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Executive Corner Piece: We are Still Proudly Secular!

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August E. Brunsman IV is the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance. This essay is part of a series we called our Executive Corner Pieces. These are generally published the second Tuesday of each month and give you a little insight to the thoughts of our Executive Director. 

Last month, we publicly launched our revamped Mission, Vision, and Values and the response has shown us how many folks share our organization's values and vision. The SSA is committed to increasing diversity, focusing on making our work richer by working with intersectional causes, and helping more people use secular values to find meaning and purpose in their lives. We are very proud of all the work that went into this revamp and of the time and effort from our Board of Directors and tireless staff. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we appreciate that our supporters feel the same way about the direction of the Secular Student Alliance. 

However, we’ve also received some questions about our new Mission, Vision, and Values that I wanted to address. 

Some supporters are concerned that we won’t be continuing the sort of work we’ve done in the past with our affiliate groups, but our new Mission, Vision, and Core Values adds to who we are as an organization. We’re still planning to do Ask an Atheist Day, Graveyard of the Gods, and Darwin Day. We’re also going to keep supporting debates and discussions that question the role of religion in society. We remain proudly secular and fearless inquiry is a central part of who we are! 

Most of the students we support see their secularism as a core part of their identity. Their decision to focus on the only life and only world they know informs all of their important decisions. We want to let our students know that we expect and encourage their thoughtful engagement on the pressing issues of the day. This isn't just about our students’ time in high school or college, but about living meaningful lives as secular individuals. We want to set them up to continue spreading secular values and normalizing secular identity after they graduate. To do that, we need a secularism that’s big enough and rich enough to inform a lifetime of decisions. Just to be very clear, we don’t think we have all the answers. But we do want to encourage a lot of conversations.

Secular Student Movement Update 4/16/2015

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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

Today is Ask an Atheist Day! We've had forty or so affiliate groups request packets of materials for events on their campus, and we anticipate hearing great things in the next few weeks about how things went. Our staff also participated in an Ask Me Anything on reddit today as part of the celebration. 

Next Thursday is the first Openly Secular Day! The University of Central Florida is hosting the flagship event with speakers such as Chris Kluwe, Greta Christina, and Hemant Mehta, but many more events will be going on throughout the country. You can find more information at openlysecularday.org. Keep an eye on our website for a recap of events in the next few weeks!

Conference registration for our Annual Conference is 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

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.

Our Annual Report

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We are excited to share our 2014 Annual Report with you!

Our Annual Report takes a detailed look at everything we were able to accomplish in 2014. Not only will you find details on our programs' many successes in 2014, but you will also be able to read financial information and check out the institutional growth for the Secular Student Alliance in 2014.

You can download our Annual Report by clicking on the cover below! If you have any questions or thoughts about our Annual Report or our work, we would love to hear them! You can reach our Development Director Neil Wehneman at neil.wehneman@secularstudents.org.

Case Statement First Page
Download here

Secular Student Movement Update 4/9/2015

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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

We are excited to share our 2014 Annual Report with you! Our Annual Report takes a detailed look at everything we were able to accomplish in 2014. Not only will you find details on our programs' many successes in 2014, but you will also be able to read financial information and check out the institutional growth for the Secular Student Alliance in 2014. You can check out our Annual Report here!

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. You can also say hello to the Secular Student Alliance staff next Thursday on reddit where we will be participating in an Ask Me Anything for Ask an Atheist Day. 

Our affiliates have been doing a lot of great things recently that we'd like to share with you as well. Eastern Michigan University's SSA hosted an event on the Detroit Water Crisis alongside other campus groups. The University of Michigan-Flint Students for Free-thought worked with their InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to put on a Worldviews Dialogue between atheists and Christians, and they also helped coordinate a Take Back the Night event with the Women's Educational Center on campus. The SSA at the University of Alabama-Birmingham went to see the Book of Mormon as a group. Great work to all of our groups! We love hearing about what you're doing. 

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.

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