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Ward Connerly and Anthony Stadlen win the Szasz Award for 2003

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2003 Winners Announced!

Introduction of Ward Connerly by Manuel Klausner

Introduction of Anthony Stadlen by Jeff Schaler


Items from past awards ceremonies

The Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties

Ward Connerly and Anthony Stadlen have been selected as recipients of this year's Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties. Connerly, who won the general award, is an outspoken advocate of equal rights and opponent of governmental racial preferences. He was selected for his achievements in reshaping the national dialogue on race in America, and moving the nation toward the ideal of a colorblind government. Anthony Stadlen is a psychotherapist in London who was selected for this year's award in the professional category for his outstanding writing and teaching in the way of Thomas Szasz.

Connerly gained national attention in 1995 when, as a member of the University of California Board of Regents, he led a majority of the Regents to end the University's use of racial preferences in its admissions policy. Later that year, Connerly led the successful fight for the California Civil Rights Initiative (Proposition 209), which banned racial- and gender-preferences and discrimination in California public education and contracting. A similar initiative in Washington won later, and this year Connerly launched a campaign for an initiative in Michigan, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in the University of Michigan racial preference cases. He also plans to introduce a revised version of the California Racial Privacy Initiative, which embodies his vision of a colorblind government.

Trained as a psychotherapist, Stadlen has practiced privately as an existential-phenomenological therapist since 1971. He became a Member of the London Centre for Psychotherapy in 1975, and was recognized by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy as both an existential and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and by the British Confederation of Psychotherapists as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. "I simply engage in conversation with people, preferably those who are engaged in a similar quest for truth, however tentative or implicit... It had become clear to me from the early 1960s that psychoanalytic thinking was morally rootless, and that human freedom and responsibility were the true foundation of my practice."

The awards carry cash prizes of $1,000 each and a plaque. Past winners include Congressman Ron Paul, First Amendment journalist Nat Hentoff, computer-privacy champion Phil Zimmermann, author James Bovard, the Institute for Justice, law professor Richard Epstein, development economist Peter Bauer, and Second Amendment scholar David Kopel.

The Thomas S. Szasz Award is a tribute conferred annually in the general and professional categories on persons or organizations, American or foreign, judged to have contributed in an outstanding degree to the cause of civil liberty.

The award is intended to encourage civil libertarians to persevere in the battle to protect personal autonomy from state encroachment. The greatest encouragement, however, may be found in the life of Thomas Szasz himself. For more than four decades, Szasz has distinguished himself as the preeminent defender of individual rights in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. He has remained a steadfast champion of the classical-liberal values of voluntary interaction, the rule of law, and an open society. His struggle on behalf of civil liberties has been indefatigable, sustained despite intense opposition, over a lifetime of brilliant intellectual accomplishment.

Emeritus professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center/Syracuse, Szasz's books include The Myth of Mental Illness; The Therapeutic State; Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers' Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences; Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide; Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America; and Liberation by Oppression: A Comparative Study of Slavery and Psychiatry. His latest book, Words to the Wise: A Medical-Philosophical Dictionary, is forthcoming from Transaction. For more information on Dr. Szasz, the award, and past recipients, click HERE.


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