Nick Fish (President American Atheists): Stories to Tell

Video of last week's speaker is up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pcI9Unigoc&feature=youtu.be

Stories to Tell... Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges by Putting a Human Face on Atheism is the subject of Nick's talk.

Nick Fish, President of American Atheists, is a seasoned civil rights and civil liberties activist with more than a decade of political, organizing, and leadership experience with many of the nation’s most prominent political organizations and progressive non-profits. A native of Michigan, Nick studied political science at Albion College before working in Raleigh, NC, managing a voter outreach office that registered more than 5,000 new voters and knocked on 25,000 doors in the two months leading up to the 2008 election. After the election, Nick worked in donor outreach, marketing, fundraising, and communications, including with the Secular Coalition for America. Before his appointment as president, Nick served as Development Director and National Program Director for American Atheists.

Since 2015, Nick has represented American Atheists in the media, including appearances on the Fox News programs Spirited Debate, Hannity, and Fox and Friends, and on countless local media outlets. He has been quoted in The Washington Post, CNN, Time Magazine, Newsweek, and The Associated Press. He has created innovative advocacy and visibility campaigns, including AtheistVoter, and has developed messaging and strategy around American Atheists’ legal, public policy, and outreach campaigns.


Take the U.S. Secular Survey!

This survey is for nonreligious and secular people in the United States. It is sponsored by American Atheists, and numerous other national and local secular and nonreligious groups are participating by helping to raise awareness about the survey. The research partner for the survey is Strength in Numbers Consulting Group. The survey is only for adults, so please do not complete it if you are under 18. Your responses are anonymous and confidential. The survey will be used to publish a report about secular and nonreligious people in America, and the data provided will help inform programming and advocacy for American Atheists and other secular and nonreligious organizations. 

https://www.secularsurvey.org/survey


Adam Lee: How White Atheists Can Do Better

Video of last week's speaker is up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPHW7L4WBB8&feature=youtu.be

With each new generation, America is becoming more racially diverse and more secular. Yet the atheist community remains disproportionately white, and has made some conspicuous missteps in our outreach to people of color. What have we gotten wrong in the past, and how can we do better in the future?

Adam Lee is an author and activist living in New York City. He writes the Daylight Atheism blog on Patheos' atheist channel and has published several books, most recently "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City".


Tom Concannon, Ph.D. presents: To Infinity, and Beyond!

In this talk, Tom Concannon, Ph.D. discusses the concept of infinity, and the efforts of mathematicians and philosophers over the last couple millennia to tame it. Click here to watch the video!

Dr. Tom Concannon received his PhD in semi-classical gravity on the thermodynamics of rotating black holes. Following professorships at both Wake Forest University and Elon College (now Elon University), he decided to try software engineering as a challenge. After many years in this industry, he again went to graduate school at Lehigh University to earn his master's degree in mathematics, which enabled him to return to full-time teaching at King's College in Wilkes-Barre. He currently teaches courses on differential equations, mathematical methods in the physical sciences, and computer programming. He strongly believes that learning can only truly be accomplished and appreciated if it is taught to others.


Colleen Lutz Clemens, Ph.D. presents "The Rhetoric of Veiling in Contemporary US Culture"

In this talk, Colleen Lutz Clemens, Ph.D. discusses the role that stories of women in the Muslim world play in “the West’s” creation of the essential notion of “the Muslim woman.” Click here to watch the video!

Colleen Lutz Clemens, Ph.D., associate professor of Non-Western Literatures and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, earned her Ph.D. in Post-Colonial Literature at Lehigh University. Her dissertation focuses on issues of veiling in literature and studies the intersection of women’s issues in art and politics.


Shanon Nebo presents: Children, Demonic Posession, and You

In this talk, Shanon Nebo discusses the importance of humanistic values and skeptical thinking when interacting with children. Click here to watch the video!

Shanon is a mother, feminist, humanist, and atheist activist. Mother of three, she advocates strongly for the inclusion of children of all ages in humanist activism as well as the importance of extending humanist values to children in how we interact with them and care for them. Shanon is the Treasurer of Recovering from Religion and volunteers in many other capacities.


Callie Wright on Changing Hearts & Minds: Activism in Everyday Conversations

We tend to think about activism in terms of protests, marches, speeches, lobbying to make better laws, YouTube videos, and podcasts. Those things are all great and important. But our special guest thinks there's lots of important activism that happens in our everyday conversations with our coworkers, families, and peers. After viewing this talk, you'll be better equipped to change hearts and minds in your everyday interactions with those around you. You'll feel more empowered to make a difference, even if the flashier side of activism isn't your thing.

Click here to watch the video!


David Orenstein discusses Charles Darwin, Freethought's Apical Ancestor

Presented like a "TED Talk," Dr. Orenstein shares his research to show how Charles Darwin's ideas and writings played a significant role in shaping the 19th Century Freethought movement. Both The Origin of the Species and Descent of Man firmly placed evolution inside the realm of a godless universe. This meant that without special creation, the idea of any people or social belief as being superior, especially based on scripture and god, was invalid.

Click here to watch the video!


Amanda Morris, PhD Busts Myths About Native Americans

When it comes to discussing and representing Indigenous peoples, our educational system often falls woefully short of the mark. In this talk, Dr. Amanda Morris discusses three common questions about Native Americans and present detailed, truthful answers with plenty of contemporary examples and information. Click here to watch the video!


Kyle Johnson Discusses The Orville: What Science Fiction Does Best

For many fans, The Orville is the Star Trek they have been waiting for. Although some expected it to be like Spaceballs, it turned out to be more like M*A*S*H*. It involves comedy, yes. But it also features real and lovable characters, in interesting situations, and offers up biting social and philosophical commentary (what science fiction does best). Indeed, it does the latter like no other science fiction series since Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Click here to watch Professor Kyle Johnson offer a brief overview of the social commentary offered by The Orville in the first season. “About a Girl” deals with transgender issues. “If The Stars Should Appear” chastises humanity for ignoring climate change. “Krill” and “Mad Idolatry” offer criticism of religion. “Cupid’s Dagger” raises questions about sexual assault. And “Majority Rule” criticizes the “democratization of information” through social media, and even ridicules the idea of democracy itself. He treats each episode as a work of philosophy, clearly articulating and then briefly evaluating its argument.

Read on to learn more about Dr. Johnson.

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