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Secular Student Movement Update 1/15/15

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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

Most of our students will be returning to classes starting next week, so there's not much to report on this week.

Secular Start Up: January 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 Decries Violence in Response to Satire

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As many of you know, today in France, Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that has previously received threats and attacks based on past critiques of Islam, was attacked by gunmen. Twelve people were killed in the attacks, including journalists and policemen. We at the Secular Student Alliance condemn this assault on free expression. The Secular Student Alliance stands in solidarity with those affected. We mourn the lives lost and offer condolences to the families of the victims.

The Secular Student Alliance promotes secularism and pluralism, and we are outraged and dismayed to see violence as a response to expression. The work of Charlie Hebdo occurs in a complex context where racism and thoughtless Islamophobia influence the discussion. We join those, including many Islamic leaders, who have decried this act of violence by religious extremists. Blasphemy is a victimless crime, and religious beliefs, like all other ideas, are not above criticism. Because satire has the power to open minds and transform even dearly held perspectives, it is a threat to fundamentalism of all types. We trust Charlie Hebdo will emerge from these attacks with very much the same spirit as before. The world is watching, and we stand with Charlie.

#JeSuisCharlie

Secular Student Movement Update 1/8/2015

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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

Most of our students are currently still on break, but we still wanted to mention all of the great things they put fsutogether for the end of their semester. The Secular Student Alliance at Ferris State University in Michigan hosted a really awesome Interfaith panel with over 250 people in attendance, with a representative from a Christian group, a Muslim group, and they brought in Jeremiah Bannister, a former Roman Catholic, to represent the atheist perspective. SSA at Ferris State is looking forward to working more with religious groups on their campus in the coming semester. We also saw the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW-Madison, raise $155 for gifts to a local women's shelter

While on break, we also awarded the Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan-Flint an award for Outstanding Activism. They have been one of our most active groups this past semester and have done some really amazing work. Projects this past semester have included a 'stop the stigma' chalking campaign as a response to a pro-life chalking day, a dialogue on the American War on Drugs, a memorial scholarship, and working with their Black Student Union in response to Ferguson. Their work represents a focus on social justice that we are proud to make a crucial part of the future of the SSA. 

Throughout the month of December, we collected stories from staff members, speakers, individual activists, volunteers, board members, affiliate groups, and students talking about what they are excited about as the Secular Student Alliance moves in 2015. This year marks the 15th anniversary of our organization's founding and we have lots of really great events and plans coming up for the year. If you are interested in finding out why we (and so many other people) are excited about the work SSA is doing, please take a look.

For more information, questions, comments or additions to student-led efforts in the secular movement, contact [email protected].

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