The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation

The Bradley Foundation Announces Religious Freedom and Human Rights Advocate Nina Shea as a 2023 Bradley Prize Winner

The Award Honors Commitment to the Ideals of American Exceptionalism

Nina Shea
Nina Shea
Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Religious Freedom
(Photo via Bradley Foundation)

Milwaukee, WI - The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has announced that Nina Shea, a prominent religious freedom attorney and Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute, will receive a 2023 Bradley Prize. Now in its 19th year, the Prize is given to individuals whose extraordinary work exemplifies the Foundation’s mission to restore, strengthen, and protect the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism. Shea will receive the award at the Bradley Prizes ceremony on Tuesday, May 16th at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

“Nina is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on human rights and religious freedom and has displayed unparalleled courage and conviction in her relentless pursuit of freedom for people of all faiths throughout the world,” said Rick Graber, president of The Bradley Foundation. “She has brought attention to the atrocities committed by authoritarian regimes that control who and how people worship and in doing so, has built support for international religious freedom. Her work is a poignant reminder, especially in America today, that liberty is a precious gift that must constantly be defended.”

As in years past, this year’s award winners were chosen by the Bradley Prizes Selection Committee, after careful review of over 100 distinguished nominations. Each award carries a stipend of $250,000.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Bradley Prize and thrilled that this prestigious award is underlining the importance of religious freedom,” said Shea. “Millions abroad suffer brutal religious persecution today, while, in America, this First Amendment right is under serious threat.”

Shea helped launch and lead the coalition to adopt the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. She was appointed by the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom seven times from 1999 to 2012. She was also appointed as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations’ main human rights body by both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Shea authored or co-authored three books on religious persecution. Her widely publicized reports on extremism in Saudi textbooks were the subject of Congressional hearings and were instrumental to the texts’ reform. She writes on international religious freedom concerns in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Foreign Affairs, and other outlets.

Her advocacy for those persecuted abroad is extensive. She raised awareness and built coalitions to redirect American aid to persecuted Middle Eastern Christians and Yazidis and was a leader in pressing the State Department to designate their plight “genocide.” Her research and analysis are the basis of a Nigeria bill currently before Congress.

Shea frequently testifies before Congress. She has briefed American presidents, secretaries of state and other officials. In a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office, she had briefed President Ronald Reagan on religious persecution by Nicaragua’s Sandinistas. Most recently, she met with Pope Francis to raise the issue of China’s persecuted Church.

About The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: Founded in 1985, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation supports organizations that strengthen families and communities, inform and educate citizens, advance economic growth and encourage self-reliance. The Foundation’s approach to philanthropy is guided by four core principles: fidelity to the U.S. Constitution with its principles of limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and individual liberties; commitment to free markets; dedication to the formation of informed and capable citizens; and commitment to the institutions of civil society that cultivate individuals capable of self-governance.

Read in the Bradley Foundation.