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SSA Proud to Sponsor Moving Social Justice

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Regional Program Expansion

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We are thrilled to share with you the expansion of our Regional Program! Started in 2012, the Regional Program provides hands-on, designated support to our students and affiliate groups through Regional Campus Organizers (RCOs). When we first started the program, we had one full-time RCO in the Southeast, and one part-time RCO in Texas.

RegionsRegions

Last year we grew this program even further, expanding coverage to four additional states. And, for this school year, the Regional Program will be growing even more. We are thrilled with the four regions we have for this upcoming school year: The Mideast, The South Central, The Southwest, and The Southeast regions, which cover nineteen states and fifty-five percent of our affiliate groups! Students in these areas have a friendly face on the ground to help them with events and questions.

SSA Student Amanda Scott Featured in Anniston Alabama Editorial

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Insight: Alabama's quest for equality

In a government of the people and for the people, a number of groups have done quite well in getting the majority to accept that they are indeed people worthy of participating in the political process. No more do black citizens fear the night riders with guns and torches should they dare to show up at City Hall with a petition. LGBT folks are getting elected in greater numbers, and there are no laws barring them from holding public office.

Certainly, these groups still face challenges in achieving equality in the political and other arenas in U.S. life. However, despite the fact that our Constitution states “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” seven states ban atheists from holding office. And while Alabama is not one of the places that have these unconstitutional provisions as law, bigots are hiding behind false e-mail accounts to drive out those who they believe are unworthy to participate in government.

Amanda Scott, 21, is a student at Faulkner State Community College. On June 19, she testified before her local county commission against a resolution to display a plaque reading “In God We Trust” at the Mobile Government Plaza. When the commission voted 2-1 to approve the plaque, Amanda testified once more.

This time, she spoke up to support a proposal that would allow other individuals and groups to put up their own plaques. Scott, along with the Mobile atheist community, suggested an “In Reason We Trust” plaque to accompany the pro-religion sign piece. Once again, the commission voted against the requests of the non-religious constituents.

Call to Action: Secular Students and Social Justice

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Dear SSA members, leaders, and supporters:

The trend of unarmed black men and boys dying at the hands of U.S. law enforcement is troubling and frightening. Furthermore, the lack of due process, suppression of freedom of the press, and militaristic response of law enforcement to peaceful protests in the city of Ferguson, Missouri have been very disturbing. 

SSA @ UCF students
Students from the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Florida

We have no reason to believe that Michael Brown was secular, nor do we believe that any of the behavior of local law enforcement was based on explicitly religious grounds. However, there are black men and boys who are secular students. We stand beside them. Furthermore, we want to live in a society where due process, freedom of the press, and peaceful protest are allowed. These are values that humanity reached not by divine revelation, but by imagining how to make this life better for all people. These are values that we see as critical for humans living together in a free society.

We have heard from many of you that you are eager to engage on social justice issues while embracing your secular identity. If you or your group are interested in engaging on these topics, make it so! We want to see you make the world a better place and we want to see you be open about who you are as you do it. We want you to focus your critical inquiry on all kinds of questions.

We know that social justice issues are tricky. We believe it’s incredibly important to be able to articulate the connection between the missions of our groups and the social justice issues with which we choose to engage. We have just released resources on engaging social justice issues. We look forward to offering more specific guidance, but we also want to hear from you about what issues you see as most important to engage with and why. Please let us know what you are doing and what you would like help doing.

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