In celebration of our 11th anniversary, we are proud to have booked some amazing speakers. In addition to these speakers, we also have live entertainment and an Authors' Panel. And don't forget Leadership Day on Sunday for group organizers and those interested in furthering the movement, and our Fundraising Reception where you can meet many of our speakers and enjoy wine, dessert, and more.
Fighting for civil rights at an early age and later working in many Humanist /Atheist / Freethought organizations, much of his life has revolved around progressive activism.
He has been President of the American Humanist Association, on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Humanist group, HUUmanists; member of the North American Committee for Humanism; an adjunct faculty member of the Humanist Institute, and the University of Chicago. He has taught widely at major universities. He was one of the founders of SMART Recovery a Self Management and Recovery Training recovery program for addictions.
He was successful in the chemical business while enjoying the love of his partner and three children and now lives in Wilmington, NC.
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein is an attorney, businessman, and former Air Force officer.
He is the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, (MRFF) and author of With God on Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military and No Snowflake in an Avalanche, both of which he describe his fight against alleged coercive Christian Fundamentalist practices by some members of the military.
Mikey will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 1:20 PM.
In a nationally publicized lawsuit, she successfully fought for the removal of a prayer banner hanging in her high school auditorium in Cranston, Rhode Island, drawing violent backlash from the overwhelmingly Catholic community. She has received widespread acclaim for her courage and activism.
Jessica is CFI's volunteer high school coordinator.
Jessica will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 5:10 PM.
Chris Lombardi is the Government Relations Manager of the Secular Coalition of America. Chris moved to Washington D.C. in 2007 where he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on a diverse portfolio of issues. Hailing from the Midwest and a proud Hoosier, Chris graduated from Indiana University in 2002. When not in the office, you can likely find him swimming, biking, or running somewhere in D.C.
Chris will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 4:15 PM.
"AJ" Johnson is the former Director of Development for American Atheists. Ms. Johnson was raised Baptist in the "Bible Belt," and attended a private Christian elementary school before permanently transitioning to a secular education.
She was often skeptical of religion, but officially "fell from faith" after learning about Evolution via Natural Selection and recognizing the uncivilized way that the Bible portrays the issues of women, gays, and slaves.
Ms. Johnson attended and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She gained leadership experience serving as a residential advisor for first-year students, and teaching English to Thai students abroad.
Before joining American Atheists, she served as Assistant Director of Development for Scholarships at UNC-Chapel Hill.
A.J. will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 11:35 AM.
Steven joined NCSE as a Public Information Project Director in the summer of 2008. He received a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley, with an emphasis in modern German history and early 20th century pseudoscientific movements (eugenics, forced sterilization programs).
Switching gears completely, Steven then completed an M.S. in Geology from CSU Hayward, with an emphasis in paleoclimatology. Following graduation, Steven taught geology and oceanography as an adjunct faculty member at a number of Bay Area colleges, where he developed courses in the History of Science and the Geology of the National Parks.
In Steven's spare 15 minutes/week (divided equally into 2:08 minute blocks per day), he enjoys racing sailboats and sculpting in marble and bronze.
Steve will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 12:00 PM.
Rebecca is the founder of "Grief Beyond Belief", an organization for secular people who prefer to grieve without god.
Rebecca, a school Counselor, suffered the illness and then death of her infant son. Mainstream grief groups are immersed in magical thinking about a blissful afterlife and loved ones who communicate from that invisible world. She formed the popular Facebook page, which describes itself as providing "faith-free support for non-religious people grieving the death of a loved one."
"As the secular movement matures in this country, it must create institutions that support our community." Rebecca's story is a concrete example of that process.
Rebecca will be at our Fundraising Reception, and speaking at Freethought Day at 12:55 PM.