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Reason Rally 2016 Will Be Awesome!


This Reason Rally is this summer June 4th. It is a major opportunity to make secular voices heard in the political process. The Reason Rally itself is a gathering of over 30,000 secular Americans for a day-long celebration of reason at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. However, there will also be many surrounding events to take part in before, during, and after the Rally. There are many opportunities for secular students to get involved, meet secular movement personalities and leaders, and network with each other and SSA staff.

2016 is a huge opportunity for secular Americans to get involved in political activism due to being a presidential election year, and Reason Rally is a great way to kick that into high gear! There will be opportunities to lobby your elected officials as well. Plus, there are going to be a ton of great secular speakers and celebrities at the event, such as:

  • Maryam Namazie
  • Bill Nye
  • Johnny Depp
  • Margaret Cho
  • Carolyn Porco
  • John de Lancie
  • Kelly Carlin
  • Paul Provenza
  • Eugenie Scott
  • SciBabe
  • Cara Santa Maria
  • Killah Priest
  • Mark White
  • Penn Jillette
  • Lizz Winstead
  • Music by the Wu Tang Clan
  • and even more!

How to donate, but like, to other people :: This Week

Not all activism about is protests and petitions. Sometimes financial contributions are just as valuable, but who should you give to? Play the Giving Game with your group to learn how to donate wisely without spending a penny! The Life You Can Save, co-creator of this resource, will donate $10 per each participant as an extra bonus. This is the one game you can’t lose and where everyone wins!
SSA Con is dedicated to getting a diverse range of speakers to discuss strategies you can take back home. We’ve just released our preliminary list of presenters including Erin Carhart of Planned Parenthood Generation Action and Greg Lipper of Americans United for Separation for Church and State. Of course, the real draw is our student speakers, like scholarship winners Matt Enloe and Buxi Iacobone, who will give you practical knowledge from their own experiences. Find out what speakers you’ll be excited to see at SSA Con 2016!
As a service to our students, we maintain a bulletin board of jobs open in partner and allied organizations. We even include volunteer roles so you can start gaining the experience employers love to see. See if there are any movement jobs that are right for you! (Hint: the Reason Rally is looking for volunteers, even if they aren’t in DC!)

Alumni Spotlight!

"The one thing I want to tell current secular students is that they need to get involved. Student organizations struggle because no one steps up to take the reins. Don't just come along for the ride, and offer what you can to help the group grow!"

Joe Magestro, SSA Alumni

In addition to being the founder of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater SSA, Joe is an author, head hunter for a recruiting agency, and board member for Mythicist Milwaukee. When Joe was president of his SSA, they put on a Food for Freethought movie night and were able to donate a large amount of food to their local food pantry. The pantry was located in a church, but the woman running it was delighted to see atheists doing what they could to help those in need. Joe’s time at the SSA, including attending the Annual Conference, really helped him open up about his beliefs, and he now focuses on educating himself as much as he does others. We’re proud to consider Joe one of our SSA Alumni Members!

We Think the Lakeridge Secular Alliance is Outstanding!


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 see an individual or group doing something especially awesome, we present them with an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. 

We don't often get to highlight the awesome work that our high school affiliate groups are doing, so we're happy to shine the spotlight on the Lakeridge Secular Alliance at Lakeridge High School! Late last month, five members of the Lakeridge Secular Alliance (including their advisor!) volunteered at the Oregon Food Bank and organized damaged (but still usable) food from grocery stores into Healthy and Supplemental categories. They even worked efficiently enough to finish their shift an hour early! Great work, y'all!

This was their first volunteering event as a group. They managed to organize and pull it off during their winter break, no less! 

"Everyone had fun and was happy to do some good work during their Winter Break. It was also a good way for us to spend time together as friends when we normally wouldn't," said Ethan Kirkham, Lakeridge Secular Alliance President. "I am sure the next time I organize volunteer work, they will be quick to sign up!"

We stand with Black Nonbelievers :: This Week

The National Day of Solidarity for Black Nonbelievers falls on February 28 this year. Maybe you've noticed the secular movement is a little pale, stale, and male? Black Nonbelievers are out there, but many do not currently feel welcome in the secular movement. Use our National Day of Solidarity Activity Packet to participate in the national effort to make the movement more inclusive!
Darwin Day is February 12. By now you have an idea about what you want to do, right? Well, in case you don’t (or you want to get started on next year) we have the tool for you: download our new Darwin Day Guide! It contains ideas other groups have successfully run, how to promote your Darwin Day, local proclamations, and much more! You might even see something you can get started on planning today.
We know your group is doing awesome things for Darwin Day, MLK Day of Service, and even this upcoming Superbowl Sunday. The problem is we don’t know what you’ve done unless you tell us about it. That’s why you should submit a Brag It Up! Your group could be featured on our Facebook and emails, and you can get free stuff for your group! There will always be a Brag It Up button in the This Week email. Keep it in mind!

University of South Dakota Secular Student Alliance!

"We have been trying to get funding from the USD Student Government Association. We included a dictionary definition of secularism along with the national SSA Mission, Vision, and Values. We were denied because under their definition of secularism, we are a religious organization that is anti-religious."

Katelyn Troastle, President

The USD SSA wore pasta strainers and passed out SSA swag on the FSM and pastafarianism to protest their group being denied student funding. The group had the idea right before their student organization fair and made sure to reserve their table quickly. They got a lot of attention, conversation, and email sign ups from the head-wear (as well as strange looks), but every member was thrilled to participate!


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