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$15 for '15 Campaign Update!

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Hello friends,

As August told you on Monday, we just launched our $15 for ‘15 campaign, and are encouraging people to give $15 a month throughout 2015 to make it the best year ever for secular students!

Our volunteers, students, staff members, and Board Members are sharing their stories about what they are excited about, and I wanted to share some quotes from these stories.

Nancy Martin, Chair of the SSA Board of Directors: “While there are many exciting activities and programs within SSA, a new program has me beaming with pride to be part of this organization. That program is our scholarship program. Our initial grants have plenty of room to grow, and I can see a future where we can offer full-tuition scholarships thanks to generous supporters!”

Northwestern Oklahoma State University Secular Student Alliance: “We want to show the religious individuals both on campus and around the community that even without religion, one can lead a moral life and help to improve the world for all. A huge thank you to the donors and supporters of the SSA! We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for your help!"

Fred Edwords, National Director of the United Coalition of Reason and member of the SSA’s Speakers Bureau: “Because of the SSA's expanding support of affiliate groups this year and its energetic lauding of those with standout activities, I see 2015 as a bumper year for developing new creativity on campus and thereby bringing it to the work of all the secular organizations across the country.”

There are many more stories from people passionate about the SSA: you can read them here, and we will be adding more all the time.

Secular Start Up: December 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.

This week is the Monthly Update, a monthly video about the goings on with the national Secular Student Alliance that highlights specific issues and events groups are tackling. A different staff person will also be introduced at the beginning of each monthly update. December's staff person is August Brunsman, Executive Director! This month's update talks about the Call to Action for Ferguson, Darwin Day, the $15 for '15 campaign, our most recent hire, and ending your semester with a solstice celebration

Secular Student Alliance Hiring Strategic Communications Contractor

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Everyday, brave students willing to be open as atheists, agnostics, and humanists stand up for their rights, normalize not believing in any gods, and spread secular values. We want you to ensure that they get the media coverage they deserve as a key part of the Secular Student Alliance's Communications Team. 

We have just updated our organizational Mission, Vision, Core Values, and created a five-year Strategic Plan. We are seeking professional assistance in implementing the communications-related parts of our plan over the next six to twelve months.

Our plan outlines a significant new focus for us on engaging secular students who haven’t always felt welcome by the secular movement (e.g. women, racial minorities). These documents also have a major focus on encouraging secular students to collaborate with those in intersecting social justice movements (e.g. LGBT, reproductive justice, sex education, science education). We want to help the world understand that the Secular Student Alliance is a movement made up of secular students who value diversity and value making the world a better place for everyone.

We Think Students for Free-thought at UM-Flint 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 Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan-Flint and all the amazing things they have done this semester, which have earned them an Award for Outstanding Activism!

The Students for Free-thought at UM-Flint kicked off their semester by participating in a Hands Up, Don't Shoot event this past August in response to the situation in Ferguson, standing with the Black Student Union and other groups at a rally against police brutality and racial profiling.

Back in October, we highlighted their campus "Stop the Stigma" chalking campaign to reduce stigma around abortion and pro-choice chalking in response to a pro-life chalk day. On the same day the Students for Life erected their crosses, Students for Free-thought erected a sign which read, “Safe and Legal Abortions Save Lives. Anti-Choice Laws cost the lives of more than 47,000 women every year. Where are the crosses for these women?”dan

Early in November, they joined their campus' Feminists for Global Equality group for a Prom Dress flag football event, which raised money for the local YWCA Safe House for Flint.

A week later, they also hosted FFRF Co-President Dan Barker for a talk entitled "Losing Faith in Faith", which was well-received and a rousing success! 

On Thursday, November 20th, the Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan-Flint sponsored a dialogue on the American War on Drugs, which discussed, among other things, the militarization of the police and the harm of racial profiling.

Students for Free-thought also raises money every fall with a book sale and other events for the Jeremy James Combs Memorial Scholarship, a yearly scholarship they give out in memory of one of their members who passed away in December 2011.

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