Kevin Simpson Awarded Julius Hirsch Honorary Prize

Kevin Simpson Awarded Julius Hirsch Honorary Prize

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (Dec. 16, 2021) – Kevin Simpson, professor of psychology at John Brown University, was recognized as the 2021 Julius Hirsch Honorary Prize winner by the German Football Association.

Simpson, along with his colleague Michal Vaněk, Ph.D., were recognized for their 2019 memorial honoring the forced Jewish laborers who built the grandstand currently in use by the Slovak Premier league football club, MŠK Žilina and their exhibition “Football Under the Swastika: The Story of Leopold ‘Jim’ Štàstný,” held at the Museum of Jewish Culture-Slovak National Museum.

“It is a privilege to receive the 2021 Julius Hirsch Prize along with my dear friend and colleague in Slovakia, Dr. Michal Vaněk,” Simpson said. “We hope this award simultaneously inspires those who love the beautiful game of soccer, while also encouraging all of us to stand up and join the fight against antisemitism.”

Simpson and Vaněk hope to continue this work as a traveling exhibition to museums in Vienna, Cologne and other German cities with a goal of raising awareness among young people, particularly soccer players, on the dangers of racism, antisemitism and discrimination in society and on the football pitch.

Simpson and Vaněk received the honorary prize from DFL Managing Director Christian Seifert, the first time that the jury has awarded the prize to an American and a Slovak.

The life story of Julius Hirsch was also featured in the recent book by Simpson, "Soccer Under the Swastika."

Simpson, a Fulbright scholar to the Slovak Republic in 2019, teaches psychology at JBU and serves as the department at John Brown University.

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked university (The Wall Street Journal) and top-ranked regional university (U.S. News), JBU enrolls more than 2,400 students from 33 states and 44 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, with top programs including nursing, psychology, kinesiology, engineering, biology, family and human services, and graphic design. Eighteen graduate programs are available in business, counseling, cybersecurity, education and higher education.



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