Some of the recipients have been;
2016 Award: Anne Driscoll. To work toward overturning wrongful convictions for the incarcerated.
2015 Award: Jose Antonia Vargas. For his tireless advocacy for immigration rights.
2014 Award: Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph. For restoring democracy, justice and human rights to Haiti.
2013 Award: Rev. Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon. Doyle for the Catholic Church and awareness of the sex abuse scandal. Seldon for racial awareness.
2012 Award: City Life: Vida Urbana, tenants' rights and affordable housing.
2011 Award: Dr. Jonathan Shay, advocating for veterans.
2010 Award: Greg Mortenson, school builder and best-selling author for his work in bringing education to the people of war-torn Afghanistan.
2009 Award :The Coalition of Immokalee Workers for championing migrant workers who suffer abuse on the job in the Florida orange fields.
2008 Award: Eric Reeves for his work to stop genocide in Sudan and Darfur.
2007 Award: Navy Lt. Commander Charles D. Swift and Georgetown law professor Neal K. Katyal for their fight for rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
In 2009 Mayor Kim Driscoll and the Salem City Council voted to add a 25 cent surcharge to admissions at the city-owned Witch House to support the work of the Salem Award Foundation. The first Salem Award went to Gregory Williams, who was honored for helping rescue a beating victim in the L.A. riots. The ceremony took place at the opening ceremony of the Witch Trial Memorial at Charter Street on the Witch trials 300th anniversary.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Salem Award
Salem Award Official Website
"School builder and author Greg Mortenson to receive Salem Award" Salem News, Mar. 9, 2010, p.1
"Award honors group fighting for workers" Salem News, May 5, 2009, p. 1
"Darfur "crusader" gets Salem Award," Salem News, May 10, 2008, p.8
"Lawyers receive the Salem Award; men challenged Bush's use of tribunals(Swift & Katyal)" Salem News, Jun 2, 2007, p. A1
"Salem Award winner urges help for Africa AIDS epidemic (Paula Donovan)" Salem News, Apr. 28, 2006, p. 1
"Afghan woman fighting for homeland wins Salem Award (Fahima Vorgetts)" Salem News, Apr. 5, 2005, p. 1
"Winner of Salem human rights award talk about her struggle against racism (Jane Elliott)" Salem News, April 13, 2004, p. A1
"Salem Award recipient fights for 'forsaken souls'(James McCloskey)" Salem News, June 13, 2003, p. A1
"North Shore's Raiche earns Salem Award" Salem Evening News, Mar. 18, 2002, p. A1
"Doctor, activist is Salem Award winner(Jane Schaller)" Salem Evening News, June 7, 2001, p. A1
"Prestigious Salem Award honors (Leonard)Zakim" Salem Evening News, June 9, 2000, p. A1
"Salem honors teacher; award bestowed for fight against slavery (Barbara Vogel)" Salem Evening News, June 18, 1999, p. A1
"City lauds doctor for work with the poor(Dr. Vicky Guzman)" Salem Evening News, June 12, 1998, p. C3
"Malden Mills owner calls for people over profit (Aaron Feuerstein)" Salem Evening News, June 18, 1997, p. A1
"A crusader for human rights; political prisoner Harry Wu" Salem Evening News, Mar. 8, 1996, p. A1
"Human rights hero...and victim; Boston Police officer presented Salem Award (William Johnston)" Salem Evening News, Mar. 24, 1995, p.9
"(Morris)Dees battles intolerance even on his award night"Salem Evening News, Jan. 8, 1994, p. 1
"Salem remembers with trials of 1692" Boston Globe, Aug. 6, 1992, p.?