Day of Solidarity for Black Nonbelievers
- Activity Overview
Planning Time 2-4 weeks Group Size Any Staff # 2+ Event Date Every 4th (the last) Sunday of February
- Planning Timeframe
- Cooperating Organizations
The Day of Solidarity takes place annually on the last Sunday in February. The next one falls on Sunday, February 28, 2016.
The percentage of black non-believers in the U.S. is small but increasing. Most have difficulty meeting other black non-believers or finding many who are involved in secular organizations. The internet has made many connections possible; however, the common feelings expressed by black non-believers are those of isolation, loneliness, and alienation. Often the remedy for these feelings is activism. This activism includes diligently searching for and befriending other non-believers, working with as many other non-believers as possible to address social ills, continuing to be educated about the factual world, providing positive expressions for secular ideas through writing and public speaking, and strengthening the secular community by supporting existing organizations as well as creating dynamic new ones. Unfettered activism is captured in the purpose of the Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers.
The Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers (DoS), held annually on the fourth Sunday in February, must be embraced beyond the events that take place in cities across the nation on that day. It must be used to build genuine communal relationships. It must be used to launch a wave of activism among blacks in America and other people of color as we strive to openly embrace our non-theist status in an ethical and dignified manner. Those that accept this call to activism must garner enough interest to create and support opportunities that will motivate those who have so far remained dormant except for an occasional message via email, Twitter, blogging, or postings on Facebook. This Day of Solidarity event is an effort to bring them out from behind those high tech media devices and other locations that keep them inconspicuous.
The goal is not to throw the biggest event in the universe. The goal is to provide a safe haven for black non-believers. You can collaborate with just a couple of people, a group, or a host.
- Black Atheists of America (and their Facebook page)
- African Americans for Humanism (and their Facebook page)
- Black Non Believers Inc (and their Facebook page)
- Black Skeptics Group
- Black Freethinkers
- Black Freethought
- Most importantly, the point of this day is to get people talking and interacting with each other, both on campus and off. If you can accomplish this, then you are already doing something important.
- The purpose ultimately is not to put on a huge event but to build friendships, reach out, network and give others the courage to allow them their freedom of expression and ultimately a voice of representation.
- Anyone who supports this initiative can contact other non-theist individuals, groups, and organizations to plan a gathering with can include many things: dining out or a potluck, book or film discussion, speaker presentation, or any social activity. Simply decide on a time and place.
- Publicize the event as widely as possible. Use Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp, and other websites. Also consider sending a press release to the campus newspaper and web-based community calendars, issuing local press releases, radio station announcements, and making personal invitations. When you complete your planning, email the details of your event to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep track of events and help you promote.
Consider meeting as a group to discuss the following videos and articles:
- Debbie Goddard: African Americans and Secularism [Youtube]
- Sikivu Hutchinson: Social Justice or School-to-Prison [Youtube]
- Mandisa Thomas: How Religion Crippled the Black Community [Youtube]
- Story about African American Atheists [New York Times]
- Why the National Day of Solidarity for Black Nonbelievers is Not Just for Blacks Only [The Friendly Atheist]
- Black Atheists Say Their Concerns Have Been Overlooked for Too Long [Religion News Service]
- Atheism and Social Justice: Sikivu Hutchinson on the first People of Color Beyond Faith Conference [Religion News Service]
Other activities you might consider on this day are:
- Bringing in a speaker who specializes in issues that disproportionally affect the African American community. You can check out our own Speakers Bureau, or reach out to professors on your campus or those in your community.
- Reach out to any local off-campus secular organizations and work with them to participate in an event.
- Check out activity packets for awareness tabling & cooperating with religious groups for further ideas on how to spread the word.
You'll want to be sure you've reached out to all interested organizations and individuals. Do some research and make a list, then send emails or attend meetings to make connections. Let your group members know about your event by using your group email list.
For press release guidance, see our in-depth Press Release Resource.
One of our best resources to find out what works and what doesn't is you - our student leaders! If you've employed a strategy that worked well, let us know about it so other groups can also use that idea. If you've learned a lesson of caution about something we suggest, point out the pitfalls. You can email us at email@example.com!