Print Logo

California Freethought Day

Sunday, October 16, 2016

California State Capitol Building


In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we are proud to have booked some amazing speakers:

Featured Speakers:

Special Guests:

And don't forget:

  • Leadership Day on Saturday for those in leadership and advocacy roles at the local and state level
  • Supporters' Reception on Satuday evening where you can meet many of our speakers and enjoy wine, dessert, and more
  • Advocacy Day on Monday where you'll be able to share your secular voice with our state's elected officials inside the Capitol

Live Entertainment:

Author's Panel:

Community Panel:

Aron Ra, Atheist Alliance of America

Aron RaAron is president of Atheist Alliance of America, hosts the Ra-Men podcast, and is the director of the Phylogeny Explorer Project.

Aron is one of the "YouTube atheists" and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. His videos promote secular education and skeptical thinking, often focusing on evolution and the evidence indicating an interrelated tree of life. His series summarizing the 'Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism' among others have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators, and has attracted more than 140,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.

Aron's soon-to-be-released book, "Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism" is available for pre-order. Follow him on Twitter (@Aron_Ra) and YouTube.

Sanal Edamaruku, Activist

Biography and photo coming soon.

David Silverman, American Atheists

David SilvermanDavid Silverman is President of American Atheists and was the creator and Executive Producer of the 2012 Reason Rally as well as Vice President of the 2016 Reason Rally. 

He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University and his MBA in Marketing from Penn State. Mr. Silverman served as a professional inventor at Bell Labs for 8 years (74 issued patents) and a Marketing Director for Natural Microsystems.

He has been an atheist since he was 6-years-old. David became an activist in 1996 and soon became American Atheists' New Jersey State Director. He was tapped to be the National Spokesperson in 2004, and then was named Vice President in 2008. The Board of Directors elected David as President in September of 2010.

David's first book, Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, was released on December 1, 2015.

David has appeared on most major news programs including The O'Reilly Factor (spawning the famous "WTF meme-face"), The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Ronan Farrow Daily, Scarborough Country, CNN's Paula Zahn NOW, Nick News, Hannity and Colmes, FOX and Friends, NPR's All Things Considered, and many more. 

Follow David on Facebook and Twitter (@mratheistpants), and American Atheists on Facebook and Twitter (@americanatheist). 

Mya Saleem, Ex-Muslim Activist

Biography and photo coming soon.

Cidney Fisk, Student Activist

Cindy Fisk is a recent graduate of Delta High School (in Colorado) and a freshman at The University of Denver. She recently earned the attention of the secular community after calling attention to proselytizing and other injustices at her public high school. Repramended for her actions, she was denied scholarship opportunities and suffered a 30% penalty to her grades.

Cindy protested faith-based abstinence-only presentations, supported the distribution of secular literature (as a counter to the unjust distribution of Gideon bibles), and brought many separation of church and state issues to the attention of the Western Colorado Atheist and Freethinkers and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Cindy was featured in American Humanist Association's magazine, The Humanist, and continues to correspond with similar organizations and media outlets. Follow her on Twitter (@FiskCidney).

Special Guests

Mercedes Macias, Chico City Council Candidate

Biography and photo coming soon.

Community Panel

Our Community panel will share the stage in the afternoon, introduce themselves and their organization, and answer questions from the audience.

Tom Manger, Secular Coalition for California

Tom MangerTom Manger, the Legislative Chair for the Secular Coalition for California (SCCA), will be speaking on secular activism in California.

The SCCA has had a number of successes helping to minimize religious bias and religious privileging in new legislation.

In this talk, Tom will give a wrap up of 2016 California legislation from a secular perspective. He will also talk about activities planned for 2017 and ways you can assist in not just enforcing the separation of church and state, but ways to reverse the many ways that religion is unduly privileged in existing laws.  

Amanda Metskas, Camp Quest

Amanda MetskasAmanda K. Metskas is the executive director of Camp Quest, Inc. She has been involved with Camp Quest since 2003, and served on the board of directors from 2004-2007.  Amanda became executive director when Camp Quest, Inc. hired her as its first staff person in January 2008. As executive director, Amanda oversees the growth and development of Camp Quest.

In addition to her work with Camp Quest, Amanda co-authored Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief with Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura and Jan Devor.  Amanda holds an M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in international relations and psychology from Brown University.  She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband August E. Brunsman IV and their two cats.

Follow her on Twitter (@Metskas) and on Facebook.

Melissa Pugh, United Coalition of Reason

Melissa PughMelissa Pugh started her atheist activism when she was a member of the Atlanta Freethought Society, working tables at Atlanta's Gay Pride weekend and bringing international speakers to the Atheist Alliance of America 2015 Conference.

In October of 2015, she was appointed the president of Atheist Alliance of America and left to study biology at Chicago State University. She is now the Grassroots and Outreach Coordinator for the United Coalition of Reason, is the Sponsorship and Outreach Representative for Mythicist Milwaukee, is the Chicago Coalition of Reason Coordinator, and is an active member of The Satanic Temple

Rebecca Hensler, Grief Beyond Belief

Photo and bio coming soon.