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The Lamar University Secular Student Alliance is Outstanding!

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Every year, the National Secular Student Alliance hears about amazing things that our students, affiliate groups, Secular Safe Zone Allies, and advisors are doing. When we hear of an individual or group doing something especially awesome, we give them an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. 

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At the Secular Student Alliance we strive for intersectionality, and are always delighted to see our affiliate groups embracing social justice. That's why we're presenting the Lamar University Secular Student Alliance an Award for Outstanding Activism! 

Last month, Lamar University SSA students and family members marched in their second ever Pride event, in Beaumont, Texas!

"We all marched with our banner and our shirts, representing the SSA in the Pride march, even though it was pouring down rain and we all got soaked," said Amber Barnhill of Lamar University SSA.

What is especially exciting about this event is that Lamar University SSA did something that we've never seen before - they made LGBTQ Secular Student Alliance t-shirts for their event! 

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If you and your Secular Student Alliance affiliate want to embrace the LGBTQ community on your campus, check out the official logo we've designed specifically for that purpose! Be sure to send us pictures of your finished products!

We love it when our affiliate groups participate in their greater community! Great work, Lamar University Secular Student Alliance! 

Are you as impressed as we are with the Lamar University Secular Student Alliance? Interested in supporting their work and ours? Consider a donation to the Secular Student Alliance today! 

RELEASE: Atheist students counter Westboro in Chattanooga

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7/21/2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cara Zelaya, (321) 961-9254
cara.zelaya@secularstudents.org

Atheist students to counter-protest Westboro following Chattanooga shooting

CHATTANOOGA, TN - Students from Secular Panthers at Georgia State University, the Secular Student Alliance at Dalton State College, and the newly founded Secular Student Alliance at Clayton State University will be participating in a peaceful counter protest of Westboro Baptist Church July 24 at 9:00 a.m. at the Chattanooga Funeral Home in Hixson, TN following the shooting of five Marines in Chattanooga last Thursday. 

Students from all three secular groups will be joining several area veteran groups to create a human shield so the families of the victims will not have to see the protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church.

“We are participating in this peaceful counter-protest at the service so as to provide the families a place to mourn in peace, as it should be,” stated Sean Kirk, Secretary of Secular Panthers at Georgia State University. 

These students join over 9,600 other people planning on participating in the "Wall Against Westboro.” Westboro Baptist Church is best known for its hate speech, particularly against LGBTQ persons, Jews, and politicians, as well as for picketing funerals of soldiers. 

“We ask that our students at the Secular Student Alliance stand for something, rather than against something,” said Cara Zelaya, Southeast Regional Campus Organizer of the Secular Student Alliance. “We are thrilled when our students are setting examples of compassion and empathy towards their fellow human beings.”

SSACon 2015

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This last weekend was the 2015 Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference, and it was awesome!

We were consistently impressed by all of the activities and projects executed by our affiliate groups throughout the 2014-2015 school year: in fact, it was one of the most active years we have ever seen! Our 2015 Annual Conference reflected this. Conference sessions spurred valuable conversations among our affiliate leaders and attendees about intersectionality, social justice, and diversity within the secular community.

We had over 230 attendees from around the country and over 60 different talks throughout the weekend. It was also incredible to see how many alumni from our affiliate groups attended as speakers, representatives of other movement organizations, and as members of the community.

"This conference has enabled me and groups I've worked with to accomplish awesome things," Andre Salais of Arizona State University stated. "We've made a far greater impact in recruiting and providing a community than we would have without the Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference."

If you want to learn more about the conference, it was covered in both the Columbus Dispatch and The Lantern. We're posting photos from the conference on our Facebook page, so be sure to check those out as well.

We want next year to be even better, and we want you to be there. Let us know what we could do to get you here for the 2016 Annual Conference.

It is always incredible seeing all of the opportunities at our Annual Conference for our attendees to forge new friendships and connections with their fellow secular students and activists.

Finally, we wanted to say thanks to all our speakers, presenters, and volunteers who helped make this event possible. We couldn't do it without you!

RELEASE: LGBTQ Activists to Be Honored at Secular Student Conference

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July 1, 2015
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelley Freeman, (614)441-9588 x101
kelley.freeman@secularstudents.org

LGBTQ Activists to Be Honored at Secular Student Conference

Columbus, OH – Nationally known LGBTQ activists, Marsha Botzer and Greta Christina, to be presented awards at Secular Student Alliance 2015 Annual Conference. 

The Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference is the largest gathering of nonreligious and nontheistic students in the United States. Expected attendance for this year’s event is over 250 students from around the country. This year’s conference occurs July 10-12, 2015 at the Ohio State University’s Ohio Union, with the opening session beginning at 7:30 pm Friday night.

Marsha Botzer is receiving the annual Backbone Award, an honor that recognizes an individual who is a guide and inspiration for secular students across the country. Recipients of this award have demonstrated a commitment to the Secular Student Alliance’s core values of civic engagement, community, cooperation, critical inquiry, humanistic ideals, and inclusion.

Botzer served as co-chair of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2009-2010, a position that she also held in 2005-2006. She is a founding member of the Out In Front Leadership Project, which created a Leadership Training Program for the LGBTQ Community, and currently serves on the World Professional Association for Transgender Health board of directors. Marsha founded Seattle’s internationally known Ingersoll Gender Center, and continues to serve the organization as a co-chair.

Greta Christina is receiving the inaugural Ambassador Award, given to the Secular Student Alliance donor who best serves as a champion for the organization. Such an ambassador repeatedly and widely shares why the Secular Student Alliance matters and is worthy of passionate support with as many people as possible.

Christina holds a variety of titles with the Secular Student Alliance: she is a popular and frequently requested member of the Speakers Bureau, an Advisory Board member, and a donor at the Lifetime Membership level. She has written several books popular with students, amplifies and refines student-focused ideas through her blogging and speaking, and meets with students personally while traveling. 

The Secular Student Alliance is an organization that empowers secular students to proudly express their identity, build welcoming communities, promote secular values, and set a course for lifelong activism. Its support for grassroots organizing enables students to shape a future in which they thrive as valued members of society and provide visionary leadership committed to humanistic ideals and critical inquiry. 

More information about the Secular Student Alliance can be found at www.secularstudents.org, @SecularStudents on Twitter, and at Facebook.com/SecularStudents.

For more information on the Secular Student Alliance 2015 Annual Conference, visit www.secularstudents.org/2015con

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