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Secular Start Up: April Monthly Update!

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Secular Start Up is the finest (and only) official video advice series from the Secular Student Alliance, put on by our Communications Associate, Kelley Freeman, and our Regional Program Manager, Gordon Maples. It originally started in August of 2013, when neither of them even lived in the same state.

Secular Student Alliance at Florida International University is Outstanding!

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Every year, the national Secular Student Alliance hears about the amazing things our affiliate groups are doing. When we hear of a group doing something especially awesome, we give out an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. Today, we're spotlighting the Secular Student Alliance at Florida International University and their recent event on behalf of Dr. Avijit Roy, a freethinker and writer of Bangladeshi origin that was murdered in February 2015. This event has earned them an Award for Outstanding Activism.

Late last month, the Secular Student Alliance at Florida International University hosted an event entitled, "We are Avijit" on their campus where they encouraged fellow students and members of their community to join them to uphold the spirit of free speech. The purpose of this event was to protest against the brutal assassination of Dr. Avijit Roy, a prominent American freethinker, writer, and blogger of Bangladeshi origin. Dr. Roy was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on February 26, 2015. His wife, Rafida Ahmed was with him and sustained serious wounds. Dr. Roy was the founder of the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site which champions liberal secular writing.

This event was organized by concerned members of the FIU community and hosted by the Secular Student Alliance at FIU, both to commemorate the loss of Dr. Avijit Roy, and to reaffirm their commitment to the fight against any and all kinds of intolerance to opposing views. A number of students, faculty, and staff attended the event, as well as members of the local secular community. 

"Although we were protesting against a specific incident, the message was loud and clear: this is not a one-off incident. Such brutalities happen everyday all over the world, especially in the developing nations," stated Soumyadeep Mukherjee of SSA at FIU. 

Secular Student Movement Update 4/2/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

It's April! This is one of the busiest months on our calendar and ends the semester on a high note. Our students are finalizing preparations for Better Together Day (a day put together by our friends at the Interfaith Youth Core) on April 14th, Ask an Atheist Day on April 16th, and the first Openly Secular Day on April 23rd. 

Registration for our Annual Conference is now open! This year's Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference will be in Columbus, Ohio July 10-12th! You can also check out our schedule of speakers which includes representatives from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Think Progress, the National LGBTQ Task Force, as well as secular student leaders from around the country. Information about our awesome annual conference so you can be as excited as we are can be found at secularstudents.org/2015con. 

The Secular Student Alliance seeks two full-time summer interns for work in the areas of writing, graphic design, and resource development. The deadline for application is April 12, 2015. These internships are paid positions, each ten weeks long, based in our office in Columbus, OH. Internship dates are flexible between mid-May and early September. The only required working weekend is July 10-12. You can learn more at secularstudents.org/2015interns.

That's all for this week! For more information, questions, comments or additions to student-led efforts in the secular movement, contact ssa@secularstudents.org.

Announcing our 2016 Conference Locations!

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We here at the Secular Student Alliance are thrilled to announce location details of our 2016 Annual Conference, and wanted to be sure to invite you to join us! Next year, we are expanding our conference to FOUR (that's right, four!) locations. 

Starting May 27-29, you can check out our SSA West conference in King's Landing, Westeros. June 10-12, SSA 2016East will be in Mordor. We want to make it easier for everyone to attend, so we have added two additional locations: Northern students can check out SSA North July 22-24 on the moon at Moonbase Alpha and our students of the merpeople persuasion can join us at SSA South in Atlantis from August 12-14! 

All of our conferences are equally awesome, and we hope to have as many students as possible. Registration is only $39 for student members of the SSA! Registration rates will go up on May 16, though, so register soon to take advantage of this low rate.

Our topics and training sessions are applicable to student activists across the board, whether or not you’re involved with a secular group. This year’s schedule also includes hands-on workshops on topics like finding service projects or being a political activist for secular causes. You’ll also be able to meet SSA staff and see what projects and ideas are coming down the pipeline.

In addition, you will be able to mingle and network with students from across the solar system, great speakers, and movement leaders! This is your chance to really see what’s going on in the movement both locally, nationally, oceanically, in fantasy worlds, and throughout the Milky Way.

Did we mention that you’ll have a great time? Students who have attended our conference rave about the experience - often for years afterwards! You won’t find a more exciting way to spend a weekend.

Leadership Travel Aid is still available for students who need help with travel (as One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor) or lodging costs, though it is on a first-come, first-serve basis – so get your application in soon!

Remember, your registration is just $39 for a weekend full of great speakers, great people, and great fun. Register for the West here, East here, North here, and South here. For more information about all our conferences, visit our conference home page.

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