Religious Liberty Dinner Award Will Recognize an ‘Eloquent and Effective’ Advocate

Leading religious freedom attorney Holly Hollman has been named the recipient of the 16th Annual Religious Liberty Dinner National Award.

Ms. Hollman, who serves as general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, is an eloquent and effective defender of First Amendment rights, says Dwayne Leslie, Deputy Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association, one of the event’s sponsoring organizations.

“Ms. Hollman has long been at the forefront of promoting a balanced understanding of religious freedom in the United States,” says Mr. Leslie. “Her influence has been far-reaching, not just through her work in crafting legal responses to religious freedom challenges, but also in the public arena, through her extensive writing, speaking, and media appearances.”

The award will be presented to Ms. Hollman on May 22, 2018, at the 16th annual Religious Liberty Dinner in Washington, D.C. The event, which will be held this year in the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States headquarters on Constitution Ave., brings together diplomats, United States’ government officials, religious leaders, and religious liberty advocates. Past keynote speakers include Senator John McCain, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry, and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

"As a constitutional lawyer, I am fortunate to work in an area of law that is important to people from different religious and political perspectives,” says Ms. Hollman. “I have seen how our shared religious liberty values can bridge deep differences, and I am honored to continue the legacy of Baptists, who have long fought for religious freedom for others.”

The Baptist Joint Committee, the organization Ms. Hollman represents, is a faith-based agency that has worked since 1936 to promote and protect religious freedom for all people and to defend the institutional separation of church and state. Ms. Hollman prepares friend-of-the-court briefs in major First Amendment cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, compiles briefings on religious freedom issues for congressional staff, and regularly speaks about church-state issues to churches and civic organizations. She is an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she co-teaches the Church-State Law Seminar, and writes a regular column for the Baptist Joint Committee's magazine, Report from the Capital.

She calls religious freedom a “fundamental value of our country”—one that is “protected by the Constitution and other laws in unique ways that stem from our history, and which have served us well.”

“By protecting individual religious freedom and protecting against government advancement of religion, we honor our history and the important place of religion in our society," says Ms. Hollman.

The annual Religious Liberty Dinner is co-sponsored by the North American Religious Liberty Association, the International Religious Liberty Association, the Seventh-day Adventist world church and Liberty magazine.

BETTINA KRAUSE | Communication Director
International Religious Liberty Association
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