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Fred Edwords Announced as the 2014 Recipient of the SSA Backbone Award


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Fred Edwords is the national director of the United Coalition of Reason (CoR), an organization that promotes cooperation among local groups in the community of reason and helps raise their public profiles. A former executive director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), former editor of The Humanist magazine, and past president of Camp Quest, his experience in the humanist movement is diverse. Fred was named Rationalist of the Year by the American Rationalist Federation in 1984 and received the Humanist Pioneer Award from the AHA in 1986, primarily for his effective countering of creationism through publishing, speaking, and organizing. He has written extensively on a variety of subjects that move and shake the secular community, and remains an occasional contributor to the The Humanist as well as other movement publications and blogs. He is also now on the adjunct faculty of the Humanist Institute. He even took part in the first SSA Annual Conference with a thought-provoking talk on the relevance of humanism to our lives and the world at large.

The Secular Student Alliance has awarded Fred the SSA Backbone Award this year for numerous reasons. Fred was one of the first members of the Secular Student Alliance Advisory Board, a very early supporter of the SSA’s efforts, and has been on our Speakers Bureau since its earliest existence. Fred is now the national director for the United Coalition for Reason and has sought to include SSA affiliate groups and students into the CoR structure and events. He has been an integral part of the history of the Secular Student Alliance as an organization.

What a Turnaround for SSA at UNR!


Hello friends,

At the beginning of the Fall semester in 2013, the Secular Student Alliance group at the University of Nevada, Reno (SSA at UNR) was in trouble. They had a few scattered members, no planned events, and no recognition from the national office or their campus.

Fast forward just eight short months. Now the SSA at UNR has over 130 members and hosts at least one event on campus every week! In fact, last month they were able to host Speakers Bureau member Dan Barker at an event attended by over 160 people.

Students from SSA at University of Nevada, Reno with Dan Barker after their amazing event!

Several leaders of the group spent time peppering downtown Reno with flyers about the event, as well as leaving flyers in bookstores, coffee shops, libraries, and restaurants. And, everywhere you looked on campus you saw details about the upcoming lecture. SSA at UNR even used Ask An Atheist Day to further promote the event by tabling for several hours and reaching out to students and faculty!

SSA Joins "Openly Secular" Coalition With Goal of Fighting Discrimination


New Coalition Formed to Highlight and Overcome Discrimination Against Nonreligious & Atheists

                                            Group Calls Itself “Openly Secular”;

                            Makes Call To Action for Victims to Share Their Stories

Columbus, Ohio – The Secular Student Alliance has partnered with a coalition of secular groups to form a new organization called Openly Secular. The goal is to highlight and overcome discrimination in America.

Atheists and other nonreligious people not only face discrimination on a regular basis, but the prejudice often goes unrecognized because it can be socially acceptable to distrust those outside the majority religious faith. A Gallup poll in 2012 found almost half of Americans would vote against a well-qualified presidential candidate from their party, if that person was an atheist.

“Our mission is to is to eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance by getting atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and all nonreligious people to be open about their beliefs,” said Todd Stiefel, Chair for the Openly Secular coalition and founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. “By being open about our beliefs and values, we can show that we, like all people, are worthy of love and kindness undeterred by religious differences.”

Secular Student Alliance Election Results

The Secular Student Alliance Board of Directors is excited to announce that Seráh Blain, Ashley Carter, Mark Hatcher, and Brendan Murphy were all elected to serve two more years on our Board of Directors starting on May 1st, 2014.  Joining the Board for the first time are Nicholas Freeman, Bridget Gaudette, Dr. Barry Markovsky, and Ashley F. Miller.

"We are thrilled with the election results," said Board Chair Evan Clark.  "We are building an ever more diverse Board with undergraduate leaders, graduate students, community organizers, and faculty advisors."

August Brunsman, executive director of the Secular Student Alliance, remarked "this is exactly the kind of leadership we need to normalize secular identity and spread secular values with students today.

Everyone is encouraged to read about the new board members.


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